The hard truth why Canadians are taxed so much

Watch this presentation by a 12-year-old as she presents to us why the banks and the government are colluding to make modern slaves out of ordinary, hardworking Canadians.

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Vancouver is super pricey!

In two separate surveys recently concluded, Vancouver has made a name in notoriety – it was ranked the Most Expensive North American City (37th most expensive in the world) and the second-most unaffordable city to buy real estate (after Hong Kong).

Coupled with a high unemployment rate and a socialist approach to unionise work, Vancouver is not a good place for families with young children nor a good starting place for new immigrants (except those with a truck load of dollars who buy up and push up real estate prices).

Sure, the city boasts of beautiful coastline, glorious mountain ranges, a mild maritime weather and a cosmopolitan population… but the costs sure outweigh the gains. Come for a vacation but live elsewhere in Canada.

Think Vancouver, think again!

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The Canadian jobless rate creeps up in January 2012

The employment numbers for January have just been released by Statistics Canada, and the news isn’t good. Canada only gained about 2,300 jobs overall last month while 23,700 new people joined the labour force, driving the unemployment rate up to 7.6%. That is its highest level in nine months.

The anemic job creation comes as a disappointment to many economists who had been expecting a healthy boost in job creation with as many as 25,000 new jobs added. That it didn’t happen is a sign that the overall Canadian economy is still struggling to create new jobs.

Still, we were up in overall jobs slightly year-over-year. Compared with January of 2011, Canada saw an increase in 170,000 full time jobs. This was tempered slightly by a decline in roughly 40,000 part-time positions.

23,000 new jobs were added in education, information, culture and recreation saw gains of 19,000 new positions and other services added 14,000 jobs. These were offset by 45,000 fewer jobs in professional, scientific and technical services and 23,000 less jobs finance, insurance and real estate.

Regionally:

Employment increased in Quebec by 8.4 % and decreased by roughly 1,000 positions in Prince Edward Island. The labour market remained little changed in Ontario and Alberta.

Notably, while employment in Alberta didn’t change much in January 2012, that province posted the highest growth rate at 3.9% or 80,000 more jobs than in January 2011.

[Source: Peter Harris, Workopolis]

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How expensive is Vancouver?

For as long as anyone can remember, Vancouver and its city politicians have strived to make our city number one in the world. Unfortunately, those efforts to make us the greenest, cleanest, safest and most desirable place to live have triggered a few unintended consequences.

According to the 8th-Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Vancouver is the second least affordable place to live amongst the largest English-speaking cities in the world. We have now surpassed Sydney, Australia and only trail Hong Kong for top spot. But housing isn’t the only thing that’s slowly becoming out of reach for local residents.

In you want to get a better picture of just how expensive Vancouver has become, you need to take a short flight down to Phoenix, Ariz. to get some perspective.

When our family decided to purchase an investment property down there, we simply couldn’t believe what we could find. We were easily able to locate a nice two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo next to a private lake with all the amenities for well less than $70,000. Not only was the price of the home unbelievably low, so too are the monthly strata fees and residential property taxes.

During our recent visit to the condo last month, we decided to have a family night out and see a Phoenix Suns basketball game. We purchased three tickets along with three meals, a glass of beer and surface parking located only 46 metres from the entrance of the US Airways Arena.

Our night on the town cost us the grand sum of $81 dollars. Now can you imagine doing a similar family-friendly event for anything less than $200 in Vancouver? Not a chance.

But our lack of affordability doesn’t end with high housing prices and costly Canucks tickets. A range of other goods and services are more expensive here than in most other cities.

For example, if you want to park your car on a public street in downtown Vancouver, city officials will ding you up to $6 per hour. Some downtown parkades are even gouging customers by charging them $25 for all-day or special event parking in the evening.

If you want to fill up your gas tank in Vancouver, you better get ready to pay the highest pump prices of any major city in Canada. And that’s before another tax increase will be tacked on in a few months to help pay for the new Evergreen Line.

While Demographia’s housing survey results may come as little surprise to most Vancouverites, they are another stark reminder of the costly downsides to living in paradise.

[Source: Daniel Fontaine, 24H Vancouver]

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PM Harper plans to make ‘major’ changes to pension system

 I recently read an article about the impending changes to the old age pension system in Canada. This augurs adjustments to the way Canadians tell about their retirement and how they spend their money. For too long, there is a great sense of complacency that wealth will always be there. Canadians are lulled into believing that the pension system which worked well in the past (when there were more workers supporting each retiree) to continue in the same mode. Get ready for a shock as you read on:

Pension system in for ‘major’ changes

PM promises other shifts in immigration, energy, research

Postmedia News January 27, 2012

Prime Minister Stephen Harper signalled his government will bring forward “major transformations” to the country in the coming months – in areas such as the retirement pension system, immigration, science and technology investment and the energy sector.

