I whipped up this presentation last night. It contains a few stats and comments about immigration and New Brunswick.
Download a PDF version here.
Succinct overview of a growing problem. But the fact remains that immigrants make their location decisions based on economic and education opportunities. New Brunswick has fared less well than Nova Scotia in this regard and only PEI trails NB in attracting fewer immigrants primarily because economic opportunities are far greater in traditional locations (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver) than they are here. The answer is greater — intense — competition within NB but in some ways we are moving in the opposite direction.
Good presentation. Just a couple of comments:
– it’s one thing to say we need immigration, quite another to describe how this is to be done. I have long argued NB needs to take charge of its own immigration. Millions of people would find NB to be a paradise, but are facing policies geared to Ontario and BC, not the needs of NB.
– I agree that we can’t gloss over structural workforce challenges, as indicated by the stats pointing to the frequent use of EI, but I don’t think we can link it to the immigration discussion in quite the way suggested in the presentation. Remove the immigration, and NB still has structural workforce challenges, perhaps even worse than we have with it. So it’s not a case of “immigration vs local workforce needs” but rather “immigration *and* local workforce needs”.
I agree with that last point ‘immigration and ‘local workforce needs’. I just get a little worried – a visceral reaction – when employers tell me they are hiring immigrants because they work harder, don’t complain and appreciate the job.
To David, that’s almost a given. I was just reading about the Saskatchewan Labour Law of 1923, which said that japanese employers are not allowed to hire white women. Other companies complained that it was ‘unfair competetition’ because they found that ‘orientals’ tended to work much harder, and women who worked for them did as well. They wanted to force them to hire ‘white’ men only, which were in short supply.
It DOES come down to ‘salesmanship’, and what disturbs me more than anything is the lack of ANY conversation with immigrants IN the province. I’ve looked up various organizations and most of them have NO political standing. Apart from once a year having a festival, there is almost NO media coverage of immigration issues. And its a global world, before YOU”D move somewhere I”m sure you’d do some research.
I’d almost compare it to cycling, where a canadian now living in europe was saying that “north america promotes cycling like they promote smoking”. I’d say the same about immigration. The only stories you hear are BAD stories.
NB already has the educational infrastructure. As for economy, that’s a tough subject, but I will tell you that Waterloo is about the LAST ‘free standing’ economy left in southern ontario-where people actually come looking for tech jobs. And most of my customers are chinese mothers who live here with their kids who see their fathers only once a year when he comes over for vacation. So if you think its tough for those ‘western widows’, think about that. They moved here because, well, its NOT China, but they enjoy the best of both worlds. Many have said they’d move here permanently, but places like Taiwan actually have pension programs too. If you come late in life, you can’t get a decent Canadian pension, so you HAVE to retire in Taiwan. Many of these people have businesses in Taiwan, but have houses where their kids live while going to college, and use it as an investment vehicle.
Excellent discussion – I wanted to support Stephen’s points – and perhaps suggest we might want to look at a ‘regional’ or Atlantic coordinated approach.
On the linking of the structural EI problem and ‘immigration’ – I’d suggest that simply addressing the structural workforce problem won’t solve the ‘growth’ problem. There will be no growth or development of a sustainable economy without immigration and an influx of people.
Regional or Atlantic coordinated approach to immigration – to clarify
I see New Brunswick repatrioting with england again in the distant future.Heck maybe even starting up a new currency too.I hear we once had pound currency maybe we could start that up again..
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