AngryFrenchGuy

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

with 61 comments

That’s the fascinating and highly controversial question a small but determined group of scholars have been debating in Québec newspapers lately.

49 000 new brothers and sisters. That’s how many new immigrants the Québec government decided to recruit for Québec in 2008. That number, which is proportionally much higher than the immigration levels in the United States and most of Western Europe, will be increased to 55 000 in 2010.

The standard justification for this high level of immigration is that it necessary to compensate for the low birthrate in Québec, to maintain the province’s demographic and economic weight in the federation and simply because we need the workers.

Last week demographer Marc Termotte publicly denounced the Québec government for not publishing his study–that the same government had commissioned–demonstrating that French was declining in Montreal at least partly because Montreal Francophones were having a hard time integrating an always increasing number of immigrants.

In a December 28th letter to Le Devoir (google’s robot translation), demographer Guillaume Marois takes another look at Québec’s seldom questioned immigration policies and concludes that immigrants already in Québec will be among those who have the most to lose with a more ambitious immigration policy!

Pointing out that in Québec, as in Ontario and the rest of the Western World, immigrants move to urban areas and stay away from far away regions, he argues that increased immigration will do nothing to solve the shortage of workers in Rouyn and Alma.

The true question is not, according to him, if Québec need more immigrants, but:

Does Montreal need more immigrants?

“In December 2007 the unemployment rate in on the island of Montreal was 8,5% while it was only 7% for Québec as a whole. How are immigrants doing? According to the latest ISQ (Institut de Statistique du Québec) compilations, more than 10% of immigrants are unemployed…”

So if there is no worker shortage in Montreal, why are we bringing more people in, Guillaume?

“We often hear that “immigrants don’t steal our jobs, but occupy jobs that Quebecers don’t want because of bad conditions”. But if working conditions are staying bad, it is precisely because employers find in the immigrant community people who are ready to take these jobs. Employers don’t have to raise salaries or improve working conditions.”

“Although immigrants are generally better educated than average Quebecers, they are over represented in menial and manual jobs. They’ve been promised a lot of nice things but, in the end, they have to go towards this type of employment for various reasons (not recognized diplomas, false promises, etc…) or be unemployed. A good proportion of immigrants who are here will pay the price of an increase in immigration.”

More immigrants means lower wages for poor working-class Quebecers. Guess who are the poor working-class Quebecers of 2008?

That’s right! Immigrants.

Written by angryfrenchguy

February 4, 2008 at 11:22 am

61 Responses

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  1. Angryfrenchguy,
    I noticed that you often mention how your tax dollars pay for the education of doctors and such that then leave the province, specifically doctors educated at McGill.
    First, I’d like to point out that McGill is an internationally renown institution which attracts many foreign students, like Harvard or MIT. It is only natural that they return home upon completion of their studies (they also have to pay non-resident tuition, which is considerable and not financed by you).
    Second, having gone through the education system myself and having been told many times “r’tourne donc chez toi!” I must say that the climate is not always encouraging for an Anglo/Allophone to remain in the province.
    Also, if you are so intent on pointing out that there are other places within driving distance of Quebec in North America where you can speak only English, then why are you upset when people take your advice and move there (especially if the pay is better)?

    Allophone

    February 11, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  2. L’université de Montréal and l’université Laval are also internationally known (although maybe not in Pointe-Claire) and they manage to train doctors who stay in Québec.

    All Québec universities are, in part at least, service providers, paid by the taxpayers of Québec to train professionals.

    When McGill systematically trains doctors without requiring that they possess the most basic skill required by their profession: the ability to communicate with their patients in their language, taxpayers are allowed to ask if their dollars are well spent.

    When 50% take their education and leave to practice somewhere else, taxpayers are entitled to ask if their tax dollars are well spent.

