Canadians are opposing Indian immigrants, a province's residents reveal why

Canada has always been liberal in welcoming immigrants. Now its smallest province, Prince Edward Islands (PEI), is cutting down on its immigration permits and Indian students, facing deportation, are protesting against it. The locals of PEI reveal why they are against Indian immigrants.
Canadians are opposing Indian immigrants, a province's residents reveal why
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Reeling under high volume of immigrants, a province in Canada, Prince Edward Islands (PEI), changed some rules. The change in rules has impacted international students. Hundreds of Indian students are facing deportation and are protesting against the change in immigration rules. Residents of PEI, the smallest Canadian province, say reveal why the rules were changed and why they don't want any more immigrants right now.

The issues with housing, healthcare and jobs were at the centre of the immigration policy change in the Prince Edward Islands (PEI) in Canada. There was a 25% cut in immigration permits.

Locals feel that their opportunities are being taken away by immigrants living in their province.

The PEI premier revealed how it intends to decrease the number of international migrants for permanent residency through the Provincial Nominee Programme. The new policy focusses on healthcare, childcare and construction instead of the service sectors, food and retail.

Canada has always been welcoming to its immigrants, but now there is a backlash from Canadian nationals.

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Canadians are opposing Indian immigrants, a province's residents reveal why

The anger is directed more towards youngsters on student visas. The student's visa has been misused as a shorter route to permanent residency and citizenship in Canada.

They think that opportunities are slipping away from them. In a recent episode of Ratio’d with Harrison Faulkner, several locals from PEI shared with Faulkner the real reason why they didn't want the Indian students there.

"One of the things that people don't realise is, we are not against these people. PEI is full. We are tapped out. I'm not saying never bring migrants back to Canada," one man told Faulkner, a journalist with Toronto-based True North.

What is happening in the Prince Edward Islands is symptomatic of the problem that most Canadian provinces are facing.

Prince Edward Island (PEI) has seen a steep increase in international immigrants since 2006, according to a report on Karlsack.

"We need to fix the problems here. All the jobs in the Islands are going to people who are not from here. If you do not have a family business, your kids will be high schoolers looking for jobs", said the man.

People's opinion is also backed by data.

"PEI offered 1,070 PNP slots in 2018, which doubled to 2,050 slots in 2023 — so this new 25% reduction to 1,600 in 2024 is still 75% higher than it was in 2018." stated the Karlstack report.

The man goes on to say, "Then there are people who want our governments to give them rights."

Indian students are demanding that they should be allowed to extend their work permits, but locals think otherwise.

"If we went to their country, we would not get a job. I have three daughters and two of them can't get a job. Because there are no jobs. We can't get jobs. They are all full," a woman told Faulkner.

She also said that she found it difficult communicating with people from other ethnicities as they were not fluent in English.

Though basic English is a requirement and tested by TOEFL, immigrants to Canada have found various ways to game the system.

This resentment against immigrants should be seen against the backdrop of population growth and lack of housing facilities in 2023.

The rental vacancy rate has increased by only 0.2% from 0.8% to 1.0.

One man blamed PEI's rules for the high volume of immigrants there. "The rules were flexible, it was easy for them to stay back," the person told Harrison Faulkner.

People have also discussed how the queue for healthcare is growing in PEI because of the immigrants.

In 2023, Prince Edward Island had the longest wait times for medical care in Canada. It took an average of 41.7 weeks to see a specialist after a general practitioner appointment.

Some people also realised how the work of immigrants is important as they suypport the food industry and sales and retail. But others said these jobs should be given to original residents of the Canadian province.

With healthcare, jobs and housing in crisis, the influx of immigrants remains a problem for people in Prince Edward Islands. How Indian immigrants, especially those on students visa, living and working in PEI navigate the new policy and resentment of the locals is to be seen.

Source: India Today

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