The End of Immigration (Trailer)

Marie Boti
Malcolm Guy
October 16, 2012
01:03

1,705 views

Description

The End of Immigration (Trailer)
by grtv

The wind beats against a high telecom tower in Quebec. The camera finds a man on top of the tower, hard hat, safety glasses on. Several hundred feet or perhaps a thousand feet down, one catches a glimpse of forests and rivers snaking away, a small town in a bay in the distance, as when you see them from an aeroplane. Prosperous and orderly. The man is Asian and he has a smile on his face.

The sound of subway trains are heard already and we find ourselves in the belly of the earth in Vancouver. Latin American workers in 2006, hired temporarily, ploughing through the underground to set up the tube rail. I emphasize this is 2006. Not 1880s or before when mostly Chinese and some Indian workers were brought in to make the rail lines across Canada. These pictures are in colour. The workers wear luminescent safety gear and equipment. They are not the “coolies” we have seen, in sandals, with pick axes, in diffused black and white pictures from the past. But, the workers in the coloured pictures make $3:50 per hour, a balding, kind faced Union organizer informs us with great sadness. He goes on to say “These people are all gone. This tube line will be around for at least one hundred years. But these nameless people are gone.” He continues: “Our view of Canada is that we are a multicultural country. We do not exploit workers. We are shocked. This cannot be like what happened 140 years ago, when we brought in coolies, slaves!”

Well, welcome to the new Canada!

Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy, key players in Montreal-based Productions Multi-Monde, who made films twenty years ago about the Live-in caregiver program (Modern Heroes, Modern Slaves) have found it imperative to come back and make a follow-up on that series. Basically Canada has chosen not to abandon that previous exploitative program, but to expand it further by getting into the “temporary worker” program. Today, Canada physically is the second largest country in the world with a population of 34 million, and right now in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and elsewhere, workers from South America, Philippines, the Caribbean are being brought in temporarily to pick vegetables and fruits seasonally, pack boxes in warehouses, dig subway trenches, roads, gardens and do high tower maintenance work. And then go home after a while. They are told they have no right to immigrate. That is the main focus of “End of Immigration?”

But as they deal with this subject, film-makers Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy then focus on their own parents. They came to Canada from Hungary and England. They came in search of livelihood, looking for work. They arrived in ships, hopped on to trains and started working wherever they could find work. To live their dreams and help build their new homeland. The camera then switches to workers (dark skinned) in Simcoe Ontario. Malcolm Guy’s voice comes along saying that these workers are all temporary. They will never be able to choose to immigrate. They will come, do the work they are told to do and go back.

Today the number of temporary workers in Canada far exceeds the number of immigrants in this country. Canada, a country with a sound reputation for the past few decades of being “immigrant friendly,” is now taking its cues from Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong: “ Use ‘em and toss ‘em out!”

The camera pans into a shopping mall which advertizes in large green letters “Always more for less!”

The scene then switches to Quebec, where an industrialist states in a matter of fact way, that 5 to 6 years ago he took the business decision to employ temporary workers. Even in the adjoining strawberry fields most of the workers, he says, “are not exactly Quebecers.” They are all from Guatemala.

Malcolm and Marie then take us to the Philippines and interview the organizations that take the contracts for sending the workers over. The arrangement is quite extraordinary. It is the privatization of migrant worker management. The Philipinos supplying the manpower make sure the applicants understand that even if someone close dies in their family, they cannot come back home during the contract period.

Even in “boom town” areas like the Oil fields of Alberta, locals do not wish to do routine jobs. They wish to get oilfield wages. So there is a 100% turnover of locals. Therefore the bringing in of temporary workers is a “no brainer.”

Malcolm and Marie then go onto interview workers from the Philippines who show that they are very militant and aware of their rights and do not intend to get pushed around. Social service analysts are interviewed extensively and it is clear to the viewer that the current regime in Ottawa is changing the basic definitions of this country.

