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Breakdown: Canada's Mental-Health Crisis

'Discrimination eats away at you - and increases your chance of mental illness'

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

It's a unique challenge: Diagnosing and treating immigrants with depression, anxiety and other diseases of the mind. Columnist Margaret Wente talks to a renowned British psychiatrist who's come to Canada to help ...Read the full article

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  1. Darcy Day from Canada writes: Weren't we told diversity and multiculturalism were all sweetness and light? So, let me see if I understand this correctly: according to this article it's bad for the immigrants, bad for the people already here, but good for pocketbooks of immigration lawyers, diversity consultants and 'cross-cultural psychiatrists'. Yeah that's about right.
  2. Jay Fitzgerald from Canada writes: A very interesting piece, Margaret.
    Now why ever, pray tell, would we have 12 to 14 per cent of the population not speaking our language? English is now the international lingua franca.
    Are we taking steps to ensure that this situation will not get worse? Are we reducing the intake of people into our neighbourhood, city, province, and country who do not speak our language? How are they expected to exist? What other minimal essential life skills do they lack? If they have not acquired not our language, what chance that they understand, much less accept our way of life. not even that much effort?
    I think the good professor has a rosy future here. No doubt the long suffering Ontario and Toronto taxpayer can do without many other very necessary essential services in order to free up funds to facilitate the interesting and novel science.
    I suppose expecting newcomers to be conversant in English or French would ne too big an ask.
    This is a farce, Margaret. Except that the ramifications down the road will, sadly, be bloody horrendous. Just you wait and see. I sincerely hope I'm wrong. I'm not hanging around to find out, though.
    Are you?
  3. L R from Argentina writes: Jay Fitzgerald -- Your comments underline the Dr's thesis that one of the underlying problems is the simple misunderstanding of other cultures. If you had any clue about how families operate in the rest of the world you'd understand that a large portion of that 12-14 per cent that do not speak English are relatives of immigrants that do. The family bond is much stronger in cultures abroad than in Canada(I am a Canadian living in Argentina, the responsibilities to one's family are first and foremost here). Whereas Canadians move abroad and would never give thought to bringing their parents with them, immigrants to Canada are often expected to sponsor their elderly relatives as soon as they receive their own Permanent Residency. The large majority of Indians moving to Canada do not do so on their own, they will move to Canada and install themselves and then on top of looking after themselves they have the burden of raising the funds to bring over their parents, their siblings etc etc. Please remember that it is only because of growing immigrant populations that you will be able to retire in comfort. Unless you start having 3 or 4 children to support the aging population of Canada, there will be no one left to support your comfy welfare system. You say you're not hanging around to find out what will happen -- what does that mean? Are you going to emigrate to another country?? I hope you do, maybe then you will finally realise that the life of an immigrant is not all handouts and roses. Canada tries to sell itself as a nation of multiculturalism, that accepts immigrants from abroad and encourages them to retain ties to their homes. Yet every time the Globe and Mail publishes an article on Immigration and the Immigrant reality of Canada, all I see is a torrent of biggoted comments to follow.
  4. Guy Olivier from Columbus, Ohio, United States writes: LR from Argentina, great post.
  5. Gokhan Kaya from Calgary, Canada writes: I would agree with the both sides. Immigrants (I am naturalized one, obtained Canadian Citizenship) supposed to talk, understand and adapt Judeo-Christian based Culture of Canada. Let me tell you from experience, this is not easy and takes a lot from your years even when I was single. On the other than, it is quite true if your father tells you, 'I raised you up to serve me' like mine did. Although I don't accept his view, not most Immigrants are in the same boat as I am, able to reject some views of my parents. We need to understand that Immigrants has responsibility to Canadian Cultural Heritage and Canadians are responsible to Immigrant's cultural heritage. It is always BOTH ways, not one.
  6. Blaque Jacque Shallaque from Canada writes: 'Please remember that it is only because of growing immigrant populations that you will be able to retire in comfort.'

    Ah.... the classic explanation we always get for why Canada imports vast numbers of elderly relatives of immigrants. I call 'BS'.

    I want to see the evidence for this claim. I want to know why we import so many elderly relatives who will never contribute to Canada's economy and will drain our already highly stressed system having never paid a cent in tax. If you go visit any major Toronto hospital, you will see just how many such people there, including in the intensive care and wards, costing uncounted millions of dollars to care for, enjoy our free healthcare.

    Will reducing the ease of family unification really cause a reduction in immigrants? Will Canada really be harmed? Are they really a net benefit to the quality of life - present and future - of Canadians?

    Questions that no one has the courage to try to answer because I believe the answers will not make ethnic pandering politicians and special interest groups (including immigration lawyers and their industry) very happy.

    I am extremely skeptical.
  7. Jay Fitzgerald from Canada writes: There is no intended bigotry in my comment. I sincerely that hope you are not implying that might be. Multiculturalism, however is a sorry canard. We were conned. It is a wrong road and it clearly doesnt work.
    I am extremely well travelled and am very familiar with the Latino temprament and modus vivendi, as well as many other cultures ( habla pocito espaniol muy malarticuldado ). I am deemed to be ' simpatico' in Latin terms.
    This country is not able to afford to provide health care and other social services to extended dependent families be they Indian, Irish or British or Burkina Faso families who are relatives of immigrant or refugee intake. No country with a public health system is. Even the cost of interpreters would be burdensome. Do the math. Extended elders at public expense are not part of the immigration deal.
    I am well aware of the complicated economics of growth, the heavy socio-economic cost of untrammeled growth and it's complex costs and benefits.
    Many large urban hospital surgery lists are clogged with recently arrived aged Indian and Middle Eastern parents as we speak who are newcomers to Canada lining up for expensive major surgery at the taxpayers expense. Some Canadian taxpayers are themselves discommoded from care as a result. The parents of most European and American immigrants do not come here for surgery. They have it at home at their own expense but do come to visit.
    You encapsulate my point entirely. Immigrants ( like myself ) must speak Canadian languages, and accept and adapt Canadian mores and lifestyles when they come to Canada. I did. Many who came with me from the old country did not like it did the right thing. They went home, or went on to the U.S.A.
    Now you are an exile in Argentina , LR.
    Enjoy la buena Argentina and that wonderful sun, food, wine and tango. Ava la golindrina, ava. La vida is baselon.
  8. pants 7 from Japan writes: How the heck did all my ancestors of mixed cultures ever survive in Canada without killing themselves?
  9. Brian Lee from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Blaque Jacque Shallaque from Canada writes:I want to see the evidence for this claim. I want to know why we import so many elderly relatives who will never contribute to Canada's economy and will drain our already highly stressed system having never paid a cent in tax. If you go visit any major Toronto hospital, you will see just how many such people there, including in the intensive care and wards, costing uncounted millions of dollars to care for, enjoy our free healthcare.'

