Results of a Survey on South Asians – Jan 2010

I conducted an online poll and survey among South Asians using email and the social media, that is, LinkedIn, this blog and Facebook. People from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were contacted for this survey. The aim was to find out what inspires South Asians more, money or pride. The question posed was what is more important to you, Money or Pride? Please refer to the post below and the poll at http://ca.linkedin.com/in/fazalsiddiqi for details about the poll question and possible answers to choose from. 

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South Asian Market in Canada – Some Statistics

National

  • South Asians are the largest visible minority group at 1.27 million people according to 2006 Census results.
  • South Asians group grew by 37.7% from 917,000 in 2001 to 1,262,900 in 2006.
  • They represented 25% of all visible minority and 4% of the total Canadian population in 2006.

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The other side of the picture…

I received an interesting article from a friend, Badar Shamim. It was written by Dr. Yamil Alanso who is working on a project for the Brampton Board of Trade. The article, titled Discrimination or Employers’ Expectations, shows the other side of the  immigrants unemployment / underemployment picture. Dr. Alonso asks if the new Canadians meet employers’ expectations and lists follow-up questions that he thinks need to be answered by new Canadians in order to ascertain if they are “employment ready”.

I believe that working on the areas highlighted by Dr. Alonso will help new Canadians move closer to getting a gainful employment in their fields. However, sincere & consistent focus and efforts on both sides of the picture will get them the suitable employment. Besides new Canadians, the onus is on the government and whos’s who of the immigration and settlement landscape to provide an even playing field to new Canadians for successfully assimilating and leveraging thier potential.

Check out the article by clicking on the link below and let us know your thoughts by posting comments.

discrimination-or-employers-expectations

Economic Meltdown, Is it

The $700 billion bailout plan by the US government and latest short term interest rates cut by Central Banks of United States, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, England and the European Union have not resulted in the expected positive effect on the world stock markets. Specially in the United States, the real estate market continues to be in doldrums, unemployment rate jumped to 6.1%, stock market is down and car sales shrinking. In  Canada, exports are down, CA$ had a free fall, real estate market has stagnated, stock market performance is listless, and increasing unemployment / layoffs a major threats.

The million dollar question is how to check the impending economic meltdown and recuperate the Canadian economy?

There are 101 ways to skin a cat. My way is to diversify the economy & trade in order to reduce dependence on the US markets. (As Canadian economic fundamentals are better, however we are still badly affected due to over-reliance on south of border). I think trade can be expeditiously diversified by encouraging and facilitating new Canadians to look for business opportunities with their country of origin. This will be a win-win situation for the government and the unemployed & underemployed new Canadians.

Do you agree with the above strategy? Please comment below.

From the “R” word to “D” word

We are paying the price of unabated spending on homes and consumer goods during last few years. Cheap and easily available credit (sub-prime lending), stable consumer goods prices, and technological & productivity gains created excesses and fueled the economy for most of current decade. Thus we got caught up in a housing boom in 2000 and onwards similar to the dot-com boom of 1990s.

Excessive sub-prime lending in the United States has taken its toll with rampant defaults on mortgage payments resulting in write-offs and tightening of credit by commercial banks. This checked the growth of Real Estate market. Simultaneously, oil prices rose to unprecedented level crossing US$140 mark in July 2008, which along with increased staple food prices sparked inflation. This decreased the consumer purchasing power and slowed down the demand for capital goods. Spillover from economic downturn south of border has adversely affected Canadian economy, especially the economy of Ontario, which is heavily dependent on sales to the US markets. In 2007, 83.5% of the total goods exports from Ontario were to the US<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>. Furthermore, exports declined due to stronger Canadian dollar, while layoffs in auto industry further contracted the Canadian economy. Read more of this post

The Game of Cricket & Canada

I resumed playing cricket in Toronto after a lapse of two years. From playing in different cities and on various pitches in Pakistan, I knew that I would have to adapt my batting technique to adjust to the new environment. What I was uncertain about was how much of an adaptation would be required. Indeed it was more than I anticipated.

Primarily, the grass on the outfield is left longer than normal on the grounds that I have played on, which stops the ball short of boundary. So one needs to either settle for singles and doubles or resort to hitting over the top of fielders to score runs quickly. Moreover, we play on mat pitches, which facilitates swing bowling more than the flat turf in India and Pakistan. This required to play late and let the ball finish its jugglery before hitting it. On the other hand, the matches start around mid day, so the bowlers are unable to take advantage of morning dew, which is common in Pakistan, as cricket is played in winter. Read more of this post

Canada Calling, Now What!

You have landed in Canada, gone through the initial process of applying for the SIN card, registering for medical care, looking for a place to live and a school for children. The next step is to search for a job, preferably for a career, similar to one you had in your country of origin. In a lighter vein, this step draws a parallel to the popular words by Neil Armstrong after he took the first step on moon. He commented, one small step for a man – one giant leap for mankind. Yes, looking for a livelihood could be another step but getting the right job is a giant leap for you and your family in the new homeland. Read more of this post

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