    And considering that a prestigious McGill education costs international student about 25 000$ a year compared to Harvard’s 50 000$ and MIT’s 45 000$, I’m not sure the taxpayers of Québec are not also subsidizing this reputation.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm

  3. Well, that may be as I have not researched the numbers, but you did not address the fact that it is normal for international students (who are more likely to study in Englsih) to return home. If your degree is in English and you can speak English, then a larger part of the world is open to you. Young professionals are trying to make a name for themselves and pay off student loans. Not even most “pure laines” want to go live in Nord-du-Quebec, and who could blame them after spending a few years in Montreal?

    You also did not address this statement:
    “… if you are so intent on pointing out that there are other places within driving distance of Quebec in North America where you can speak only English, then why are you upset when people take your advice and move there (especially if the pay is better)?” Or is that offer not valid for doctors?

    You also previously mentioned that the federal government overfunds English institutions to create the illusion of bilinguism, is McGill included in these institutions? Then it is not quite so many of your tax dollars being wasted, and for the last time, we all pay taxes, not just French Quebeckers. In any case, I’m sure that we can both agree tax money spent on education, regardless of the language, is not the worst the government can do…

    Allophone

    February 11, 2008 at 9:19 pm

  4. uhh. I haven’t read all the response because there were too much..I saw an ad in the mcgill group on facebook by the way.
    Just wondering, why u guys speak of separatism and french language and blablabla,instead of the real article subject?(well that is what i believe that ive fastly read.)
    yeah well, someone said :”Immigrants to Québec should not be required to speak two languages in addition to their own native one (assuming it is not already French or English). ” might be the word “required” that I dont understand really well, but I think the number of language people want to know is a personal choice.
    But.. hmm it speaks about immigrants, does this include children of immigrants? Because I am one myself, and knowing 3 languages doesnt bother me at all. And yeah.. I have nothing to major to say..

    mais jaime bien le sujet,j’en ai des choses a dire,mais jai pas trop le temps la la.

    Mais il y a une message que jveux faire passer, c’est ne pas mettre tout les immigrants dans le meme bateau, pcq moi ca me fait chier en criss, pcq jme considère québécoise a fond.
    PIS MERDE LA moi aussi jme plein de certain nationalité immigrante. Pis genre quand on parle d’accomodement ils devraient s’accomoder la!
    moi jhabite en banlieu, pis on peut voir une différence la entre ceux qui habite a montreal et ceux qui habite en banlieu. En banlieu t’ai entouré de Québécois, pis a Mtl qu’est-ce qui peuvent apprendre?Rien! Je connais pas les chiffres, mais visuellement, ca dlair quil y a plus d’immigrant que de québécois.
    Pis en tk cest ca la, moi ca me crissment chier quand jvais a kelke part pis qu’un quebecois me regarde du coin de l’oeil dla tete au pied. Surtout ces 2-3 dernières années, jme sens pas mal plus fixé. Ou bien j’imagine.
    Mais ouin. =)
    Cetais un petit defoulement en francais,(pcq jmexprime mieux en francais) d’une adolescente-adulte.
    Ah pis moi mes amis, -contrairement au enfants dimmigrant du mtl- c’est des québécois. Donc il n’y a pas plus québécoise ke moi comme fille d’immigrants. =)

    Val. L.P

    February 11, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  5. désolé pour mes milliers de fautes *typos*!

    Val. L.P

    February 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm

  6. Angry… t’as dit: “Fact: In the 1960’s Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Bicultuarlism presided by André Laurendeau and Davidson Dunton published a series of studies, one of them notoriously demonstrating that among 14 “ethnic” communities in Québec, francophones were 12th in terms of income.

    The commissioners also demonstrated that factors such as education, experience and age could not account for the tremendous income difference between Francophones and Anglophones.

    The study even demonstrated that in Québec, the LESS French someone spoke, the MORE he earned.

    The only explanation was discrimination.”