    You can't blame someone for taking advantage of your system, Remember you setup the rules they're just playing by them. I've heard both sides of the story, I don't think imported elderly should get full benefits of someone who has lived and contributed alll their lives.

    But again if you don't like the rules perhaps you should change them? I wouldn't mind making English manditory.
  10. Calvin CJ Pratt from Toronto, Canada writes: I am truly sorry today to say that the Globe and Mail has fallen below the tital of rag. For a women like Mrs Wente to comment on something like Immigration or immigrants is nothing more then Hypocritical Garbage. It hasn't been five or six years since this very women called her own country a 'scenic welfare ghetto.'

    Anyone knowing the history of Canada's tenth province is shaking thier head and laughing at this article. Mrs Wente , I must say that you have a very short memory. You hold no credability what so ever.The article is a ' JOKE'
  11. Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: The problem is related to the lies that underpin modern immigration. People are told they are owed money by the Canadian people, that they will automatically get good jobs, that they have no responsibility to their host country. Such an entitlement mentality is bound to lead to depression when they realise Canada is a work in progress and a country that needs pioneers and people willing to add something, not take away. Most immigration now is family re-unification, not based on the work needs of the country.

    It is worth remembering the people who first built the country, established its laws and values, built its cities and institutions, did so without a welfare state, $2,000/month free money, free language lessons, etc. etc. They had to do it by starting businesses and working hard.
  12. Shank's Pony from Fredericton, Canada writes: I recently immigrated (permanent reident). The immg. laws are as follows:
    -Its a points-based system
    -you must speak, read, write English or French to have sufficient points to qualify. That includes a requirement for language testing
    -you must have at least a bachelors degree and preferably a masters to have sufficient points for education
    -you must have at least five year's experience in a professional field that is among the professions selected by Canada as critical to meet CA's labor market needs
    Many native born Canadians couldn't meet these stringent requirements.

    One thing they could change is the age requirements. CA gives the most points for age to persons between 40 and 50 years of age. These are the most economically self-sufficient, but are also most likely to be responsible for aging parents. They should encourage immg. from younger workers who will work longer and care for elders later in life.
  13. Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: You forget to mention that the one person who meets that criteria is just the tip of the iceberg: there are 20 people lined up behind them waiting to come in on family re-unification.

    In economic terms, even if that person becomes a doctor (and not everyone can be a doctor), then they will still not put enough money back into the system in tax to pay for the healthcare of 20 people.

    It is also worth considering the reality of immigration, not just the official rules and regulations. Many of the rules are waved or corrupted by the system of lawyers and advocates. Personally, I think the best way to preserve mental health for new arrivals is to place them in a situation where they will win the respect and kindness of existing Canadians as fast as possible. You don't do this by isolating them in some ghetto apartment building on the outskirts of Toronto, paying them $2,000/month, telling them they don't need to learn English or figure out how Canada works, or need to start something or do something.
  14. it's a fact from Canada writes: Shank's Pony from Fredericton, Canada writes: I recently immigrated (permanent reident). The immg. laws are as follows:
    -Its a points-based system
    -you must speak, read, write English or French to have sufficient points to qualify. That includes a requirement for language testing
    -you must have at least a bachelors degree and preferably a masters to have sufficient points for education
    -you must have at least five year's experience in a professional field that is among the professions selected by Canada as critical to meet CA's labor market needs
    Many native born Canadians couldn't meet these stringent requirements.

    One thing they could change is the age requirements. CA gives the most points for age to persons between 40 and 50 years of age. These are the most economically self-sufficient, but are also most likely to be responsible for aging parents. They should encourage immg. from younger workers who will work longer and care for elders later in life.

    Well done. great post. I wonder if Brian Lee would pass these requirements, seeing as how he can't spell. Just saying.
  15. Adrian C from Kitchener, Canada writes: Blaque Jacque Shallaque from Canada writes:
    Will reducing the ease of family unification really cause a reduction in immigrants? Will Canada really be harmed? Are they really a net benefit to the quality of life - present and future - of Canadians?

    Hey Jacque, I moved to Canada 11 years ago, paid taxes ever since, got my citizenship, have friends of all backgrounds, etc.
    Do you consider me Canadian ?
    If you do then I'd like to say that I would personally benefit from bringing my family here, both financially and spiritually, now and in the future.
  16. Vic Hotte from Kettleby, Canada writes: I have to wonder about the family reunification plan for immigrants. Since the early 1990s, I have watched members of my own family and some neighbours take their skills and training elsewhere because good jobs in Canada had begun drying up, and wages were stagnating as benefits dwindled. They obtained their educations here at public expense and would have liked to remain in Canada, but they wanted jobs where they could apply their skills. Why isn't the government interested in Canadian graduates who have acquired engineering, medical and other qualifications, subsidized by domestic taxes? Family members return for regular visits involving long flights, especially to see the fall colours that they miss -- they even miss winter in some cases. Our government seems to spend a lot of time trying to attract immigrants, then provide training, accommodation and ESL for them, but they are still having problems adapting to the constantly fluctuating cultural kaleidoscope. Perhaps, it is easier for governments to keep this uneasy social situation in flux because they have no real idea how to handle the issues they have created. It would be a good idea to have a period of evaluation and consolidation to sort out some of the more difficult aspects of all this social and political tinkering. It would even help if governments surveyed the real needs of the domestic economy (now in a downturn) versus population numbers, instead of relying on corporate interests that only want to create tempory and contract work at the lowest possible costs.
  17. Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: All social systems break down under certain circumstances. The most common way they break down is when a point is reached where the feelings of common responsibility fall apart because people no longer feel responsibility for other people, or can no longer relate to them or understand them. Unfortunately, the Canadian social system has been coming apart over the last 15 years because of these factors.