Malcolm and Marie have done an extraordinary job capturing the faces of the people, who through a few words of dismay make it obvious that Canada’s current policy of “temporary workers” to replace immigration is a re-born colonial legacy. The smile on the face of an immigrant worker who picks up an orchid that has been thrown away and is trying to grow it in the safe confines of his temporary home is heartbreaking. He hopes it will grow, before he leaves. But the Philipino workers are not going to be cowed down. The camera captures a militant demonstration against touts and middle agents right here in Canada.

As the film edges towards the end, Malcolm goes back to his parent’s home and they go through the website that explains the current points system of how to immigrate to Canada. Malcolm’s father says with a sigh, “None of these things were asked of us. There were no such rules then."

“There you go,” Malcolm’s mother says after checking through many forms on the website. “We are not wanted anymore. We have been rejected.”

Canada, under Harper and as well as under the Liberals before, or for that matter Quebec with the Bloquists and Pequistes, has turned its back on immigrants. Malcolm Guy and Marie Boti have documented this transition with exceptional tenderness and political understanding.

Comments

 
2012 / 10 / 26
Curtis Dekoning says:

I have not seen your film yet but I will be in attendance on that day in Winnipeg
I Imagine when they were consulting various stakeholders for the film
That theyt did not include Aboriginal Peoples and the Impact Immigration has
had on us. My Inspiration for my paper. Canada Aboriginal Peoples third
World Country was my experience with racial discrimination with Filipinos
when they told me not to bother applying for the job as Aboriginal Peoples
do not work out here.This was very disrespectful as 120 Million Aboriginal
Peoples have died so they can be here.My paper was re-published 4 times
twice in Australia.

Immigration is having an impact on Aboriginal Peoples
First there was the Europeans now we are dealing with the Asian
Immigration which is no comparison to the European Immigration this
effects not only Aboriginal People but all Canadians.The meaning of
the symbolism is clear : if a country does not protect
itself, outside interest will take measures to exploit it and to
over-run it economically and culturally like eg; France and Europe
For Aboriginal Peoples the Asian Immigration now is having an impact
on Aboriginal Peoples.

Cutbacks to Political organizations and programs from the Government
to Aboriginal organization is just one the many factors affecting
unemployment for Aboriginal Peoples. Although First Nations are still
dealing with the adverse effects of Colonization and Residential
Schools, a new threat looms on the horizon. immigration could likely
be the next great obstacle to overcome in the fight to improve the
lives of Canada’s First Peoples. How much do visible minorities know
about Canada's First Peoples history as part of there citizenship? One
day Aboriginal history will be in all schools in Canada. We need the
leaders, the decision makers and the people to speak of this loud and
clear! Aboriginal Organizations in Canada must act and apply Political
pressure not only on a Provincial level but Federal level as well.
Aboriginal Peoples should have a voice in Immigration issues. I
understand that Canada needs Immigration but there has to be a balance
as it does have an impact on Aboriginal Peoples.

An Aboriginal Speaks : Cut Immigration Until Aboriginal Unemployment
Falls Dramatically
http://www.immigrationwatchcanada.org/2012/08/20/8635/

Curtis,

Take a look at this article. I suspect your essay may have had some effect.

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/99399--first-nations-consulted-o...

All the best,
Dan Murray

As an Immigrant, I Get More Respect than Canada's Aboriginals
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/obert-madondo/missing-and-murdered-first-na...

Curtis Dekoning
Concerned Citizen for Immigration reform

2013 / 07 / 23
R Simpson says:

This subject is not new. I worked on farms 40 years ago and they had mexicans picking vegetables. The were not treated badly and came back every year. Of course they made the minimum salary but it was 4 times more that Mexico and they had lodging and food. They were happy for the opportunity and went home every year with a pile of money they could never have earned at home. The real exploiters are the middleman agencies that charge thousands of dollars for the job and transportation and hold the workers ransom until its paid including loan shark interest rates. As it is throughout the world, the biggest exploiters are your own people. Here in Thailand they threaten the families until all is paid. Real bloodsuckers.
Successful societies will always need cheap labor. It is all how these labourers are protected by the originating government and the inviting government.

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