    Jai déja entendu ca dans les cours.
    Mais jme fis pas trop a ces choses la meme si ca peut etre vrai. Des 2 coté dla médaille,jai limpression que ca dit nimporte quoi.. =1

    mais bon. moi ma position cest nationaliste, mais pas separatiste. Ahhh. jsuis trop hippie.

    Val. L.P

    February 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm

  7. AngryFrenchGuy writes: “A provincial government spends more than half it’s budget on Health Care and Education. Every year about 50% of the doctors trained by McGill and the MUHC leave to work outside Québec. I think an argument could be made that through equalization payments the 9 other provinces are, among other things, training their own doctors.”

    Only in the Bizarro World of economics.

    Not by any stretch of the imagination can we suppose that $7 billion in annual equalization payments is offset by Quebec training doctors for the other 9 provinces. The net cost of training doctors for the other 9 provinces is probably less than 1/100th of 1% of the $7 billion a year.

    Do the math.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 12, 2008 at 12:43 am

  8. Hey Allo

    Ain’t nobody kicking you out of Québec, love. Wanna know how many times those nice tolerant Anglos here in NDG told me to go back to France?

    There are many perfectly good reasons for a university accepting international med students like higher tuition, international reputation, participation in the research community…

    But McGill, from the information I’ve been looking at (http://caper.ca/pages/census_book_2007/table_j4.html ), trains three times as many American doctors as all of Ontario’s universities combined.

    Québec is in the middle of a crisis and of a doctor shortage. McGill receives 25% of the ressources the Québec governement gives universities to train doctors. With only 50% more money l’Université de Montréal trains 4 times as many doctors for Québec!

    McGill’s got a good reputation. Fine. Good for that old girl. It also has a job to do. If it can’t do it somebody else should get that share of her financing.

    Maybe if Toronto had two major French-language universities financed by the taxpayers of Ontario that sent a few doc our way once in a while, you could say it’s the same.

    French-Canadians aren’t the only ones to pay taxes. I agree. But how many French hospitals, universities and colleges do the other provinces have to finance?

    Here, I’ll tell you: Université de Moncton and Hôpital Montfort. Plus a couple of bilingual institutions here and there. Nothing that comes remotely close to the vast network Québec is required to finance for it’s minority

    angryfrenchguy

    February 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm

  9. salut tout le monde,

    ça va bien? oui -non?

    on the question at hand – more immigrants in montreal?

    this points immediately to a concept help by collectivist and totalitarian thinkers. individual rights must be suppressed in the name of the greater good. tell them where to live, what to do and especially what to think. the government thinks you should move to an area where they think you will be most helpful. is this the quebec we want? next thing we’ll be told who we can or cannot be associated with or what can be written.

    agf you wonder why doctors leave – maybe they like an evening at the opera ocaasionally. can’t do that if there’s no opera house and doctors tend to be independantly minded – with the means to act on their wishes (and the guaranteed freedom to do so) … so, the state telling them where to practise is a great motivation for moving – never mind the economic incentives abroad.

    i understand that your arguments are irrational because this is about making a nation. national socialism – yikes.

    joseph, adolf and benito are still dead.

    johnnyonline

    February 13, 2008 at 1:56 am

  10. It ain’t about Joe, Adolf and Ben, although your attempts to link everything I say to fascist thinkers is very cute (and a long tradition in Canada’s Anglo community, you know, the one that turned back the boats of Jewish immigrants fleeing Germany…)

    So no, It ain’t about Joe. It’s about John Adams.

    McGill = poor return on investment.
    UdeM = good return on investment.

    We’re not saying we want to stop McGill doctors from leaving. We just don’t want to pay for it anymore.

    Greed is good!

    angryfrenchguy

    February 13, 2008 at 1:00 pm

  11. AngryFrenchGuy: neither the Quebec Government nor Quebec francophones built McGill University; anglophones did.

    Anglos also built the Jewish General Hospital and several other institutions.