    It does come down to what sort of society Canada wants: if it wants cradle-to-grave social supports, then it needs to build trust and respect between citizens. If it wants a different system, where for example like in the developing world, the family is the main provider of social support, not the state, then it needs to be recognised that will re-shape the character of the country when you have so many people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. Human behaviour changes under those conditions.
  18. Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: There is something pretty insane about a country that exports its well-educated people, only to then spend vast resources importing other educated people to replace them (albeit, with 20 extra dependents in tow). That's why the system is no longer making much sense.
  19. Dorina Grossu from Norval, Canada writes: Immigration is usually a brutal workout for the adult brain, requiring a massive rewiring of vast amounts of our cortical real estate. Successful assimilation requires at least a generation. For most, culture shock is a brain shock.

    This study should provide information regarding how much immigrants are direct contributors to Canadian taxes and companies growth.
    Moreover, what percentage of their taxes is returned as healthcare expense?

    It will also provide information regarding who is in fact abusing the healthcare system.
  20. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: Vic Hotte:

    Best post on here.
  21. Misty Blue from Calgary, Canada writes: I wonder how closely the good Dr. has looked at the Dutch problems with immigrants? From what I understand, the services and support that new people are given are unequaled anywhere else. 'Free' everything pretty much. Housing, medical, counselling, schools, cultural support...you name it. I would call that the opposite of discrimination (which he says leads to depression etc?). Yet, the riots and dissatisfaction of the immigrants is very notable. It seems the more the good Dutch people do for these people the less happy they are. I think Canada needs to look very closely at the Dutch experience before endorsing (and paying for) policies in Canada.
  22. Ian B from Canada writes: Don't newcomers need to pass a medical examination before comming to Canada?
  23. David McLaren from Wiarton, Canada writes: Now that Margaret Wente has (at last) learned that there is a real connection between racism and discrimination and mental stress, will she apologize to Native Canadians for reinforcing the fiction that they were savages before contact?
  24. Ian B from Canada writes: Unfortunately lots of racism is brought to Canada by some immigrants. Not every immigrant leaves their prejudice behind before entering the country. Many of them had been taught to hate other groups of people. This is not their fault of course. Unfortunately they continue doing so while in Canada. Not every country spends great deal of resources educating people against racism as Canada does.
  25. Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: The paradigm is all wrong: it is currently framed as 'what can I get out of Canada', rather than, 'wow, this is an amazing opportunity, I must make the most of it and leave my mark on Canada!'.

    Once you take the 'what do I get attitude', and mix it with toxic race and identity politics (white Canada deserves to be ripped off because they are all colonialists and imperialists anyway and owe some payback), and add a generous serving of political correctness (Canada has no worthy values or history so it doesn't need to be respected), you have trouble. The past 15 years have basically been lost years for the country because of this.
  26. Vivaldo Latoche from Ottawa, Canada writes: Here we go again! A Psychiatrist who speaks from the point of view of science but away from reality. This is what Dr. McKenzie states: 'People from areas where there has been torture and war are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress issues.' Yes, this is true at home, but not when they arrive in Canada. Ask an immigrant who has come from war areas and you will soon here the following: 'Oh, Canada is a peaceful and beautiful country. Canada is a great place. The people are nice and helpful,' etc.,etc. Then talk to them about our Canadian 'multicultural policy.' That our cultural policy states that 'we must protect them and their culture.' That they must protect their culture by having an organization here, in Canada. At that point, they feel separated and segregated by our cultural system. This is probably, the point where stress emerges in an individual. Since our multicultural policy is telling them not integrate into the Canadain society. I would suggest Dr. McKenzie to study our 'Multicultural police' and interview immigrants who have come from war-tore countries. Then provide us with his scientifc research. I can tell you the resultes will be quite different than from his above conclusions. PD. The Liberal leaderhsip run has started. Hear what the cadidates are going to say about 'multicuturalism.'
  27. Vivaldo Latoche from Ottawa, Canada writes: Here we go again! A Psychiatrist who speaks from the point of view of science but away from reality. This is what Dr. McKenzie states: 'People from areas where there has been torture and war are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress issues.' Yes, this is true at home, but not when they arrive in Canada. Ask an immigrant who has come from war areas and you will soon here the following: 'Oh, Canada is a peaceful and beautiful country. Canada is a great place. The people are nice and helpful,' etc.,etc. Then talk to them about our Canadian 'multicultural policy.' That our cultural policy states that 'we must protect them and their culture.' That they must protect their culture by having an organization here, in Canada. At that point, they feel separated and segregated by our cultural system. This is probably, the point where stress emerges in an individual. Since our multicultural policy is telling them not integrate into the Canadain society. I would suggest Dr. McKenzie to study our 'Multicultural police' and interview immigrants who have come from war-tore countries. Then provide us with his scientifc research. I can tell you the resultes will be quite different than from his above conclusions. PD. The Liberal leaderhsip run has started. Hear what the cadidates are going to say about 'multicuturalism.'
  28. Lawrence Koch from Canada writes: Misty Blue: 'I wonder how closely the good Dr. has looked at the Dutch problems with immigrants? From what I understand, the services and support that new people are given are unequaled anywhere else. 'Free' everything pretty much. Housing, medical, counselling, schools, cultural support...you name it.'

