Doctor LIU Yi
Canadian Real Estate Marketing Expert
Recently, Canadian government completely calling off the investment immigration category made a big stir.
Such a policy represents the standpoint of part of the middle class, who believe that immigrant investors make little contribution to the country and pay fewer taxes than live-in caregivers.
In recent years, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Russia and New Zealand, among others, laid down laws one after another to ban pure investment immigration of China rich. Canadian Financial Post even raised a question that "Why is Canada keeping out China rich?"
Flaunting Wealth and Speculating Real Estate Discontent the Mainstream
Various traces show that the mainstream society has long-standing prejudice and resentment against the wealthy investor-class immigrants.
An employee from a famous IT company in Vancouver once wrote that all his colleagues are middle class Canadian having an annual income ranging from 80,000 to 150,000 dollars. Their boss has an annual income of 200,000 dollars and drives an Audi sports car. Most of his colleagues live in North Vancouver, Langley and New Westminster, but few live in West Vancouver. Even those living in West Vancouver live in apartments or rented apartments instead of a detached house in the possession of them. Employees of the company come from all over the world, including Eastern Europe, Asia and America, but the overwhelming majority of employees are from Canada.
During a lunch, they talked about the government calling off the investment immigration. Surprisingly, all people applauded the policy. The reason is very simple. That is house. For normal office workers in Vancouver, the housing price is too high. Many of them who have master or doctor degree of famous universities and work for well-known enterprises cannot afford a house in Vancouver. Therefore, they have a grudge against investor-class immigrants living in big houses in west Vancouver.
Pete McMartin, a columnist of Vancouver Sun, published an article titled Investor-class immigrant program won't be missed in Vancouver. In the article, he says, "they all give rise to the same resentment. That resentment can be about cars, or real estate, or schooling, or even about the sense that luxury stores are targeting only wealthy immigrants. And when the federal government removed the investor-class immigrant program last week, it played on that resentment, too".
Contribution Made by Investor-class Immigrants Cannot Be Underestimated
I believe the statement that investor-class immigrants pay fewer taxes than live-in caregivers is misleading.
Seen from the boosting of consumer spending, the contribution made by investor-class immigrants to the society cannot be underestimated. Many Chinese people spend a lot of money in Holt Renfrew, line up in LV stores and buy many Mercedes and BWM cars. Besides consumption, they also pay PST and GST. They live here and drive the development of restaurants, construction and insurance industries. It is no exaggeration to say that Canadian economy undergoing sound development in spite of European debt crisis and the recession of US economy cannot be separated from investor-class immigrantsboosting of consumer spending.
Speculation in real estate, for which investor-class immigrants are mostly criticized, also strengthens the linkage between construction and decoration industries and relevant industrial chains and generates considerable taxes. Such immigrants also bridge Chinese trade and Canadian trade and bring about many cooperation opportunities between China and Canada.
They are criticized for gaining advantages in Canadian medical system. In fact, however, they often go back to China for medical treatment at their own expenses. They cannot afford to wait in Canada.
Conflict of Values Worth Reflection
Making great contribution to the society, investor-class immigrants are still not welcome in Canada. Why? There is indeed something that Chinese people have to be vigilant about and reflect on. In an article, a westerner expresses his antipathy for an Asian young man who drives a luxury sports car and changes lanes to overtake other cars one after another. The article represents an emotion of local middle class. They cannot bear the sight of upstarts showing off their wealth. For local people, they have to work hard for years before they get such luxury sports at middle age. The second generation of Asian descent reaps where they have not sown and acts in an arrogant way. It goes against the mainstream value of Canada. It is a tradition in Canada to encourage voluntary work. The rich is expected to do charity and donate money to help the poor. The conflict of value is an important reason why wealthy Chinese are not welcome by Canadian mainstream society. It is worth self-criticism and reflection. Earlier immigrants cannot shut the door for later immigrants.
In the company that I serve, there are many western brokers. As the beneficiaries of Chinese investor-class immigrants purchasing houses, they are expected to be close with Chinese people. While talking about various phenomena about Chinese house purchasers, however, they are filled with indignation. Some sellers clean their houses for three hours for a house-inspecting appointment, but potential Chinese buyers, led by Chinese brokers, stay for only a couple of minutes and leave with reasons unacceptable to the sellers, such as undesirable orientation or no Chinese style kitchen. If they spend a few minutes checking information available to them before making house-inspecting appointments, it will save the sellers from much idle work. The potential buyers do not show their respect. The brokers are also so unprofessional that they don say sorry for being late for half an hour. Some buyers are even hypercritical about the house with overweening arrogance. They don understand the simple truth that you get what you pay for.
Obviously, such behavior in disregard of others is completely incompatible with the mainstream value. We come to Canada because we identify with the mainstream values here, like democracy, equality, freedom, multi-culture and harmonious coexistence of different races. All people are equal and respect each other. As capacity allows, people help the weak and the poor.
Superiority Complex on a Commanding Position is Repulsive
Many investor-class immigrants lift up their horns. An investor-class immigrant once asked one of my friends a question, "are you an investment immigrant or skilled immigrant?" After hearing the answer, "skilled immigrant", his attitude had a disastrous decline immediately, saying "then you have to work hard. It is so lucky for you to acquaint with us. You know, our house is worth about almost four million dollars." Such a superiority complex really makes people speechless.
Some new investor-class immigrants boss waiters around in restaurants. Actually, in Vancouver, it is not rare that some people drive a Mercedes car to do the work as dishwashers or even toilet cleaners. The child of the richest man in Canada also worked in Mcdonald's. In an equal society, all people are equal.
Canadian people are proud of being capable of doing physical work. They think such capacity is a merit and good for health. Many Chinese immigrants never cook in China. After coming to Canada, however, they gradually observe the customs of the place, bringing dishes cooked by themselves to parties. It is a positive way to fit into Canadian communities.
In Chinese residential quarters, there are many associations and organizations of various types and a number of group leaders. I hope everyone would do more things that are meaningful and try to let the mainstream society be aware of the contributions made by investor-class immigrants. We should also reflect and improve ourselves so as to raise the social status of Chinese people.