As was signaled by the harsh reception accorded the Tamil refugees who arrived aboard the MV Sun Sea last year, we are no longer the beacon of hope we once were. It may be tempting to view this as a one time incident involving queue jumpers as the these folks were labeled by our government,their mouth pieces in the corporate media and the bigots among us, however there are several problems with this point of view, not the least of which is that there is no queue for refugees in the first place, never has been.
Further evidence of our retreat from our former position as a nation that welcomes the oppressed and displaced of this world came to light recently with new numbers showing that under Harper's reign Canada is accepting 25% fewer refugees than prior to his ascention to the throne.
As the graph above shows he has also altered our immigration system in other perhaps just as profound ways. One is in the area of family reunification.We now allow fewer "family class" immigrants into our country, dropping the percentage from 28% of the total down to 21%.This "family class" is made up of spouses, children, parents and grandparents of new Canadians This is both cruel and unproductive, causing unneeded stress and economic hardship for those waiting to bring their families over.
Perhaps the most profound change has occurred in the number of temporary workers being let into the country. Even putting aside the fact that we have record levels of unemployment as well as underemployment ,dwindling wages and a deceasing standard of living,allowing huge numbers of easily exploited and abused workers into the country is nothing but crass pandering to our government's corporate masters. These workers are not here to do the jobs Canadians don't want, there are more than enough of us willing to preform these tasks provided we receive a fair wage for doing so. In fact an increasing number of temporarily workers are working at skilled jobs and the only rationale for their presence is that they work for less, thus driving down wages for all Canadians.
We have now become a nation that tells those that need our shelter to rot in their refugee camps, that denies new Canadians the right to be with their families and that allows desperate workers to be abused and exploited on the alter of corporate greed.
So in the end Harper was right,I no longer recognize my country