    Much that is free for immigrants in the Netherlands is also free for its citizens. Schools with a religious basis are government-funded, because Christian schools traditionally received state funding. There is a basic level of health care that is free for all. I would, however, be interested to see evidence of 'free' housing.

    'I would call that the opposite of discrimination (which he says leads to depression etc?). Yet, the riots and dissatisfaction of the immigrants is very notable'

    What riots specifically are you referring to?

    'It seems the more the good Dutch people do for these people the less happy they are.'

    Part of the problem is that 'the good Dutch people' like to congratulate themselves for being tolerant and unprejudiced and accepting, but it's all on the surface. Hmm, sounds a bit like some Canadians.
  29. Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: Misty Blue from Calgary, Canada writes: 'I would call that the opposite of discrimination (which he says leads to depression etc?). Yet, the riots and dissatisfaction of the immigrants is very notable. It seems the more the good Dutch people do for these people the less happy they are.'

    Pure economics. Try getting a work permit in Holland, it is bloody impossible. They wouldn't even allow me (just for reference, I am white, university educated) until I got my EU citizenship. I was somewhat lucky in that I am in a professional sector which is generally more accepting of expat workers. At the lower end of the wage scale though, high minimum wages (either by law or union bargaining) absolutely destroy lower end jobs, which absolutely destroy immigrant workers. Most unions wont even give out membership to non-europeans (I, being Canadian, may count).

    This is the same problem as in France. The hyper-unionized and protectionist work force actively shuts out immigrant communities to keep wages artificially high for white French people. High business taxes, a minimum wage 8.71 Euro an hour, a 35-hour work week (!) and discriminatory hiring practices (especially in unions) seriously limit any hope of an immigrant finding work. As a result, unemployment among groups with traditionally lower value labor (immigrants and youth). Is almost always in double digits. Youth immigrants (most of whom are actually native born Frenchmen) are pretty much unemployable.
  30. Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: Bob Macdonald from London, United Kingdom writes: 'The paradigm is all wrong: it is currently framed as 'what can I get out of Canada', rather than, 'wow, this is an amazing opportunity, I must make the most of it and leave my mark on Canada!'.'

    Come on, that is the most trite argument going. 99% of humans think in that way. I'm not an immigrant, but I still think on the basis of pure self interest. Everybody does, it is a human trait. For instance, look at all of the white union workers in Windsor and Detroit currently asking the government to bail out their failing companies. Maybe you agree or disagree. The point is, that is certainly a self interested viewpoint. This is especially pronounced in Canada where the only function of our provincial governments is to ransom the federal government for more money. If we really wanted to kick out 'drains' on society, Quebec would be gone, Manitoba would be gone, the Territories would be sooo gone (the average Nunavut resident costs the federal government 30k a year...), Atlantic Canada would be gone, Saskatchewan, until recently, would be gone and now it seems like Ontario would be gone.
  31. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: 'This is the same problem as in France. The hyper-unionized and protectionist work force actively shuts out immigrant communities to keep wages artificially high for white French people. High business taxes, a minimum wage 8.71 Euro an hour, a 35-hour work week (!) and discriminatory hiring practices (especially in unions) seriously limit any hope of an immigrant finding work. As a result, unemployment among groups with traditionally lower value labor (immigrants and youth). Is almost always in double digits. Youth immigrants (most of whom are actually native born Frenchmen) are pretty much unemployable. '
    .
    .
    .
    So; you see the willingness by a country to protect it's citizens: wages, way of life, livelihood, and health as.....a problem?

    How odd.
  32. Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: As to the above:

    You wait until you have something to offer the workforce, and their economy, (YOUR work force, and economy), and then you are compensated well; and given a decent livelihood.

    That's a problem?
  33. Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: Non Partisan I AM Canadian from Canada writes: 'So; you see the willingness by a country to protect it's citizens: wages, way of life, livelihood, and health as.....a problem?'

    It isn't protecting its citizens' wages though, it is protecting some citizens' wages at the expense of others. Yes, I think it is wrong to freeze one group of out of the labor market for racial reasons simply to benefit a group of middle class workers. I think it is incredibly wrong, actually. I'm a bit puzzled that you find this behavior acceptable. There is no difference between this and US unions prohibiting African Americans from obtaining memberships in the 1960s or inner city rent controls that continually limit housing supply for low income earners.
  34. RD Lone from Vancouver, Canada writes: The commentator here misses the simple theory of causation. Do people think they are discriminated against because they are depressed, or do people get depressed because they think they are discriminated against? Big difference. Let's be realistic here, everyone gets discriminated against whether it is about your gender, race, hair length, weight, tattoos, or how beautiful you are. Where you want to draw the line on discrimination vs judging others is simply a matter of opinion.

