Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Atlantic Canadian articles

Population increase (or decrease) is entirely determined by a combination of natural increase (or decrease) and either minus or plus migration. In Atlantic Canada, the trends are definitely pointing towards a decrease.

  • In the Globe and Mail, Jeffrey Simpson writes ("Newfoundlanders return, but the outports are still in peril") about how in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, an oil-driven economic boom and remittances haven't reversed a tendency towards population decrease, especially in the outports--isolated mid-sized fishing communities--scattered liberally on the coastline outside of the Avalon Peninsula area that includes the capital.

  • At least rhetorically, Newfoundland governments have always been for keeping the rural part of the province alive and thriving. And there have been some spotty successes.

    Some of that money earned from Alberta has returned to outports to rebuild or spruce up homes. People from “away” have found these communities delightful and purchased second homes there. Sometimes, although not often, Newfoundlanders have returned to the outports to retire, although most of them prefer to be nearer large medical complexes. And, of course, tourism has shown sprightly growth in recent years, giving an economic boost to some places.

    The overall numbers, however, do not lie. Half the population now lives in the Avalon peninsula, home to thriving St. John's. The strong economy in and around the provincial capital explains why the recession has struck Newfoundland somewhat less heavily than other parts of Canada. The housing market in and around St. John's is among the hottest in Canada. In a province with an 18-per-cent unemployment rate, it's often hard to find skilled workers to build or renovate houses, some of that labour having gone to Western Canada.

    A double migration has hit rural Newfoundland: to St. John's and to other parts of Canada.

  • Meanwhile, the attempts by Prince Edward Island to attract permanent immigrants that I blogged about earlier seem, according to the CBC ("Majority of immigrants to P.E.I. leave: report"), to be pretty futile. Bad management of the programs involved don't help.

  • The Provincial Nominee Program has been a revolving door for the majority of immigrant families who participate, according to a report released Wednesday by the University of Prince Edward Island.

    The program, commonly known as PNP, matched foreign investors who wanted to immigrate to Canada with P.E.I. companies they could invest in. In return for their investment, applicants would have their immigration application expedited.

    The study, conducted with help from the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers, looked at 44 immigrant families who arrived in the province through the PNP in the last four months of 2006.

    When the report's authors checked back 2½ years later, they found all but 11 of the families had left a retention rate of 25 per cent.

    Shine-Ji Youn Chung, a co-author of the study and an international student at UPEI, said she understands the frustration felt by many immigrants who came to the province through the PNP.

    "They're feeling like, 'Okay, I am not part of this community, we are not welcome, even though we are here.'

  • Finally, MacLean's blogger and journalist Aaron Wherry reports on how a Conservative member of the Canadian parliament was backtracking on his condemnation of unemployed Nova Scotians for their refusal to do farm work.

    Gerald Keddy, yesterday. If anyone ever stops Nova Scotia farmers from hiring migrant labourers to harvest their crops, they would destroy a lot of businesses because unemployed Nova Scotians don’t want those jobs, says Gerald Keddy, the Conservative MP for South Shore-St. Margarets. ”Nova Scotians won’t do it — all those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk in Halifax that can’t get work,” Mr. Keddy said Monday.

    Gerald Keddy, today. Conservative MP Gerald Keddy is apologizing for referring to some unemployed Haligonians as “no-good bastards.” Keddy, MP for the Nova Scotia riding of South Shore-St. Margaret’s, issued a statement Tuesday saying he was sorry for the “insensitive comments.” ”In no way did I mean to offend those who have lost their job due to the global recession, nor did I mean to suggest that anyone who is unemployed is not actively looking for employment,” he said.

    In truth, farm work is one of those 3-D jobs--dirty, difficult, and dangerous--that has always attracted relatively badly off people, especi8ally migrants who aren't included in the social contract. Just because a region has high overall unemployment, as commenters note, doesn't mean that uts labour market wouldn't be segmented.

  • 1 comment:

    Nobody said...

    Update on Israeli demographics if you are interested: The Moslem Population in Israel