OPINION

My Two Cents to Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

February 25, 2009
Vijay Sappani

Jason, You have done some good things with Immigration, but at the wrong time. I came to Canada as a student in 1999, when this country had dinosaur-like rules that made it extremely difficult for even the brightest to stay back. I had an executive job with UPS on my one year work permit and after that, the rules said that I need to go back to India to apply for my immigration and come back. Ridiculous as it may sound, that's what many of us went through and lost some bright potential immigrants to US, including many of my own batch mates.

The change was started by Joe Volpe and has been been slowly drifting in since then. Here are my thoughts to you on your new proposal.

"Canada is looking to Asia as well as India for potential students. Universities are happy to get them, he said, because foreign students are "a source of revenue" since they pay the highest tuition fees."
Jason, India is in Asia and I don't know what you mean by "Asia as well as India". Don't just look for students with deep pockets, but those with deep knowledge. If you want the best to stay in Canada then you need to bring the best. Foreign students are the best pool of potential immigrants to Canada (like me) and you want to attract those who will be "a source of intellect" and not just "a source of revenue"

The most important thing that you need when you go fishing is not the equipment, but to know where there is fish. Is Canada putting its resources in the right places in India, China or Russia. I don't think so. The most number of education and H-1B visas given by any US consulate is Chennai, India, where Canada has two people trade office. Get your priorities right and focus on Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi for international students. Learn from the Aussies, Americans, Brits and even New Zealand.

The tuition fees for International students are two- three times more than what Canadians pay. At a time of economic downturn around the world, it will be hard for many students to pay 10K plus in tuition fees per year. Make education affordable for International students, allow unlimited work time during studying. open work permit is great and helps students after graduation. You want to give a tuition fees break for the best and brightest, so that we can not only attract them, but convince them to stay back. Foreign students should be seen as a long term investment plan, not short term revenue gain.

Allow graduate and post graduate students from US schools to apply for work permits in their broad area of study in Canada. Some of the best students from India, China, Israel go to US for post graduate education and we should make it attractive and easy for them to work and immigrate to Canada. Tap them when they are in school in US.

Our points based system is not perfect and the time is now to can our existing system and come with a new model that suits the needs of Canada and our markets. Today, a MBA from Timbuktu is treated the same as a MBA from Harvard on the points system, but the market does not treat them the same. There is a lot, I can go on and on with my own experience in this country, but my wife just reminded me that its Sunday and get off the computer! So bye for now

Vijay Sappani is a toronto based political and community activist. Articulate in policy issues, Vijay is well versed in national and international issues and advises many organizations in Canada. You can read more about him at www.vijaysappani.com or contact him at vijaysappani@gmail.com
eXTReMe Tracker
Keep reading for comments on this article and add some feedback of your own!

My Two Cents to Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

Article

Author: Vijay Sappani

 

Comments! Feedback! Speak and be heard!

Comment on this article or leave feedback for the author

#1
Bill
March 1, 2009
03:09 PM

Canada has many student aged citizens already and with an economic downturn now upon us it would be wise to help finance Canadian students attend Canadian universities before foreign students.

#2
Bill
March 1, 2009
03:09 PM

Canada has many student aged citizens already and with an economic downturn now upon us it would be wise to help finance Canadian students attend Canadian universities before foreign students.

Add your comment

(Or ping: http://desicritics.org/tb/8855)

Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.






Remember Name/URL?

Please preview your comment!