Of those reforms, Harper said, getting a grip on slowing the rising costs of the country’s pension system is particularly critical.

In the wake of Harper’s speech, it now appears the Conservative government could be poised to gradually change the Old Age Security system so that the age of eligibility is raised to age 67 from 65.

The opposition NDP and Liberals said that such a move would financially cripple millions of Canadians, and that at a time when world leaders were talking about addressing income inequality, the prime minister’s words indicated the opposite may happen in Canada.

NDP finance critic Peter Julian, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, called Harper’s speech “ominous words because we don’t have any details yet.”

Julian said the NDP wants to see the government increase spending on the OAS by $700 million per year, which the NDP says would make the system sustainable, rather than tell seniors they have to work for two more years before they can retire.

“That’s completely unacceptable. If he had run on that platform last May, he wouldn’t have the numbers he has in the House he has today,” Julian said.

The NDP and the Liberals said that increasing funding to the OAS could be financed by reining in spending on prisons and the F-35 fighter jet, which could cost anywhere between $16 billion and $30 billion, depending on who you ask.

“If he’s serious about the demographic shift, he should listen to evidence and invest in hospital beds, not prison beds,” said Liberal critic Scott Brison.

He said the problems afflicting Europe and the U.S. threaten to become even more serious in future.

“Each nation has a choice to make. Western nations, in particular, face a choice of whether to create the conditions for growth and prosperity, or to risk long-term economic decline.”

” We want to hear from you. Send comments on this story to letters@nanaimodailynews.com. Letters must include daytime phone number and hometown.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News
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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Eh Canada! wishes one and all a holly jolly Christmas and an awesome 2012! May all your dreams come true!

Posted in Canada, Economy, Family, Fashion, Healthcare, Humor, Society and Culture, Toronto, Vancouver | Leave a comment

A disturbing anti-immigrant book from Canada

I came across an anti-immigrant book, which I feel perturbed. I am summarising it and adding some personal comments.

Green, Lowell (2010). Mayday, Mayday: Curb immigration. Stop multiculturalism. Or it’s the end of the Canada we know. Canada: SpruceRidge Publishing.

Blurp (inside front cover):

The belief that immigration is the answer to our low fertility rate and aging workforce is a myth most of us have come to believe. It’s a myth so powerful that, as a nation, we are about to abandon the ship that has served us so well and clamber aboard a foreign vessel headed we know not where, manned by a crew of often feuding strangers, most of whom speak a language we cannot understand.

To accommodate the number of immigrants arriving annually in British Columbia, about 15,000 new dwelling units (apartments or houses) have to be built for them every year. That’s 1,250 every month or about 280 every week if the immigrants are to enjoy the same housing standards as the rest of Canadians.

“We have to face up to the fact that the roads in the GTA are plugged,| says Ontario Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller, “millions more *immigrants+ are coming…” “Tell me,” says Lowell, “how is this going to improve the lives of the average Torontonian?”

In 2008, during the worst recession since the “Dirty Thirties,” when we had more than two million Canadians unemployed, we still opened our borders to more than 250,000 immigrants, 257,000 temporary workers, 79,000 foreign students and approximately 35,000 refugees.

Blurp (back cover):

Lowell Green presents a powerful, persuasive, well-documented and incredibly well researched argument for a substantial reduction in Canada’s yearly intake of immigrants and refugees, and an immediate halt to multiculturalism.

Lowell minces no words in demonstrating how immigration has changed from the early 1990s – when about four European immigrants arrived here for every non-European – until today, when about four non-European immigrants arrive for every one of European descent.

He explains how the policies of the Mulroney and Chretien governments opened the immigration floodgates in the 1990s. And how, since then, immigration isn’t working for Canada or for the immigrants, many of whom are still on welfare after many years in this country.

The evidence Lowell presents that multiculturalism has become a form of colonization in our major cities, severely straining our social services and infrastructures, is highly controversial but difficult to refute. So, too, his assertion that even as mass immigration and multiculturalism strengthen Quebec’s distinct French language and culture, the rest of Canada is committing cultural suicide.

His claim that many of the cultures we are importing are repositories of ignorance, superstition, repression, cruelty and injustice, especially towards women, will infuriate many a bleeding heart!