    While I agree that immigration standards are quite strict, other posters have brought up the good point that for every 1 immigrant we get many other dependants that leech off the system. I personally believe that while we should maintain religious/cultural freedom, that everyone that moves here MUST have rudimentary knowledge of either English or French. It's a total joke how we have people who have been in Canada for decades and still cannot speak or read a word of English.
  35. Globular Cluster, a Cdn from United States writes: In recent years immigrants' lobby groups are getting more vocal. Immigrants have always struggled with adaptation issues...back in the day they didn't complain out loud so much. What about the issues faced by ordinary Canadians? Immigrants are a self-selected group: they chose to immigrate; therefore, they should shoulder most of the responsibility for their mental health. Canadian-born people were placed in a society not of their own choosing...maybe the solution for those who are maladjusted is to immigrate somewhere else????
  36. Patrick the Christian Warrior from Canada writes: To Gokhan Kay, I sensed your anguish and helplessness in your story largely due to your pagan upbringing. . I want to write a little bit to give you some encouragement and set the record straight for Life 101 according to Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”. >>> This bible verse describes 3 stages in a man’s life; First, Parents must prepare their son to be independent, they have 18 years to do it. Second, man must leave parents to prepare himself for marriage; with independent finances, emotions, and thought; protect his body from sexual immoralities for his future wife. Third, take a woman with equal values to be his wife, someone to cherish and to love in health and in sickness, for richer or poorer, for sexual relationship, for partnership, for companionship, for sharing, for trust and intimacy derived from innocent sexual inexperience-ness, to produce children out of love, to become one flesh. Once married, a man’s body no longer belong to him and himself alone; it belonged to the union and the same for the woman. This means, a man must take good care of his body, keep in good health, exercise and eat right, protect his body from sexual immorality, remain strong and loyal to the union, and the same for woman. A man’s role in marriage is to lead spiritually and to provide for the family. A woman’s role is to submit and to follow out of free will. In order for any man or woman to do well in each of the 3 stages of life, the man/woman must fear God and love God as in Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. This man, his family, his children, will be blessed by God. A quick survey of Canadian families and you will find them in most conservative and affluent homes. (continue)
  37. Patrick the Christian Warrior from Canada writes: Clearly, God wanted everyone to be responsible for their own lives. Parents are to prepare children to leave home and they are to prepare for their own retirement. From your story, it appears you are in stage 3 and are at a lost with western values toward aging parents. This is what God has to say in Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” >>> To honour parents does not mean paying back parents because you owe them. It means, as parents age and advance into their senior years, they lose control of their motor movements and their ability to manage their day-to-day affairs like finances, grooming themselves, cooking and cleaning after themselves. As children, we are to step in to take care of things for them, to honour them and to save them from embarrassing themselves and to give them their grace. I guess the anguish among immigrant children are the unprepared parents with big egos and a false-sense of entitlement, which is a guarantee to alienate their Canadian children and lead to anxiety and depression. So, you & your wife are to honour your parents as one-flesh, make sure they live in a comfortable environment and their day-to-day needs are being met, spend some of your hard earn money, up to one tenth of your income, if you have to. If you do this in God’s name, you will be blessed.
  38. Ian B from Canada writes: Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: Try getting a work permit in Holland, it is bloody impossible. They wouldn't even allow me (just for reference, I am white, university educated) until I got my EU citizenship.

    ...

    There is another interesting thing they do in Holland. They make you drop you previus citizenship before getting the Holland citizenship, unless obtained by marriage. This is an effective protectionist measure.
  39. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    So, it's tough adapting to Canada, a country with a wide variety of original native and European heritages across its many regions but which is becoming increasing culturally and racially diverse especially in its major cities, which officially celebrates Christian holidays but is otherwise strongly secular in its of separation of church and state and freely permits freedom of religious practice, which has two official languages but allows every other language to be spoken, and which has laws that protect against discrimination. Strikes me that, tough as that challenge may seem, Canada is a much better opportunity for newcomers than just about any other place on Earth. What other country is wiling to show this much adaption for its newcomers? Nobody said this was going to be easy.
  40. Lawrence Koch from Canada writes: Ian B: 'There is another interesting thing they do in Holland. They make you drop you previus citizenship before getting the Holland citizenship, unless obtained by marriage. This is an effective protectionist measure.'

    They also grant Dutch citizenship to foreign nationals who should in theory have been Dutch citizens at birth except that their parents emigrated from the Netherlands to a country that grants citizenship by birth (such as Canada). There's no requirement to drop the previous citizenship there and it helps in some measure to attract people who may have an easier time integrating.
  41. Kim Philby from Canada writes: Interesting, those U.S. studies showing a decline in mental health among both blacks (presumably the victims of discrimination) and whites (presumably the perpetrators) where there is less racial respect. It brings to mind the saying that those who hate are trapped by the object of their hatred because they become so closely tied together.

    And, speaking of mental health, I wish Patrick the Christian Warrior would hurry up and get some help for his.
  42. Pete T from Vancouver, Canada writes: My experience is that most immigrants are better educated, speak more languages, are more worldly-wise, and sometimes - especially in the case of people who become citizens - know more about Canada than many people born here.
  43. Dan Green from Palm Beach Gardens FL, United States writes: Great discussion. I am a Yank, 3rd generation. My parents were from Immigrant Ellis Island immigrant parents, who came from Germany, and Ireland. My parents told of how their parents faced discrimination. Many Irish who came to Chicago,were stashed on an island to keep them seperated. The German side had to stop speaking German during WW 2, and stop saying the Catholic mass in German. I witnessed discrimination of blacks latinos, etc, after the children of Immigrants became Americans. Point I make is, discrmination gets solved by immigrants kids, who speak a common language, are born in the country they reside. If say an Oriental moves into a large city and heads straight to a Chinese community within a city, they remain totally Chinese, not American. Applies to any race . Takes time, and discrimination dissapears. Perpuate other cultures in your new homeland, and you prepuate discrimination. The best example of discrimination is France, and all their Muslim immigrants.
  44. Misty Blue from Calgary, Canada writes: If my information about the Dutch is faulty then my assumptions are wrong. My information came from a documentary so my knowledge of Holland would reflect their error and bias and probably my inability to remember correctly. I think that this is a world problem of many combinations of cultures trying to adjust to each other and we can learn from each others experience. The more global the world becomes and the more the populations increase and spread, the more friction will develop and lay bare our biases and weaknesses as well as our social strengths. In general, in Canada, I believe we need to look at international policies that work and look at why others fail and then adapt a Canadian tailored model. Either that or we just lock our doors until we get it right with what we've got.... which isn't going to happen unfortunately.
  45. RB Foster from Toronto, Canada writes: We were recently told that immigration to Canada is bad for the heart. (Apparently, the stress of coming here is just too much for many.) Now, we're told that immigrants are prone to depression and other mental problems because of discrimination - and problems created in the “old country”. Sounds like immigration may not be such a good solution to the (seriously flawed) economic model that claims we need more people to counteract the declining birthrate. It might be time for Canada to consider investing in Canadians first, making it affordable for them to have children and not spend billions on trying to fix the problems we're bringing into this country.
  46. Pete T from Vancouver, Canada writes: RB - idiotic and depressing comments like many on here. First what do people mean by 'immigrants'? We're all immigrants or descended from immigrants aren't we.