    The reason why the Quebec Government funds 50% of McGill’s operating budget is because Quebec law — passed mostly by francophones who comprise over 80% of the population — requires funding by the provincial government. That funding, in turn, is paid for by taxes coming from Quebec anglophones in a higher proportion than from francophones (as we’ve already discussed).

    Tell you what: since you are unhappy with the return on your investment in McGill, why not let anglophones fund McGill entirely by themselves without any funds or interference from the Quebec Government. Of course, that would mean that you would return to us our disproportionately higher taxes we pay for these institutions…

    Would that make you happy?

    Tony Kondaks

    February 14, 2008 at 1:15 am

  12. johnnyonline:

    Well, well said.

    When I worked at the National Assembly back in the early ’90s, I couldn’t believe that PQ MNAs would, with straight faces, talk about “the collectivity” and collective rights! There were people in Quebec that actually still believed in this concept…I hope that’s changed by now.

    Quebecers need to accept the predominance of individual rights over collective rights, just as their own Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms says. But hate laws/race laws such as Bill 101, unfortunately, say otherwise.

    Tony Kondaks

    February 14, 2008 at 1:19 am

  13. tony,

    when the catholic/jesuit tradition of philosphies started into decline being replaced with the secular schools of thought – quebec ended up with choosing marx. translations were readily available.

    as to when this will change – don’t hold your breath.

    cheers

    che is still dead! viva la revolución

    johnnyonline

    February 16, 2008 at 7:53 pm

  14. agf,

    “and a long tradition in Canada’s Anglo community, you know, the one that turned back the boats of Jewish immigrants fleeing Germany”

    not the brightest spot in history i admit.

    but, i guess this would explain why montreal was home to the world’s largest jewish community (yes bigger than new york) outside of tel aviv until the the 1980’s. does anyone remember the the hundreds of thousands of anglos who left back then? made unwelcome in their own homes.

    makes you think. maybe you might want to remind readers of what was occurring in france at that time. but the nice socialists were only doing there duty. hein.

    johnnyonline

    February 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

  15. Why, for the love of Karl, would you want me to speak for the French? I speak French. I am not French. Common, Canada! That’s not a hard concept to work with. You can do it! I know you can!

    angryfrenchguy

    February 17, 2008 at 12:52 am

  16. agf

    i have no love for karl marx or state planners. you were referring to that father of crimes-against-humanity guy, were you not?

    hundreds of thousands left quebec – come on you can talk about it – it’s only a footnote now in our glorious history of identity politics.

    if you can casually throw out information on demographic reports and alarming secrecy issues – i thought i could help enlighten your readership – that’s all. and surely, please reassure me that it’s merely a coincidence that the authour of this suppressed study has the same family name as the current leader of the péquiste party.

    i enjoy contributing in true civic fashion to open debate – so let me continue. if you’re really interested in reducing the number of immigrants – maybe you could pick up on the abortion law – ooops – i mean the lack of any law concerning abortion in canada. now there’s a future law that could save lives. can you believe that? maybe the regions would be facing less severe shortages in manpower if so much of the youth were not migrating to montreal. maybe the unemployment stats for immigrants would improve at the same time. maybe if immigrants could be comfortable about settling in regions outside montreal? maybe maybe maybe.

    you’ve got to be asking yourself right about now how many potential votes for your wonderful cause have been lost since the supreme court struck down the existing abortion law and nobody bothered to replace them.

    not interested in talking about france? perhaps you would like to say something on behalf of other national socialists right here – chez nous. maybe we could try the not recommended – but what the heck, let’s do it anyway – making of a new law telling people where they can live. oh boy, special travel papers with neat identification features.

    pol pot is still dead

    johnnyonline

    February 17, 2008 at 3:16 am

  17. Johnny, you sometimes bring interesting point to the debate.

    But please stop writing here when you’ve been drinking and reading the bible.

    angryfrenchguy

    February 17, 2008 at 12:51 pm

  18. oh no – you’re an aetheist too?