Chapter review (with comments if any):

Troubled waters

Lowell stated Canada is in troubled waters using anecdotal evidence of immigrants involved in Sikh, Somali and Tamil Tiger extremism; planning terrorist attacks; committing criminal frauds; gang warfare and discrimination against women and their rights.

Heading for Disaster

Lowell posited a ‘New Canada’ is replacing the ‘Old Canada’. He cited from StatsCanada that over the next two decades, the foreign-born population of ‘New Canada’ will expand four times faster than those locally-born. The projections for 2031 were as follows:

Toronto – 63% visible minorities

Vancouver – 59 %

Montreal – 31%

Ottawa – 36%

Who’s the Racist?

The author claimed that with large influx of immigrants, Canadian cities like Vancouver will be Asianized. He cited how unbelieveable if other countries have their own cultures, religion become marginalized. He ended off “Can’t you just hear the protests?”

Reviewer’s Comments:

The author fails to point out that the aboriginal culture here in Canada is not white, nor European nor Christian but the First Natives. In his entire discourse, he did not acknowledge that. Disconcertingly, by asking a rhetorical question on protests at the end of the chapter, it was irresponsible of him as it could provoke a segment of the population to do just that and the ripple effect is unimaginable!

The only culture worth saving

Lowell bluntly stated that “some of the cultures immigrants are fleeing from these days are just plain godawful. Many… treat women terribly. Gays, dissidents and heretics are murdered, democracy is unknown and, perhaps most disturbing, many of those flocking to our shores these days have been taught from childhood to fear and hate the West” (p45). He blamed the multicultural policies of the country and the irresponsible advertising by immigration lawyers and consultants as the main culprits.

The floodgates

Lowell wrote that Canada accepts more immigrants, refugees, foreign students and temporary workers than any other country in the world.

The numbers

Using Dec 2008 figures from Facts and Figures – Immigration Overview, Permanent and Temporary Residents, Lowell highlighted a total of 178,227 foreign students live in Canada (of which 79,509 arrived in 2008). A substantial number came from China and South Korea. The number of temporary workers accepted also increased as compared to immigrants in 2008. He summed up that immigration services (in various forms) were supplied to 247,243 landed immigrants, 251,235 foreign temporary workers, and 178,227 foreign students and 94,144 refugees in 2008. Because of these huge numbers, Lowell surmised that the Canadian taxpayers were funding these immigration procedures and immigrants.

Review’s Comments:

Lowell fails to point out why Canada needs immigrants and foreign workers. As the second largest country in the world, its population of roughly 34 million is low. To move its economy forward and increase its worker productivity (coupled with low fertility rates, 1.48 in 2007), it is necessary to attract immigrants. The other point which Lowell craftily dismissed is the injection of funds into the Canadian economy when newcomers come in (whether as skilled workers or investors).

The source: Where are today’s immigrants coming from?

The author quoted statistics to show that up until 1991, about four immigrants or refugees from western democracies arrived in Canada for every one who came from non-western countries. The trend was reversed in two decades. The total western immigration 1996-2006 is 268,525 (17.5%) and for non-western nations is 1,266,165 (82.5%). He blamed the policies under Mulroney and Chretien for transforming ‘Old Canada’ into ‘New Canada’.

Trading in our culture

Lowell declared that the Euro-Judeo-Christian culture was the cornerstone of Canada and had built the country to what it is today. He cited with large influx of visible minorities (18.4% in 2006), that former culture was rapidly eroding.

Reviewer’s comments:

Once again, Lowell fails to acknowledge the First Natives. He suggests that before the European settlers came to Canada, the country was in ruins. Holding up a mirror and looking into the pages of history will reveal to Lowell the atrocities and plundering conducted by the European early settlers as well. More credit should be given to the First Nations communities. There was unfortunately no admission of guilt on his part.

What’s happening to our two official languages?

Lowell presented that Canada is inundated with numerous foreign mother tongues introduced by newcomers. The percentage of new Canadians arriving in 2008 with neither English nor French as their mother tongue is 84.5.

We’ve always been multiracial

Lowell proclaimed that Canada (up to 1991) was “a proud nation of hard-working, law-abiding, innovative, honest and brave people” from the European countries. He tacitly admitted that Canada welcomed the other early immigrants from Asia but it “made sure that the European nature of the land remained intact.”

Lowell explored the shifting patterns of immigration in Canada and quoted Martin Collacott, Director General for Security Services, that these changes were due to the “unintended consequences of decisions made in the 1960s” to attract highly skilled and better educated immigrants. These policies resulted in attracting large numbers of skilled and well-educated Asians and discouraging the inflow of less-skilled workers from Europe.