    And I'm sure anyone who goes through a big life change, such as leaving friends and family behind and moving to a new country, will experience stress - some more than others.

    Think about it - some of the Canadians leaving, frankly, bigoted comments on this site get stressed because they haven't had their morning coffee.

    Imagine leaving your home country, leaving your friends and family, arriving in a new country, finding a house, finding a job, making new friends, learning a new culture - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. That's what newcomers to this and every country experience, including the many Canadians who move to the US, Britain, etc.

    A little compassion and empathy please.
  47. Sue W from Canada writes: Amazing how my parents, their friends, my friends parents ...all immigrants, from Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, many of whom lived through their own horrors in their homeland.....somehow managed to avoid this multicultural mental-health crisis.

    A lack of diversity & multi-cultural experts providing their expertise is probably the reason.
  48. The Work Farce from Canada writes: Ouch! Well...duh. Discrimination hoits. Immigrants have special pains due to discrimination and experiences in the old country. Coloured folks tend to get pushed near to the bottom of the hierarchy. But not quite as far down as aboriginals and third generation Canadians who've made some wrong decisions and/or have been scapegoated. Canadians ought to treat all people with compassion and respect. But many coloured folks still tend to live lives that are nasty, brutish and short. Well...duh. We hold these truths to be self evident. Trust a brainy British psychiatrist to express the problem in a highly analytical way that underlines common sense experience and confirms our common understanding. But trusting a British psychiatrist to solve the problem would be like a fox in charge of the hen house. As Paul Revere said, 'The British are coming! The British are coming!'
  49. Sue W from Canada writes: Pete T from Vancouver, Canada writes: ....That's what newcomers to this and every country experience, including the many Canadians who move to the US, Britain, etc....

    It's called culture-shock. There are different phases, different outcomes.

    And I'm surprised that this doctor made no mention of it.
  50. Tyler Phillips from Seattle, writes: The Latino population is a good example. They're very much into credibility, heart and warmth. If you are a Latino looking into services, you want a warm greeting. You don't want a receptionist saying, 'Here's a form to fill in.

    How incredibly racist. Is this to say that other races like being treated this way? I'm not Latino and I would certainly like a 'warm greeting' too. Just because I'm white doesn't mean I like sending my son off alone into a room or being told to fill in a form instead of a warm greeting. We, as humans, would all appreciate these things being changed.
  51. Martha K. from Canada writes: I think countries welcoming immigrants today overpromise. And that of course sets up an expectation that we can't possibly meet. My mother immigrated to Canada in the 50's and was given $5.00 as a settlement fee. Not $5 a month but $5.00 period which is equivalent to about $100 today. Nothing else - ever. It was gone as quickly as she got it. My mother had to retrain in her medical technical career. This took over TEN years as she had to work nights as a waitress while going to school part time during the day and watching over us kids the rest of the time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That's how things were and they never complained. Generations of fellow immigrants grew up like this. My mother spoke not one word of English and refused to move into her cultural enclave, preferring to be amongst Canadians who spoke English so she could learn the language. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We lived in a one bedroom basement apartment - my mother slept on the sofa, for 10 years and we kids were in the one bedroom. Yes that's how it was and no one was depressed. It was that way for everyone. No monthly cheques for food and rent - nothing but her waitressing salary. We ate, slept and played and never knew we were 'poor'. She still does not have a house 50 years later - lives in a 2 bedroom apartment and is truly grateful she made it this far.
  52. Rockin Johnny from Calgary, Canada writes: My understanding of immigration law is that the prospective immigrant must/must be able to speak and comprehend one of the two official languages, ie english and french. If this is not the case then why in the hell are these people being allowed to immigrate here?
  53. Jack O'Douley from Toronto, Canada writes: '''Even though 12 or 14 per cent of Canadians in Ontario don't speak English, there's no real funding for interpretation services'''

    Any society that has 14% of the population not speaking the language has got real problems... and you can see them in Ontario.

    I would be (have been) pretty depressed living in a society where I didn't speak the language.
  54. Zoe Morrow from Canada writes: Yes, there is a stigma to mental illness and maybe that's not such a bad thing. Listen, if someone is mentality instable it could be a disaster for me as a business owner. I don't want a ticking time bomb who might crack and cost my company PR. I don't want someone who will take off additional time from work for 'me time'. I want someone whose judgement I can depend on and who won't bail on me because they forgot to take their meds. Of course, I have no way of knowing ahead of time if the person I am hiring has mental issues. And I shouldn't be allowed to know this either. I agree with the right to privacy. I just have some reservations about making it okay to be open about being mentally ill, publically announcing it, and then expecting it to not influence others' judgement. It does affect others' opinions.
  55. Meng W. from Canada writes: I clearly need to get out more. I work in the high tech industry and as far as I know, the minority here are local Canadians, more than 50% of my coworkers aren't born in Canada at all. In fact when I was studying in University of Toronto not long ago, literally half of the aerospace engineering graduating class were Chinese immigrants, 25% were immigrants from other countries, only a quarter were actually locally born Canadians, and their parents were mostly immigrants too.

    To put it simply, the entire discussion on Canadian immigration is pretty pointless from my perspective, Canada is completely dependent on immigrants, it is a nation of immigrants, and chances are the ones doing the 'discrimination' was an immigrant too.

    Its a multicultural problem, not an immigration problem.
  56. Pete T from Vancouver, Canada writes: Isn't Margaret Wente herself an immigrant from the good ol' US of A?
  57. june Conway Beeby from Canada writes: I understand why you chose the question and answer format for this particular interview. Surely it was bcause you couldn't stomach writing this nonsense any other way.

  58. Steve I'm Not an Alberta Redneck from Calgary, Canada writes: Meng W. from Canada writes: 'I clearly need to get out more. I work in the high tech industry and as far as I know, the minority here are local Canadians..........'

