Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory has set himself a searing pace for his campaign to lead the Province. He is, quite literally, all over the place. And a good number of hours are spent on wooing GTA’s growing immigrant communities.
Perhaps making up for past deficiencies in the Party, Tory can today boast of a few more ethnic candidates in the fray, come November. At a recent media meet, he ‘showed off’ some of them like Brampton’s Pam Hundal and Scarborough’s Appadurai. There might be more but that will be known only after all the nomination battles are done with.
Given his successful corporate record (he was the CEO of the very successful Rogers), there is an economic angle that he brings to bear on every problem. And what makes money sense will eventually make political sense. His campaign booklet is a rich source of what is going wrong with our immigration policy. Of course, that is no secret for many of us, but when a Conservative politician spends as much time researching the subject, it can only be good for public policy. Premiere Dalton McGuinty has already set the tone of that change in public policy by pushing through Bill 124 that prevents Ontario’s Professional bodies from taking a chalta hai attitude to foreign credentials. Now we need more action on the job situation.
And I quote from ‘Ontario’s Skilled Immigrants: A time for action’, a comprehensive strategy paper prepared by the PC party. In other words, ‘Tory’s how to do it manual! It states: “In fact according to Statistics Canada, ‘At least one in four recent immigrants with a university degree who were employed between 1991 and 2001 had a job requiring no ore than a high school education. This was twice the proportion of only 12% among native-born Canadians.”
“This is a long-standing problem. Statistics Canada reports that at least 21% of employed immigrants with university degrees who arrived between 1985 and 1989 were still in low-paying jobs in 2001. This rate is higher than in the general population where university degree holders accounted for 9-15% of low-income earners.”
Tory says that this is not acceptable not just from a “social justice” perspective, but also from the economic angle. By underutilizing or misusing immigrant talent, Canada is losing billions of dollars.
Tory said at a recent ethnic media roundtable, “These Canadians (pointing to the new candidates) are a testament to the changes our party is making to accept diversity. And if given the opportunity, I will do the same in government. I want to be the most effective and inclusive leader that I can be.” PC party have chosen the following ethnic origin candidates so far: Mark Beckles (Brampton West),Pam Hundal (Bramlea-Gore-Malton) Mohamed Kassim (Etobicoke North) Ki Kit Li (Markham Unionville) Alex Yuan (Richmond Hill).