    georges let me state clearly that i respect your drive, convictions and tenacity. they are qualities that nobody can deny. on the other side of the coin – your methods and in particular, your political ideas leave something to be desired.

    a+

    johnnyonline

    February 18, 2008 at 2:19 am

  19. Wow, Johnny, I’m with you on a lot of stuff but back off of abortion rights.

    1) you’re not a woman (I assume, from the name johnny) and have long lost the right to tell women what to do with themselves
    2) if you’re against the state telling people how and where to live their lives, you can’t advocate forcing women to keep unwanted pregnancies for the glory of the nation, sorry.
    3) if any woman is against abortion, she is free not to have one, not to infringe on other women’s right to have one.

    The world would be a better place if abortions were mandatory for drug addicts and unfit mothers (not that I’m advocating a permit system or anything, but come on, a crack whore with 6 babies? please) rather than illegal or unprocurable.
    Since the Hyde Amendment made it illegal for Medicare to fund abortions for underprivileged women in the US, many unfit mothers have been ruining the lives of their undisired offspring. Also, requiring a parental permission for abortions for girls under 18? Come on, you’re too immature to have an abortion without mommy and daddy but you’re mature enough to be a mom yourself? it’s ridiculous.

    Canada should not follow in the steps of its socially challenged neighbor and enact laws against abortion, that would be taking a step backwards. Unrestricted access to abortion is an important step in gender equality.

    And PLEASE don’t bring the bible into this, it’s not the universal standard for morality, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and leave it at that.

    Allophone

    February 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  20. ally p,

    “long lost the right to tell women what to do with themselves”

    i am not telling anybody what to do. on the other hand, it seems you do not to have any problem in telling me what to do. no worries. i am perfectly content with the idea of people making their own beds and having to lay in them. and georges mentioned the bible – pas moi. the only thing identified as half right is my enjoyment of red wines. at the time, i did have a california cabernet sauvignon open from
    “liberty school”. i recommend it. and the syrah.

    i just assumed that the taking of life was generally agreed upon as unacceptable behaviour. it is facile to assume rights without obligations and in light of statistically higher rates of abortion in québec it seemed there was something of interest to point out. please don’t misunderstand me – i am very much an advocate of an individual’s right to make choices. that’s precisely why i comment on agf. it’s about the choices…. or sometimes, as in our society today, the lack of them.

    can you believe that guy charest? half his freakin’ cabinet is made up of women. and where is diane lemieux these days? why making comentary on marie-france bazzo’s neat debate show. always interesting. and guy nantel – the best. also recommended.

    yipeeee! the tryannical thug castro retired today. rest assured that after 49 years – it was not by choice.

    johnnyonline

    February 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm

  21. Johnny,

    I’m not so much telling you what to do as telling you what not to do. My problem with your statement was that you were advocating restricting individual rights for the collective good, something you otherwise seem staunchly opposed to.

    As for personal responsibility well… A fat person suing McDonald’s for making them fat, that’s crossing the line but saving yourself, your unborn child and perhaps even the unwitting father years of resentment and unhappiness due to an unintended mistake… that’s just being practical.
    I agree with you, that from a biological standpoint, an embryo is in fact “alive”. I recognize full well that abortion is tantamount to murder regardless of the pro-choicers’ attempts to dance around the issue. In most cases, murder is indeed unacceptable, but to force me to incubate an unwanted child and then to care for it for years is even more unacceptable to me. Especially when the father is not subjected to the same hardships. It’s the lesser of two evils in my opinion.
    You could argue that such a view is extremely selfish and I concede, but I already pay taxes, I will not be an incubator for the perceived good of society, and every woman should be free to make that choice.