    We're all minorities in some way. I've noticed a lot of anger - a possible sign of mental illness - in most white males aged 25 to 55. Is this from discrimination? This group certainly has been discriminated against, compared to those who are similar but older.
  59. Kitty Burgers from Hamilton, Canada writes: Geesh ... more of this mush again? Didn't we have a story like this last month? This is never-ending, and quite frankly, just plain uninteresting filler disguised as some sort of emergency issue. More diversion from more pressing matters.
  60. Linda Jacobson from Toronto, Canada writes: I think an approach to depression in immigrants that restricts itself to visible minorities is a bit myopic. We moved here over 4 years ago. We're highly educated and English-speaking. We differ culturally from the Canadian-born in ways that are often too subtle to articulate. Nonetheless, it's been traumatic and placed enormous stresses on our family.

    I've been dismayed by the xenophobic tone of some of the comments here. Canada is not giving us a free ride. We're happy and grateful to be here, but we were allowed in because we are useful, hard-working people who will contribute to this country. That applies to most of our fellow immigrants too.

    Linda

    P.S. Read 'The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down' to get some insight into cross-cultural disaster.
  61. fergus macduff from United Kingdom writes: i feel tired.....
  62. moise metellus from montreal, Canada writes: There`s so much that`s wrong with this article. The idea of taking an immigrant`s background into account ( to some extent )when providing care is quite reasonable. What`s silly is the idea that providing this tailored care is pretty much the most important thing at all and that canadians ( westerners in general) should bend in every direction , no matter how impractical given scarcity of ressources. The immigrant , in McKenzie`s view, is both a victim of pervasive discrimination ( particularly black immigrants, whose lives, it seems, are nothing but neverending battles against racism ) and as some kind of royalty whose every whim is to be catered for : Latinos like it warm and friendly ? We MUST become very warm, very friendly *just like them* otherwise we`re not being fair and equitable , even if that conflicts with our own way of being friendly . Some people come from cultures where people speak very loudly, right ? Then we need to speak like that too, lest they think we`re whispering against them. Should we canadians perpetuate in african immigrants the absurd belief that mental distress is the result of bewitching ? Of course! After all, immigrants`beliefs are absolutely sacred and we`re the ones who must adapt . The good Dr McKenzie blames high black crime entirely on white canadian society. You see, young black makes like me commit more violent crime because you wicked whites stress us out and we justifiably get the stress out of our system. Hospitals need to be shamed for not all having staff that can speak in tibetan , lingala , kirghiz , bambara and who knows what else . My parents were carribbean immigrants. They didn`t expect Canada to bend over backwards for them. The very eurocentric Canada of the 1970s set fair rules , they followed them and they prospered, They didn`t sink into depression like some ¨victims of discrimination¨ who seem to have nothing else to bring to the table than that pitiful victim status.
  63. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    Pete T from Vancouver, Canada wrote: 'Isn't Margaret Wente herself an immigrant from the good ol' US of A?'

    Yeah, but, she's white, thinks like an American, speaks acceptably unaccented English and is not burdened by early training in Canadian niceness. So, in her mind, she came with clear advantages over those born in Canada that other immigrants don't have.
  64. moise metellus from montreal, Canada writes: to Linda Jacobson :
    There might even be difficulties when moving from one province to another. I`m sure that a quebecer moving to Alberta needs some time to adjust. With that said, I just feel that the criticism that`s leveled at Canada and other similar western countries is grossly unfair and unwarranted. First of all, I don`t even believe that any country has an obligation to accept immigrants. Many countries don`t : I highly doubt that you can immigrate to Dubai or Monaco, though you can go work there. It`s probably fairly difficult to immigrate to Singapore, I`m guessing. Countries like Canada open their doors relatively wide and I just don`t think they deserve the scorn and the reprimand from that professional minority british doctor.
    I hope that things go better for you and your family. Your children will likely adapt very well to this country. While xenophobia exists in canada, It`s nothng like the xenophobia that`s pretty much standard in every country outside of the western world. Try moving to Somalia if you`re not an ethnic Somali and you will see...
  65. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: I have really noticed those visible minorities in Toronto and Vancouver suffer a lot from depression and stress. The visible minorities are usually coming out of the Anglican churches and Royal Canadian legion branches and looks really stressed.
  66. RB Foster from Toronto, Canada writes: Dear PT from Vancouver: 'some of the Canadians leaving, frankly, bigoted comments on this site' is just another example of how anyone that dares question the multicultural or immigration sacred cows is promptly called a bigot or a racist. Perhaps PT, you would be happier if we had “re-education camps” to clean up and eliminate any form of decent – ops – bigotry/racism.
  67. Dorah Gorley from Canada writes: You have to be really daft not to realize that this is not an article that supports the crazy Liberal approach to immigration. There's not a single word of a personal commentary from Wente. Strange, isn't it? So, read between the lines, well, if you can, of course...
  68. Truth Hurts from Toronto, Canada writes: Some stats (facts) for your consideration Its just good to check facts before you form an opinion.
    Here you go :

    2007 Numbers:

    Economic Immigrants (atleast 1 year of work experience, Bachelor degree, age between 21-49, language capabilities - English or French other) : 55.4%,

    Family(total): 28%, Spouses: 19%, Parents & Grandparents: 6.7% (both included in family)

    Conclusion:
    (1)Majority of immigrants are highly skilled workers
    (2) They do bring their family members but its mostly: spouses and dependents
    (3) Very few parents and grandparents actually come to Canada to stay forever.

    Link : http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2007/permanent/02.asp
  69. Truth Hurts from Toronto, Canada writes: Another interesting fact:

    Visible Minority : The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as 'persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour

    Immigrants (whites & visible Minorities): 19.8% of the Canadian population
    Visible minorities : 16.2% of the Canadian population.

    If immigrants form 1/5 of your population, you might want to reevaluate their impact both economically and socially. While you are doing that why dont you go ahead and reevaluate your opinion about them also.

