Wednesday, March 27, 2013



First of all, Roslyn Kunin has reported upon the impending labour crisis in British Columbia set to begin as early as 2016. The basis of this article is sourced from the recent research output of RUCBC or their BC Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020 and considering that there are only two reports on their website it must be evidence that RUCBC collaboration in this capacity is fairly quickly assembled in response to crisis management.  It is obvious that B.C. is further ahead in their awareness of the issue than most of the rest of Canada for example, where the entire Atlantic Provinces are seen to lose 30% of their enrolled students and population by as early as 2022. I am not hearing “boo” from any media or research source here, as if the baby boomers who are aware of it are silently taking the knowledge with them to their secured retirements, and leaving the rest of us in what could only be described as a regional economic and socio-cultural nightmare. Here where all responsible for policies are managed by elitists and sycophants thus irascible, intransigent, and nepotistic (and I am being generous) could throw their hands up in the air in hindsight and say, “we knew nothing, we were unaware, if only we had known sooner, we could have done something to stop such declines.”

You knew, you were told, I am not the only one telling you.


Page ten provides grim evidence of the educated outmigration shifts of many regions and provinces of Canada in the RUCBC Labour Market Report, including The Maritimes up until 2006. It would be useful if the RUCBC were extending their labour market projections beyond their own mandate to encompass the rest of the country up to 2020, as few if any other regional research associations seem to be up to snuff. Asit appears they have been doing so little other than massive Motherhouse-like construction projects on old, outdated, non-existent or even completely missing or perhaps falsified/misrepresented data perhaps aside from Statistics Canada. This reaffirms a conviction that most provinces of Canada have worked in statistical blindness and logic vacuums upon scant inter-provincial cooperation or even comparative note taking among their administrative cadres. Until these kinds of figures appear, which are ominous to suddenly weigh heavily on the provinces, they have rampantly oversupplied skilled workers in the East while others over-employ those workers in the West without having spent any money to educate them.


Considering that B.C. has historically and is currently seeing approximately 30% of its employment needs coming from those educated and employed outside of the province whether international or national employment candidates, their research of this trend should similarly extend a comparative percentage beyond their provincial scope. As is clear from page eleven in the RUCBC Labour Report, the international migration rates have somewhat declined up to 2012 while inter-provincial migrants have slipped into negative territory for the first time in recorded history. A great example of national mismanagement is the oversupply of education majors; what a nefarious pursuit of academics to ensure and enshrine their own resources at the cost of misinforming their own students as to the five to ten times oversupply of the educational market. These academic administrations have for the most part ignored the trends in international education for decades possibly mostly due to the fact that Canadians for generations in academia have refused to develop the international wing of their mandate for more than forty years. This is why Canada is losing ground in educational quality to countries like Australia with double the results in academic quality rankings and significantly smaller population. This is why its national earnings are so paltry abroad; Canada has severely neglected its commitment to quality education and quality jobs for more than a generation and the results are staggering. The egos of this nation so outweigh its potency in international education, its tragic.


While British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta have consistently under-educated their own populations to undergraduate and PGR levels as several others have oversupplied suitable candidates nationally it is apparent this will no longer be possible for the foreseeable future. So can B.C. institutions quickly and easily ramp up their efforts to produce more provincially educated employment candidates across all disciplines and skills levels in the next five years to keep up with labour market demands? It would be useful for RUCBC to examine comparative international migration competitors to source strategies for that purpose.


The idea that the solution is asking more international students to pay more than domestic ones for their education here and then expect them to take employment outside of  the discipline for which they have trained and at salaries less than their less educated domestic Canadian competitors is at the root of Canada’s soggy bottom international education strategy. What else than institutional prejudice and two tiered highly discriminatory hiring policies can that be described as? Whatever it is, it is odious and requires significant cleanse in the terms of competitive marketing strategy as it will not hold water abroad and strikes the underbelly of Canada’s cultural ethnocentrism in its worst expression of it. 


An example of Canada’s lily-livered approach to its own international education strategy, which belies the insignificance it affords to its competitors as easily demonstrated by Mel Broitman, describing the absence of water at marketing functions held by DFAIT in Nigeria; recalls the absence and parched, late appearance of water at Canada Day Festivities at The Governor Generals’ Rideau Hall Residence in Ottawa in the early 1990s. The best they could come up with in terms of catering were (hours late) stale sandwiches and a shortage of cups for ten thousand revellers in record heat.

Korea is another great example of DFAIT inability to fathom the marketing approaches of even its primary competitor for undergraduates there, Austrade. Korea is one of Canada’s largest international education markets and has been so for nearly twenty years mostly on the sweaty wetbacks of Canadian itinerant teachers. With over 22,000 Canadians in the country the only efforts at cross-institutional networking is through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce where gala events are three times the cost of Korea Australia Alumni Association activities which are more numerous. Canada should already have have a fully implemented cross-institutional alumni association there in Korea serving its own expats let alone the thousands of Korean Canadian Alumni but doesn’t. Such an enterprise is long overdue and needs to be financed and managed by DFAIT but it does not mirroring the regional and at odds provincial approach to educational networking back home. Personally, such an approach appears quite witless.


Recommendations in the Opportunity Agenda appear to be in line with Conference Board of Canada recommendations made nearly a decade ago for the entire nation. However how many other university associations are publishing similar agendas, how many other provincial and federal education initiative are being taken to ensure these roles and requirements are reached? If as it appears, Canada’s international migration competitors are able to offer better incentives to employment and immigration than this article suggests, “immigrants are more likely to have higher education than other Canadians, but are less likely to find jobs in their fields and to make an equivalent income” such in built (in bred?) policy based prejudice approach to immigrant employment across provincial, federal, institutional  and corporate employment practices will probably not meet minimum demand requirements.

It is one poor argument, a false one, that immigrants will be willing to sacrifice their careers for a Canadian citizenship and position. It is false, because the ability to work in one’s own specialized field and be paid better than nationals with fewer skills and credentials (and as merit demands it should be), will be the competitive advantage and primary success factor in international migration policies across the entire OECD. B.C.’s problem is a global one and B.C.’s competitors are just as aware as I am that Canada’s Achilles heel is its lack of respect for international experience and superior qualifications. It is policy and it’s a cheap and usurious one. When Canada’s policy makers begin to provide evidence of merit based hiring practices rather than prejudicial ones, namely giving international work experience and superior education it’s just due, as Canada should as well, this crisis will diminish correlative to hiring and training the best people for the jobs regardless of where they come from if they can provide evidence of superior skills. 

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