    Allophone

    February 20, 2008 at 8:58 am

  22. ally p,

    it’s not my intention to skew the topic, but again…
    for the record:
    i advocate choice and come down on the side where responsibility for actions fall squarely on the shoulders of the actor. whether you want to be an incubator (odd choice of words) or not is none of my business. whether you want to speak french or english for me is the same.

    it is a difficult task indeed to balance the rights of the individual with the aims of society. mistakes get made. some things cannot be undone.

    i believe the language laws just happen to be one of them; not because it’s an issue of froggies vs. squareheads (i believe those days are mercifully behind us) , but because (whether you speak english or french) the limitations on choice are not what is best for society. it’s just an opinion.

    i should add that abortion as a means of birth control indicates irresponsibility when there are better alternatives both before and after conception. and to echo your words
    “every man woman and child should be free to make that choice”. again only an opinion.

    robert mugabe is alive and well in zimbabwe

    johnnyonline

    February 20, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  23. here you go:

    interactive statistics from the 2006 census

    http://www3.thestar.com/static/Flash/cp_census_immigration.html

    johnnyonline

    March 4, 2008 at 8:44 pm

  24. I havent read everything that’s been said, there’s too much. but there should be no more arguing between french and english, we’re all canadian and the real problem is immigrants. montreal doesn’t need any more immigrants. neither does the rest of Canada. the government says immigrants are brought in because of the low birth rate among canadians. but the biggest reason people are no longer having very many kids is because the cost of living is insane and the average canadian couple cant afford to have more than one or two children. on the other hand, immigrants breed like flies in their home countries, and when they come here are able to continue doing so because they all live together. at least thats the way it is here in B.C. The original neighbourhoods of average houses with average yards are being replaced with monstrous “pink palaces” with no yards whatsoever that large extended families of immigrants live in. so the obvious solution is to give benefits to those couples who do have more children. maternity leave should pay far better and day care should be paid for by the government. i beleive things like this are in effect in france right now?

    british columbian

    April 15, 2008 at 8:12 pm

  25. Well I would recommend keeping immigration high. Most immigrants will choose to go to Montreal. They value living near family and other community groups (mosques, temples, etc.) more than economics. This is true in Toronto as well. If the immigration rate is fairly high there will be nominal gains even if percentage gains are not there. This will give the impression of improvement.

    As long as the immigrants FEEL things are FINE then it is okay. As long as ENOUGH of them are doing fine it will be okay. Perception is more important than fact or reality.

    I wouldn’t worry about the riots in Paris or London happening here. Our countries are very different. If anything were to happen it will be in Toronto and Vancouver first since both of those cities are VISIBLE MAJORITY cities. I don’t see that happening. You don’t riot where you live and own property.

    Torontonian

    November 4, 2008 at 12:52 am

  26. “Justification for immigration .. to maintain the province’s demographic and economic weight in the confederation”…

    But IF QUEBEC WAS NOT in the confederation, but instead was independent then this would not matter. Staying in Canada means Quebec must have high levels of immigration to “maintain it’s demographic weight” – thus steadily diluting its French character and identity! This is a strong argument to secede.

    Andy

    February 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

  27. Sorry to tell you angryfrenchguy:

    I married to a Quebecoise pure laine after I immigrated to Quebec. I can assure you my kids are not seperatist.

    Well, my wife tried to convince me how good to have: Quebec (un pays)

    The more she tried to convinced me, the more we spent our time on bed. I love Separatist Discussion!!

    Viva la immigration!!!

    immigrant

    November 25, 2009 at 12:42 pm

  28. you are funny AngryFrenchGuy!
    Since you are so uneducated that you don’t even understand why Canada accepts immigrant. Why don’t you go protest with your all your friends and I encourage you to do so!!! Still it doesn’t change anything!!

    Oh! I give you an idea! How about bring only speaking French people. How about to bring one country of immigrant only like only Haitien people or Algerien people only

    oh!!! you don’t like visible minority?? how about Russian people only!!

    I would laugh if it happens.

    Oh! how about not to bring any of them!! Then I would laugh louder and for sure I am the one that will emigrate out of Canada cos the economy collapse.