The self-loathers

The authors repeated his earlier points that the face of Canada is changing. He cited the problems of the burgeoning Muslim population; the Tamil Tigers sympathisers (outlawed by the Harper government) and how Canadian taxpayers’ money are siphoned out to these foreign causes. He cross-referenced Canada’s situation to that of Britain today.

Jammed in: Where are they settling?

Lowell explained the largest number of immigrants flock to Toronto and Vancouver. He claimed 46 cents of every tax dollar is spent on healthcare with up to 70 cents within the next 12 years. He believed that as much as 25 per cent of Ontario’s health costs are directly attributable to recent immigrants. Lowell highlighted that close to half a million Hong Kong and Macau Chinese have Canadian passports and many of them leave the country once they get their citizenships.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Lowell use of statistics is suspect. He fails to show how much of the healthcare expenditure is due to the rise of baby boomers in Canada retiring and needing more care. He also misses the point that there may be an overconsumption of medical services by local-born, simply because it is universally free and many have their medical premiums paid for by their companies.

The money pit

Lowell blamed the rise in housing costs in Vancouver and Toronto to the immigrants buying up houses with loads of cash. The growth of immigrants also strained resources and increased pollution (e.g. increase in number of cars). They have also affected the number of places in public services such as schools, hospitals, social services, police, etc. He quoted Herb Grubel, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute and Professor of Economics at SFU that each immigrant who arrived in 1990 or earlier, cost taxpayers $6,924 to provide such public services to him/her.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Again, Lowell fails to compare what is the expenditure in tax dollars used by local-born Canadians. He also does not indicate how much taxes were paid by the immigrant community in those years cited.

Colonization?

Lowell posited the immigration movement into Vancouver and Toronto is a form of colonization. He claimed that these immigrants do not become “part of the warp and weft of the Canadian fabric, not learning how to do things in the Canadian way.”

Satellite Danger

Immigrants receive their native information, entertainment from satellite TVs, radio, newspapers, etc. Hence, Lowell declared that they did not want or need to assimilate into the Canadian culture.

Homegrown Terrorism

Lowell expressed that “the most worrisome terrorist trend in Canada is the increase in the second- and third-generation Canadians who have become so “appallingly disenchanted” with life here they are contemplating or engaging in violence at home or abroad…” He cited anecdotal evidence of some immigrants who ran afoul of the law in their support of terrorism activities here and elsewhere.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Whilst it is undeniable there are dangerous persons in the immigrant community, the number of law-abiding ones far outstrip these. To be fair, Lowell must do a comparison between the numbers of local born Canadians involved in terrorism activities vis-a-vis immigrants. Another question he must answer is why do the immigrants have an appalling disenchantment with life in Canada. Could it be because in their growing up years, they felt ostracized and found it hard to assimilate with the Canadians of European descent?

Some cultures are just plain awful

Lowell expressed many of these immigrant cultures and practices were anathema to the Canadian society such as lack of understanding of democracy.

Campus chaos

Lowell cited again anecdotal evidence of fights over snack foods in universities such as Concordia and York as why multiculturalism policies do not work.

Women’s rights in some of the cultures we are importing

Lowell argued that some imported cultures disregard their women and saw their status as low. Often, such cultures (Lowell cited the Iranian and Indian as examples) treated women poorly. The chauvinistic attitudes are even seen in the children from these communities when they interacted in the classrooms.

Is gendercide coming here?

Lowell alluded that gendercide is practised in Canada by immigrants, especially those from China and India.

Child brides

The author revealed that Muslim brides (from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon) as young as 14 years old, ‘forced’ to marry are sponsored into Canada by their husbands.

Genital mutilation

Lowell presented the case of female genital cutting, a traditional custom, as one incompatible to Canadian society.

All cultures are not equal

Lowell raised his arguments against ‘honor killings’ where many women and girls lose their lives.

The hop across the ponds

Lowell cited Criminal Intelligence Service Canada that in 2009, an estimated 750 national and transnational criminal organizations were active in Canada. He showed that Vancouver, with its large Asian population, has a gun-crime rate of 45.3 per 100,000 compared to Toronto’s 40.4, both way above national average of 27.5 per 100,000. Surrey, home to nearly 100,000 Sikhs, had the worst crime rate in Canada in 2006, and second worse in 2008.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Whilst it is statistically important to study the violent trends in high immigrant cities, it is equally important to see how they compare to the local Canadians as well. As I write, Jonathan Bacon (obviously not from immigrant origins) was treacherously shot in Kelowna on Aug 14, 2011. Examining the pictures on the internet of the recent Vancouver riot in May 2010, most of the main culprits do not seem to be of immigrant stock.

