Joel Kotkin: To embrace immigration, Canada must reject Trudeau’s racialized policies

More ideology at play than reason. One third oppose immigration levels means two-thirds and neutral or support, numbers that have been relatively consistent over the past 20 years and ones that dwarf most other countries.

While I also find some of the government’s language and virtue signalling tiresome, it does not appear to have resulted in less support for immigration as the government continues to increase immigration levels each year. Concrete issues like housing shortages, healthcare stress and the like pose a greater risk.

Funny typo “school emissions” rather than admissions!

Recent government moves to increase immigration to 1.2 millionover the next three years reflects both a hopeful sign for Canada’s future, but also potential impact. Along with immigration’s many benefits, we could see the intensification of racialism and identity politics, the kind that is threatening to tear apart an already deeply divided United States.

Of course, Canada is not burdened, like the United States, by the legacy of slavery, but both countries do share a similar legacy of displacement of Indigenous peoples and share a justified collective guilt over it. But Canada’s future, even more than that of the U.S., will be shaped by immigration. In Canada immigrants represent 21 per cent of the total population, compared to just 15 per cent in the US.

Most of these newcomers are from outside Europe. In the last half century, non-Europeans have grown from barely ten per cent to nearly 80 per cent of all immigrants. Using the awkward term “racialized” minorities used by the government to define non-Europeans, their share of the population rose from 16 to 22 per cent, between 2006 and 2016. By 2041, according to Statistics Canada, half of Canada could be immigrants, or their children.

Canada needs newcomers. After all, the Canadian birthrate has fallen well below replacement, contributing to skilled labour shortages in hospitals, factories and schools. In contrast to the U.S., where family ties predominate, Canadian policy wisely focuses on the county’s s economic vitality.

Certainly, many Canadian minorities embrace capitalist work ethic and discipline with enthusiasm. As in the U.S., they show a  greater proclivity to start businesses than most Canadians. Overall, although their average incomes lag, racial minorities in Canada boast higher labour participation rates than Europeans, and have made steady progress, with most reaching close to equity by the third generation.

Rather than embrace and promote this progress, some Canadian academics, media and politicians — including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — seek to construct  an increasingly racialized public policy, with a fashionable emphasis on “anti-racism.” Rather than embrace his father’s passionate commitment to national unity, the son has adopted a race-driven ideology, separating Canadians by ethnic group, as well as gender and sexual orientation.

In the U.S. we can already see the damage caused by this mentality. Particularly under the Biden administration, racial classificationhas become a tool for preferences. Once the party of segregation before embracing integration, the Democrats now are regressing, again embracing racial preferences and quotas in universities, corporations, and professional organizations over merit as a primary qualification.

Wherever this approach is adopted, it undermines the very rationale that all liberal societies have enjoyed — and indeed are the very things that attracts migrants to these countries. In its ugliest form, the racialist agenda seeks to unite “people of colour” — known as BIPOC — against the white majority. In some places, this has taken on the character of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, with all whites forced to admit their racism, whatever their personal feelings.

Advocates for  BIPOC — an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour — envision a coalition of nonwhites to struggle against what the  BIPOC Project calls a hegemonic “white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism.” This thinking is deeply embedded in the Biden Administration Education Department,  where one official has even denounced democracy itself as “built on white supremacy.” California, the mecca of racial virtue signalling, has even decided to award six figure “reparations” for slavery, even though it was never a slave state and has discriminated far worse against Asians as well as the native Mexican and Indigenous populations.

Now imagine the impact of such thinking on a an increasingly diverse Canada. Who do you extend preferences to when several “racialized groups” — Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Arab and Indian — exceed white incomes by third generation. Generally speaking, Asians outperform whites in education as well as income, even as other minorities do worse and whites, far from the top perch, sit in the middle.

Canadian Universities, like their American counterparts have become enamoured with the politics of guilt-tripping whites, accusing them of the damage done to First Peoples, irrespective of when their families arrived or any real culpability. Similarly, tolerance of antisemitism and Holocaust denial are now tolerated  and even supported, by Members of Parliament as a means, apparently, of appealing to Muslims.

This is not good for Canada, and it isn’t good for minorities and immigrants either. Canada has been, if imperfect, a relative place of refuge, a society where personal merit remains more valued than membership in a particular gene pool, religious sect, or caste. As in the United States, a racialist approach seems likely to boost  opposition to immigration    that has emerged in Europe as well as the United States. Even though illegal immigration is less than of an issue in Canada, at least a third already express dissatisfaction with the current levels of immigration.

Just imagine when French and English Canadians, as well as the children of European immigrants, find themselves discriminated against in such things as school emissions. Ironically, some of the biggest victims of a preference regime might be the largest immigrant group, Asian Canadians, who have the misfortune of outperforming other ethnic groups.

Canada can find better ways to help immigrants, and other Canadians, by promoting broad-based economic growth and policies that lead to lower house prices, a major impediment to moving into the middle class. Rather than celebrate separatism, Canadians should embrace the multiculturalism of the streets, particularly in suburbia, as well as the growing intermarriage ratesamong Asians and other minorities.

Canadians have to balance their need for immigrants with a sense of common national purpose. A great country cannot be built on a bed of guilt and racial jockeying, but on a common acceptance of merit, fairness and openness, remaining a beacon of humanistic sanity in an increasingly divisive world.

National Post

Joel Kotkin is author of The Coming of Neo Feudalism — A Warning to the Global Middle Class, presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, in Orange, CA and executive director of the Houston-based think tank, Urban Reform Institute.

Source: Joel Kotkin: To embrace immigration, Canada must reject Trudeau’s racialized policies 

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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