    The government don’t like immigrant but they have to bring them.

    AngryFrenchGuy you are smart. Give them some idea!! Oh! I see you are really really smart!! Do you go to school?? If you do, you haven’t written the title.

    You are patriotic and I respect you.
    But the way you think is so dumb.

    Yeah! Immigrant steal job! so what!!!

    If you are good don’t let them come!! OH!! your governement cannot do that!! :( If not there is no taxpayer to support the elder people. If not there is not enough people to fill vacant position!

    immigrant

    December 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  29. I am immigrant myself and reading trough your post i can recall all the anger and hatred I endured during my 12 years in Montreal. I was young, single and naive at that time, trying always to return it on myself, no you have to fit in , they are not racist , accept accept accept .
    I am fed up of you nationalist Quebecers! Canada is my home. I used to be naive believing that Quebec was victim of the nasty Anglo! I was so full of hope that Quebec will stand up one day to be a real country. There is no hope! You’re ADN is racist!
    Oh yea! i am French !

    Alain

    April 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

  30. Regarding the immigration, all countries with low population such as Australia, Canada,etc. which have a large pool of resources thus need labour for their projects. Thus, immigration is inevitable.

    About McGill, Thanks to the Quebec government, McGill lost a big portion of its financial aid, which got diverted to Univ de Montreal. I am a PhD student at McGill and every other day, I get an email stating the bad financial situation McGill is under and the things they’re doing to save money. They’ve increased the graduate student fee now. The funding for graduate students also had got affected. I hear McGill is facing one of its worst financial crunch. I think McGill can no longer compete to attract quality international students. The funding which we get here is just about 14000 $ per year( in which we are to survive and also bear the cost of travel to our home once a year which take 2000$ off it) which is much less compared to what graduate students get in US or rest of the good universities in Europe. I guess grad students in Concordia and Univ de Montreal get more stipend that what we do. We are really struggling to survive with low pay and lot of academic and research pressure (the research which we do benefits companies in Quebec as well). We could afford a bus trip to Ottawa as it was a Chinese tourist company which made our tour possible for 20$. I am trying to learn french (my research schedule keeps me really busy, which makes my learning french much slower). We do not find any part-time jobs as all of them need good knowledge of spoken and written french (graduate students of other universities in US and Canada do not usually need to do part-time jobs). We are the most low income level guys here in Quebec. We do not have a proper medical insurance plan, we cannot waste money on eating our meals out, we cannot afford the luxury of spending money on clothes (I have been here for 10 months now and have not bought one piece of clothing except for the winter coat which helped me survive through the never ending long gruesome winter). I see McGill is dying a slow death thanks to it being an English University in a French majority state. I really doubt if McGill can maintain its standards in the coming decade. It is already begging for money from its successful alumni, industry contacts, etc. to fund itself. Well, I guess the Quebecers are happy now that they no longer spend the small amount of funding they did to McGill. Montreal has also been apathetic to us. We do not have a social life (nobody in the university is interested to talk to non-Canadian students (they have their own comfort zone groups and are happy with them, nobody wants to mingle or make friends), the common people in Montreal treat us like a piece of shit, and thanks to whatever minimum money we get to survive we cannot go out on weekends as most of the bars/pubs/clubs are expensive). All grand visions of what I had of Montreal have washed away in one year. The people speak of the good nightlife here but we rarely experienced it. Most of the graduate students at McGill are really economically stressed. Except the French speakers, most of them want to leave Montreal as soon as they finish their research. They’re just hanging on with hopes of better future elsewhere in the world. And if you’ve read of the wonderful fancy parties students have at McGill, it’s all a myth or probably stories of undergraduate students who are residents of Quebec. Research at McGill in engineering is surely suffering, though I cannot say about medical research.
    I no longer have hopes things can improve for McGill. I like many other students am just living my life (that sucks) waiting to complete my degree.

    surendra kesari

    June 25, 2011 at 12:18 am


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