Size does matter

Lowell argued that increasing the size of the cities through immigration has unwanted effects on traffic, sewage, air pollution, reduced living spaces. He cited a UBC study to show that such growth is just not sustainable and will impact the environment.

Thanks, Pierre!

Lowell disagreed with Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom “This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” He felt the official legal interpretation of this is that the ability of an immigrant to retain his or her own native culture in Canada is a right, is wrong!

A Canadian first

Lowell dismissed the 1988 law called the Canadian Multiculturalism Act: An Act for the preservation and enhancement of multiculturalism in Canada. He felt this document was destructive, again citing more of his earlier arguments.

English Canada’s loss – Quebec’s gain

Lowell lamented that the efforts to preserve the French language and Quebecois culture was not spread to English Canada.

Refugee chaos

The author expressed the desperate situation with the refugees, e.g. in 2008, Canada lost track of 41,000 refugee claimants and according to RCMP, at least 3000 of these claimants are known criminals.

Finally, some changes!

Lowell presented the new plan by Immigration Minister Jason Kennedy in March 2010 to streamline the refugee entry system, i.e. identifying designated ‘safe countries of origin’ for Canada to accept refugees. Lowell said that until that plan comes to pass, Canada welcomed their ‘bad guys, your killers, your thieves, thugs and mugs…. with open arms and cheque books at the ready.”

Doctors driving cabs

Lowell brought out facts about how immigrants were earning much less than local-born Canadians. In 1980, recent-immigrant men earned 85 cents for every dollar earned by their Canadian-born counterpart but this dropped to 45 cents for every dollar in 2005. He noted that about 30% of university educated immigrant men worked in Canadian jobs that required no more than a high school education. Lowell presented that almost all living below the poverty line in our major cities are recent immigrants.

Read my lips: It’s not racism!

Lowell reiterated that any immigrant who get a university education in Canada do just as well economically as native-born Canadians. That all that has been said did not amount to racism.

The welfare burden

Lowell brought up that from 1996 until 2001, the number of immigrants living below the poverty line is at 41.2 per cent, compared to 11.2 per cent of Canadian-born.

The great myth

Lowell disputed that immigration as the answer to overcome Canada’s aging population and low fertility rate is nothing but a myth. Instead, he wrote the solution by Banerjee and Robson:

1. Delay the retirement age to 70;

2. Encourage higher fertility rate; and

3. Increase productivity by at least one per cent per year.

Lowell cited statistics that in May 2010, narly 1.5 million Canadians are unemployed and this problem is exacerbated with another half million or so immigrants, refugees and temporary workers.

Making sense of it

Lowell elaborated on the solution highlighted by Banerjee and Robson. This chapter he argued for later retirement age.

Let’s all work just a bit harder

Lowell offered reasons why Canadians need to work harder and be more productive such as training Candian youths better, work harder and longer and reduce the immigration rate significantly. He reminded that “we need to improve our national work ethic or we are going to lose the Canada we know to a few dozen foreign cultures that, in many cases, aren’t noted for a national work or tax-paying ethic any better than Greece’s.”

Let’s have more babies!

With Canada’s total fertility rate at less than 1.5, Lowell called for efforts at improving the fertility rate. He showed from examples in Europe that many of them did not consider immigration as a solution to the aging population. Of particular focus were the efforts presented by France with its generous parental leave, universal full-time preschool, daycare and special tax breaks and monthly childcare allowance.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Lowell’s use of France is not a good example. According to List of countries by foreign-born population in 2005 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_foreign-born_population_in_2005) France is ranked higher at number 5, whilst Canada is ranked lower at number 7. Hence, it is obvious that the substantial welfare spending by France is not able to address the low fertility rate problem. It, in fact, turns to immigration to solve the problem.

Wealthy barbers; Hairdressers too!

Lowell suggested a simplistic formula of reinvesting 5% of CPP and return some of the profits to Canadians, and not foreigners.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Lowell’s proposal of using compound interest on CPP is at best simplistic. The world of global economics is far more complex than what he puts it out to be.

Some final thoughts

Lowell summarized his main arguments that immigration bring unwarranted social and economic problems to Canada. He once again reiterated that Canada was built on the distinctive character of European-Judeo-Christian heritage.

More troubled waters

Lowell concluded his book with a few more anecdotes to bring home his argument.

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