Canada: A shattered dream or a dream yet to Come true?

Canada is a country with no jobs for new immigrants, regardless of however suitably qualified they are, old or young. Even simple blue-collar jobs are hard to find, but most immigrants are highly-educated in their respective fields. They have migrated to Canada with the hope of being able to land at least something close to their white-collar professions left behind. They did not spend their time and money to do menial or manual work in Canada. They had never been prepared for such work for which vocationally-trained skilled labour would be enough. The result has been disastrous for the new immigrants, leaving them with a sense of disorienting trauma, a deep indelible scar on their mental psyche.
The situation in the neighbouring USA is totally different. Jobs are available there for all categories of people - ordinary unskilled to skilled labour or experienced professionals. The USA does not require advanced education to immigrate there. The door is open to all so that all find something according to their merit and skill, level of education and expertise.
Since the day in late 80s, when I met a new friend in Washington, D.C., who, after completing his Master's from the University of Winnipeg had started his doctoral studies at an American university, I fell in love with Canada. Even the names Winnipeg and Manitoba seemed to have a magical charm for me.
I don't know why. Maybe the names just appealed to my emotional instinct. They sounded so fresh, so romantic, so remote, with all kinds of dreamy, exotic possibilities, that I became eager to know and visit them. When I had seen an Air Canada aircraft at London Heathrow the previous year, on the second leg of the first airplane trip in my life and my first trip to the USA to undertake my graduate studies there, I felt a stirring emotion and excitement without ever knowing anything about Canada.
Since then, over the years, other Canadian place names-Nova Scotia, Halifax, Alberta, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Niagara Falls, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario-exercised the same magic spell on me. That's how it all began.
Yes, we dreamt a dream, but once it had come true, we discovered that it was at best a shattered dream, short-lived, bubble-like. Was it a hope or an illusion? Dream or Reality? Do new immigrants now poignantly think the same as Tennyson once did: "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"?
The experience is indeed bitter for new immigrants who, having been drawn into applying for immigration by the rosy picture of Canadian life on the Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) website and having landed here, are now struggling with the shattering challenges of new immigrant life. They had to spend a fortune during the application process in response to Canada's open, inviting immigration policy.
Once they landed in Canada, although skilled in different fields, they found, to their shock and dismay, that they would have to remain jobless for an excruciatingly painful and indefinite period of time. There were no jobs available similar to the ones they had just left behind.
No jobs, even to survive, let alone succeed, although that was the dream with which they first applied. After three or more years of waiting, they landed in Canada, their dreams deepened by the prospects of the vast land and its vast resources, vast health care, vast opportunities (as portrayed on the CIC website). These dreams did not take long to evaporate. Most immigrants - highly qualified medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, professors, bankers, and business executives, from all over the world - found themselves without any job in line with their profession.
And no jobs meant no proper health care for them. Yes, the doctor's consultation was free, but not the prescription drugs. And dental care and eye care were a far cry; offensively expensive. Did Canada produce dentists to make dental care unaffordable to the poor innocent patients with no jobs in Canada? Even in the case of simple cleaning or extraction, dentists ask the patients to come back repeatedly instead of just performing the procedure, simple as it is, the first time the patients walk in. Isn't this a dubious tactic to make money?
Can Canada be more kind and cordial and live up to its website publicity by advising her dentists to provide the treatment in an easy, fast, and affordable way?
Nostalgia for the old home and pessimism about the new home start eating into the new immigrants' vitals. How ironic. Canadian dreams initially prompted them to leave behind so much of their material links, emotional ties and spiritual connections. Now, neither can they go back nor find it easy to continue to stay in Canada. Indeed a painful dilemma.
Following many months to years of frantic job searching, the new immigrants are forced to take up low-paying jobs as factory workers, security guards, waiters, etc., which lead to low morale and low self-esteem. Even such jobs are sometimes hard to find. This is as heartbreaking as it is demoralizing, leaving them in a state of despair and despondency.
O Canada, won't you let us sing you the anthem and pour our full hearts in profuse strains, as we would like to. Why did you open your doors when you cannot provide jobs commensurate with the skills and expertise of the new immigrants? You require them to spend money in applying for permanent resident status; they do so in the hope that they will find a better life here but then they are left stranded on their own with hardly any opportunities. Isn't it really sad, totally unbecoming of you as a great, developed nation?
The applicants seldom know about this hard reality as they launch their application process only to discover that the grass is not that green on the other side. Had there been an honest warning on the very first page of your CIC website that jobs are hard to come by for the new immigrants, regardless of how well-educated and skilled they are, those skilled professionals might not have applied to begin with. Since only a few jobs may be available, let only a few apply and be accepted. Let such warnings be made clear and straight from the beginning on your CIC website.
There is an acute shortage of medical doctors, yet new immigrant doctors are not incorporated into the Canadian medical services. Is it due to the lobbying of the existing medical bodies, who may want to tightly control the market and the numbers to remain limited for some vested interests? There ought to be a way to absorb the immigrant physicians into the medical system of the country. The waiting time even at the emergency services is sometimes intolerably long. But immigrant doctors from other countries are not allowed to enter the practice even as medical assistants.
Visiting the physician in the clinic is free but one without a job has to buy the medicine at a high price, which includes the so-called pharmacist preparation fee. What preparation when the drugs come prepared in bottles and packets sitting on the shelves? Isn't it wrong and immoral to charge a fee just for putting an instant label on the bottle or the packet at the counter? Outrageous.
People console themselves saying Canada is good for those who are very old, sick and poor, who do not have anything, who do not have any income, at the lowest stratum of the social ladder. For them, medicine is also free. Many immigrants, therefore, intentionally remain poor or hide their under-the-table cash income to be able to get the medication free of charge. So, do I have to get very sick or old or poor to get something out of Canada? That's ridiculous.
Unlike the USA, where thousands of colleges offer academic degree programs just as their universities do, Canada's colleges, as opposed to her universities, are non-academic vocational training centers offering certificates and diplomas for plumbers, cobblers, masons, brick-layers, security guards, barbers, beauticians, etc.
Canada's colleges can easily upgrade such low-level certificate courses to degree level programs and offer undergraduate degrees in academic subjects to create jobs and absorb thousands of PhD-holding immigrants and at the same time enhance the prestige and dignity of Canadian colleges as educational institutions. Hundreds of American community colleges and degree colleges offer solid academic programs and attract thousands of Master's and PhD holders, as good as universities.
Canada remains depressing for new immigrants, especially the well-educated. Until recognition is given to them by providing suitable jobs, it will continue to remain a shattered dream, a broken glass.
I long for Canada to be a fulfilling dream for me as well as for the millions of others who think alike!