A new report has just been published by the C.D. Howe Institute about immigration that urges Canada “to define success not just in terms of immediate job prospects for newcomers, but also the capacity of their children to become successful.” This is a fitting topic given that one in five of Canada’s kids below the age of 15 was either born outside the country or into an immigrant family.
Usually, immigration is deemed a concern for the federal government. However, when it comes to resettling immigrants — and especially when it comes to resettling immigrant children — the provinces become much more important. This is because provinces are responsible for education, health, social and youth services, all of which directly affect immigrant children. Unfortunately, when compared to other provinces, Ontario hardly has an impressive record.
Politicians in Ontario such as Tim Hudak, want to save money. His plan calls for short-term cuts in scholastic, social, and public health services. This method however, could prove dire for the most vulnerable.
In a study that compared the mental health of immigrant kids from Hong Kong, mainland China and the Philippines with different regions of Canada, it was found that Vancouver and the Prairie cities scored best, Montreal slightly worse and Toronto worst of all.
For Montreal, language formed the main problem. While lack of fluency in one of Canada’s official languages jeopardized all immigrant families, it was even more difficult for non-French speakers to get along in Montreal than it was for non-English speakers in Anglophone Canada.
Toronto on the other hand, is faced with poor quality neighbourhoods, parent isolation and poor relationships between home and school, producing a mixture that’s toxic for any child’s mental well-being.
Toronto and other municipalities seem to be recovering from the Harris government’s policy of withholding cash. To make matters worse, Tim Hudak seems to want to head in the same direction — saving money through divesting responsibility and introducing “common sense” savings.
Source: The Star