    The number i presented was for first generation immigrants so if you add their offspring's which were born in Canada, that number will go up even more.

    Conclusion: I guess we should pay more attention to their needs as they form a big chunk of our population.


  70. Truth Hurts from Toronto, Canada writes: Source of Immigrants by rank & percentage (Cumulative till date):

    (1) UK : 9.4%
    (2) China : 7.5%
    (3) India: 7.2%
    (4) Philippines: 4.9%
    (5) Italy : 4.8%
    (6) US : 4.0%

    and so on

    Conclusion: If you are getting highly skilled workers from such wonderful democracies (except China) you should be delighted.
  71. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: Truth hurts, those stats look exactly right. At least for my immigrant family. Both parents are highly educated, I was still quite young when I arrived in Canada, so was able to speak perfect english with no accent, but still able to retain my parents native language. I am appalled more at the inability of White canadian born children and adults absolute incompetence in writing and speaking their only language and I know more immigrants that spell better and are more grammatically correct than white canadian born children and adults.

    That being said, I have also seen that immigrant families work harder, and more of their children go on to take advantage of the education system and get a university education then Non immigrants. Pop your head into any university and you will see what I am talking about.

    To say that immigrants do not contribute to society is stereotype that some ignorant people, who have failed miserably in their lives and contribute that to competing with immigrants who as the ignorants say 'are lazy' and 'don't speak english'. If the ignorants are so scared of losing their jobs to these lazy non english speaking immigrants, then how uneducated and untalented do you have to be??
  72. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: Truth hurts, some people try to have it both ways. In good economic times, they say the immigrants are lazy and live off welfare, and in poor economic times they say immigrants are taking all of our jobs.
  73. Jenny charbonneau from toronto, Canada writes: ect saved my life...
  74. Wyatt Currlin-Parzybok from Toronto, Canada writes: Although many different immigrants have different stories it is SAD that we Canadians don't accept their talents with open arms. I met an Indian dentist who was reduced to selling the newspaper on the street. A veterinarian from Yugoslavia who after ten years had been able to get a job in a vet office. And then my wife who with her two degrees from Korea could not find a legal job for two years. If you want the immigrants to contribute taxes GIVE THEM A DAMN JOB! These people I mentioned speak english and they have a world of knowledge to offer.
    Discrimination exists it makes people depressed there is a shortage of mental health doctors because of it. All we need to do is open our minds to the vast opportunities immigrants bring to Canada. Be creative and showcase the diversity and talents offered to us Canadians..
  75. R iv from Canada writes: The day native people are treated with half the money, language help, hiring preference and settlement programs which immigrants are, is the day I'll welcome immigrants to Canada.
  76. Skeptical Observer from Canada writes: R iv, is that misinformation? Back up your statement. Because you obviously don't know what you are talking about. You are one of the ignorants I mentioned earlier. But I guess you probably didn't even read the article or any comments,you didn't reflect, and you continue to listen to your own prejudices thatare not in touch with reality. Ignorance is bliss isn't it.
  77. Wyatt Currlin-Parzybok from Canada writes: Ok Riv I hear you about the native people it is even worse for them in many ways and I am all for helping them but what we need is for people to help people also known as reducing discrimination. So my argument is that the immigrants may be helpful for Canada. Canada is a vast country with only a few people. We need more people and we need to band together, especially with the native people and with immigrants
  78. RB Foster from Toronto, Canada writes: Discrimination is not why many immigrants can’t find jobs. It’s one thing to grossly exaggerate the skills and abilities of immigrants, but it’s another to blame Canadian society when these same “superior” immigrants fail in this country. Our immigration numbers used to be pegged with the economy: when times were good, we could bring in more people; when times were bad, the numbers were reduced. Now, no matter what – we keep this arbitrary figure of 200,000 to 250,000 new immigrants every year, in spite of the recent loss of 200,000 manufacturing jobs, with more job cuts to come in various sectors. Our economy is faltering. Canadian baby boomers will have to work even longer just to stay afloat; and the children of baby boomers will soon be flooding the job market. They will be better educated and better in touch with the realities of the Canadian market than any immigrant.
  79. Keating Gun from Canada writes: It is well known in Ontario that plus-sized professional women have been targeted by law soviety benchers, as the first discrimination counsel, as she then was, knew about before the lasw society muzzled the position. As late as 2000, society staffers acted inappropriately, bolstered by benchers.
  80. Keating Gun from Canada writes: Upcoming works (by another!) will feature Osgoode Hall's appalling discrimination.
  81. Sue W from Canada writes: Wyatt Currlin-Parzybok from Toronto, Canada writes: ... ...I met an Indian dentist who was reduced to selling the newspaper on the street....

    And my mom met a Count who sold her $300 of fake gold jewellery which belonged to Russian royality.

    Don't believe everything you're told.

  82. W M from Canada writes: "Here's one of the interesting things about discrimination. If you've been attacked because of your race, you're at increased risk of mental illness. But your risk is higher even if you've experienced verbal abuse or stress. If you haven't been threatened or attacked, but you think that most employers discriminate, you're also at higher risk - about 60 or 70 per cent higher. "

    =======================================

    This is precisely why I think our obsession with seeing every disappointment or failure to reach our aspirations as evidence of some kind of "ism" (racism, agism, sexism, etc.) is a huge mistake. We need laws to deal with racism, but we also need to be careful not to exagerate its prevalence, or we could easily be making the problem worse, rather than better! One of my brothers is mentally ill and one of the things that I notice about him is that he tends to think that work isn't "work" for the other members of our family. He just seems to assume that everything comes easy to us, work is never stressfull and that our lives are disappointment free.

    I have also had a mild brush with the "black dog" and it came after I allowed my expectations to become unrealistic (I actually began to expect things to always be easy, myself). That brush has convinced me that depression is due less to objective circumstances than to disappointed expectations. Unrealistic expectations about success guarantee disappointment. Couple thme with a belief that any disappointments must be due to discrimination of some kind and you get a double-whammy!

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