In an op-ed piece in today's Star, Harald Bauder claims that, "Throughout Canadian history, immigrants have been the shock absorbers of cyclical swings of the economy. Until the early 1990s, Canada's immigration levels were synchronized with the business cycle, increasing during boom periods and scaling back during recessions. Although immigration levels are no longer coordinated with the business cycle, immigrants continue to be the last to be hired and the first to be fired."
Mr. Bauder appears to be watching a lot of US cable TV news (can you spell FOX?). This type of statement of fact, that is, in fact unsubstantiated, is typical of sensational reporting whose sole intention is to generate controversy.
Now I guess I'm playing into this by responding here to his article, but the reason I'm doing it is to help potential and recent immigrants understand that this article is simply written by someone ignorant of how the job market works. For one thing, Mr. Bauder is an associate professor of geography at Ryerson University. He is not an economist, nor an expert on market forces.
He writes as if all companies have "Native Canadian" and "last hired, first fired" policies - when everyone knows that is not the case.
Let's test his assumptions with his own university as an example in the following scenario:
Let's say Ryerson just hired an associate professor of geography from Moscow who happened to have worked with a Nobel-laureate and who's classes were in high demand from students. Now, because of the economy, they need to cut someone in the department. It's either the new hire from Moscow, or a Canadian who writes opinion pieces in the Star on immigration (not geography...). Who do YOU think is going to keep their job?
Normally I link to the articles I mention, but this one isn't worth the bandwidth.
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