Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If You Love it, Don't Change It, Part 1

Why do recent immigrants insist on changing Canada, when they obviously think it's a better place to be than where they came from?  My in-laws are immigrants from eastern Europe.  Kinder, harder-working people you cannot find.  They arrived in 1950 basically with the shirts on their backs, sponsored by a usurious aunt who treated them as indentured for two years before considering their obligation satisfied.  To say that they adapted well to Canadian society is an understatement despite no English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, no subsidization, no handouts, no immigration lawyers, no help whatsoever.  Sink or swim.  They worked in the factory, did carpentry on the side, and put a down payment on a farm.  Seven years later it was paid off in full.  The factory job lasted forty years, and the farm was sold when the kids - all post-secondary educated - preferred their jobs in the city.  Today they shudder at the demands immigrants make on our government and society in general.  (They also can't stomach able-bodied people, especially young people, routinely going to the food bank for handouts.)  They shake their heads at government waste.  They never took an agricultural subsidy, let alone lobbied for one.  In good years they saved their money in case the next years weren't good.  In short, they have contributed much to their new country, asked for nothing in return, and damn sure didn't expect to change Canada to suit them.