LETTER: Denying work to qualified immigrants is ‘stupid’

From reader Elsje de Boer

Re: “Anti-immigrant backlash confounds economic development leader,” July 11

I am an immigrant. I can assure you that I have never felt any urge to kill, shoot, or throw acid.

I came to Canada 58 years ago from Holland. I spoke English fluently, also Dutch, German, and French. I had a law degree from Leiden, Holland. I found a job cleaning bathrooms in a motel at 95 cents an hour.

Later, I found a job as a legal secretary: $400 a month. Over the next 10 or 12 years, I worked my way up to $800 a month. I did things no other secretary did: drafting a share purchase option agreement for a company, collections, conveyancing, wills and estates.

I was doing a lawyer’s work for a secretary’s wage.

According to the Universities Co-ordinating Council, I would never get into university for a Canadian law degree because I was an immigrant, I was a woman, and besides, I would not be able to follow the classes because they were all in English. On the ALSAT, I scored in the 96th percentile in English.

With low paying jobs, I paid little or no income tax. For the last 17 years, the Canadian government has supported me with Guaranteed Income Supplement. Had they allowed me to go to law school here, I would have been able to practise for 20 or 25 years before retirement age. I would have paid taxes and would not have required GIS. To deny work to qualified immigrants is, in a word, stupid. It doesn’t benefit anyone.

Not the employers who need workers, not the government which doesn’t get the income tax, and certainly not the immigrant who needs a job.

I think the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program is a great way to solve all these problems in one fell swoop! To those who don’t like it: quitcher bellyaching and MYOB.

Elsje de Boer

Fauquier

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ANKORS among Columbia Basin Trust grant recipients

ANKORS is receiving $60,000 for a health promotion project

First 3D metal printer in rural Canada arrives at MIDAS Lab in Trail

MIDAS provides access to state-of-the-art equipment for fabrication and rapid prototyping

Learn to curl with Nelson Curling Club

The club is hosting clinic on Jan. 18

Whitewater’s Adam Kuch among winners at Junior Freeski event

The ski resort’s ninth annual freeski competition was held last weekend

Nelson residents living with dementia break silence on stigma

Dawn Sutcliffe was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 60

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks assemble for first practice ahead of charity game

The group of locals will play Montreal Canadiens alumni next week

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Blast of winter continues across B.C., bringing frigid weather and more snow

A number of weather warnings continued Thursday as winter storms continue in B.C.

Over 16,000 people nabbed by RCMP between border crossings in 2019

In 2019, 63,830 claims were filed, up from 55,040 in 2018

Most Read