PEI study says lack of jobs drives immigrants away

Hey, read this blog a little more, could’ve saved ya a few research bucks. The main reason immigrants don’t come to or stay in Atlantic Canada is that there is limited economic opportunity for them. It’s not the lack of ‘community’, or the ‘social networks’ or the ‘integration’ or the culture or the 99 things that non economic developers think when they look at this issue.

I am a little annoyed because I have been to four ‘immigration’ discussions in the past few years and the issue of employment is hardly raised. Lots of talk about cultural sensitivity, though.

Why don’t you go and ask the seven or so immigrants that are actually here (I have two in my office). The job is the base – the primary reason – the rest is important but not as critical.

Get our economy humming and in-migrants and immigrants will come. We will still have to go out and get them in a proactive way – but they will come.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not discounting our xenophobic tendancies, I know they exist. From the report:

According to the study, many immigrant found Islanders to be friendly but in a superficial way and they did feel as though they were treated as outsiders.

Baldacchino said one immigrant told him that she changed her name on her work tag to fit in better. “She put on an island name and that seemed to make a big difference because people started relating to her as if she were an islander.”

Don’t laugh. This is the second time I have heard this. An immigrant on CBC with a last name like Al Maoudi or something sent out something like 300 resumes in Atlantic Canada and didn’t get a call back. His friend casually told him to resent as someone like Bob Smith – he got 30 call backs.

But to repeat:
-Economic growth is needed first – if you build it they will come and some such rot.

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0 Responses to PEI study says lack of jobs drives immigrants away

  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind that New Brunswickers are not Islanders. Islanders have ALWAYS felt that way about people who are from ‘away’, heck, reread Anne of Green Gables sometime.

    There is no doubt that as an immigrant you’d be crazy to want to come to a place with no jobs, heck, they could stay home for that. The government has the idea that if they get enough immigrants, maybe rich immigrants, that it will spur the economy. So far few takers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    DEAR ANONYMOUS AND DEAR DEVID
    I agree when you say that “you’d be crazy to want to come to a place with no jobs…”, but sometimes you have no choice.
    I am an immigrant myself! Moved here 5 years ago because this is my husband’s hometown and guess what? My diploma is not recognize, I also changed my name (adopted my husbands name to “it in better”). I lost count of how many job applications I filled and how many job interviews I’ve attended and I am still working at the coffee shop down the road… even with an “excellent resume” (this is what they tell me) and more than 10 years of experience working for my country’s government…go figure!
    I get really upset everytime I hear “them” talking about the “immigration plan”! They should get us – immigrants – together and check our needs, our expectations, our experience and start doing something about it before the “plan”.
    I think I better stop talking now…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not to be unkind, but New Brunswick is a SMALL province with a SMALL government. To not put too fine a point on it, when government jobs (and with a diploma and work in a former government I assume that is the kind of work that is referred to) are opened to the public, there are usually HUNDREDS, if not thousands of applicants because government jobs are most sought after-their among the few ‘livable wage’ jobs in the province.

    To give you a clue, when a government job opens, the FIRST thing you do is go to your MP. Ask them questions, etc. Most importantly, they want your vote so they will most likely make sure your resume gets on the ‘right pile’. Keep in mind that your MP is only one of dozens of others, and if they are not tory, then its already an uphill battle.

    I know MANY who have gone abroad, but grew up here, and have ‘excellent resume’s’ only to find they still can’t get a foot in the door. Why? Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but if you don’t KNOW the right people, you’re out of luck. I can add that the province is so small that this generally applies to the private sector as well.

    The best advice I can give is get POLITICALLY active. In much government work, jobs go to supporters and friends of higher ups, its not pretty, but its as close to reality as I’ve ever seen. Growing up in a small town was much the same thing, if you had the right last name, you got first dibs on government jobs.

    The smarter people get involved in politics, but even that is no guarantee, as it depends which way the wind is blowing. Unfortunately it involves taking a risk, but fortunately its a 50-50 one. At this point I’d suggest joining the liberal party and start attending meetings of your local riding. Of course don’t show up just saying ‘I’m here looking for a job’-that’s in bad taste.

    Whatever your experience is, try combining it with volunteer work in that sector here. Quite simply, if you don’t have the ‘connections’ you are going nowhere. It’s hard enough in such a poor province to even get anywhere WITH connections. Think of it this way, you’d do favours for people who do them for you-help somebody who is in the position of hiring, and you can expect the same in return.

    Again, it’s not ‘pretty’ and it’s not good business, but it’s reality. The other thing I’d suggest is starting a lobby group. If your diploma is not recognized, especially if its in a ‘necessary service’ but even if its not, then make a lobby out of it. Do up a website, make it a ’cause’. Do a press release and send it to the papers, radio stations, and television, and of course the CBC.

    It may be a question as to whether it isn’t recognized or you simply aren’t getting the jobs. But if its not recognized by going ‘public’ you can affect public policy, you can be the spokesperson for your cause, which gets your name out there, and increases your chances at the next job interview.

    That too is a double edged sword, because with such high unemployment if you are just looking for work as a bureaucrat, more New Brunswickers would be upset than there are people who support you, because they (perhaps even rightly) feel they should be up for the job first. If its in the health field, then that’s a big issue as they are usually looking for people, that gives an edge. However, the grim reality in this province is that chances are good a majority of coffee/beer/pizza servers one finds in the province have excellent resume’s.

    So, again, your chances are increased the more politically active you are.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anonymous…
    You know NOTHING about us (immigrants) do you?! First of all, take up to 4 to 5 years to get our cittizenship certificate and, without one, we CANNOT VOTE!! Well, if you CANNOT VOTE, why botter getting involved with politicians?
    Second, I didn’t say I would like to work for your government…just because I am realistic: being a landed immigrant put me at the very end of any list, specially government ones so, I wouldn’t have a chance anyways.
    I am talking about the private sector, the companies around the Greater Moncton Area…if you think about the labour force here you would say that it is a joke!! Shifts, shifts, shifts, all over the place! If you have a family, kids and verything else that comes with, how can you get a job working differents shifts every 2 days, every week, even every month? It is just insane! And, still, this is the kind of companies your province is attracting…people jump from call center to call center or from ratail to retail, trying to get better hours, better benefits, better pays. It is an illusion to think that the money you make in a call center is good…the cost of living here is pretty high!
    Having my diploma not recognize put me in the same level as hundreds if not thousands of New Brunswickers with no post-secondary education and it is not a good place to be I tell you! Having two choices (call center or retail jobs) is not the best perspective your future can have.
    So…would you like me to start lobbying about it? I still need a job so can pay a way out of here for my kids, what makes me really upset because I love this place; safe, friendly and beautiful.
    So…before they start talking about bringing immigrants here to fill the gap between the aging population and the next generations, let them know that bringing a few computer nerds trough the provincial nominee program and a few doctors won’t help at all. Bring in the jobs first and maybe we won’t have to choose between here and the big centers.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was just trying to be helpful, I wasn’t aware you weren’t a citizen and couldn’t vote and that you were talking about the private sector. That information wasn’t given so the advice was general. Again, just trying to be helpful, I wasn’t aware you just wanted to vent.