A guy named ‘Guy’

Did you hear this story yesterday about the Nova Scotia immigrant? I think it was picked up on the national broadcast – but I am not sure about that.

Anyway, this Israeli immigrant to Nova Scotia is called Guy and the last name Shaham.

So Guy sends out his resume to a couple of dozen jobs and doesn’t get one call back. So he changes his name on the resume to ‘Graham’ and gets a half dozen calls back.

Now, Guy may be exaggerating or the media or whatever but there is a lesson to be learned here.

Politicians may want immigration.

The public may want immigration.

But there may be some education required among our employers because if you have to be named ‘Graham’ that will considerably restrict the size of your potential workforce.


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0 Responses to A guy named ‘Guy’

  1. scott says:

    It’s too bad Shawn Graham’s first name is not Guy, it would help him get a few calls back from key liberals who are trying to push him out.

  2. Mike says:

    I guess that brings me to the question what do YOU think about the recent push from the Government to aggressively increase immigration by a large amount.

    What does that do for us as well as people here already who have difficulty finding Jobs who now are faced with the prospect of saturated job market?

  3. David Campbell says:

    A wise person once said to me that we don’t need immigrants to drive taxis in Moncton because we already have Memramcookers doing that.

    The lesson here is that immigration must be tied to economic development. Just bringing in 500 or 1,000 persons with no economic development strategy will have potentially bad social outcomes. For example, some, certainly not all, of our immigrants have been forced on welfare because there is no work. Others (something like 60%) leave and find work in Toronto. Still more may find jobs but maybe at the expense of someone needing a job already here. Without a coordinated economic development strategy – immigration will be a waste of time.

  4. vivenewbrunswick says:

    I’m not sure if this is the blog where I posted this, but I’ll mention it again, that the feds are putting millions into bringing africans to rural areas of New Brunswick.

    The one family they have so far is a forestry student, and as noted, he’ll either get the job that would go to a maritimer or go out west, where they claim to be having a labour shortage.

    Bringing visible minorities to an disenfranchised economy is a recipe for disaster. Read canadian history and you will note that canadians are as racist as the next fellow. I’m currently reading a book called “Regulating Class Privilege:Immigrant Servants in Canada, 1940-1990”. One of the big issues was that ten years after the war Canada couldn’t get europeans over here because the economy was doing better. However, the idea of bringing african and west indian servants in was very unpopular as canadians were very averse to seeing immigrants here, and black ones especially. Polls at the time showed that fully half of canadians felt that ALL immigration of jews should be cut off, which characterizes why the country refused to let in any jews during world war two.

    So there is really two issues there, one of racism, and one of immigration. They aren’t the same thing, but are obviously tied together.

    I suppose the other issue would be that in a small economy, this is a perfect example that there is no such thing as a ‘level playing field’ if people are being interviewed based on their last name. I’m not surprised, where I grew up if you didn’t have one of two last names, you never had a prayer of getting a municipal job.

  5. scott says:


    You said:

    Bringing visible minorities to an disenfranchised economy is a recipe for disaster.

    You are correct in stating that visible minorities who land in NB and the maritimes through immigration eventually leave for greener pastures.(Mostly due to the lack of quality employment here in NB)

    I don’t believe that this is the primary reason that we don’t attracked more immigrants who are of visible minority status.

    Go to any major city in Ontario, Quebec, BC or Alberta and the first thing that you will notice is that many “gilded ghettos” are popping up in large numbers in many of the designated communities I mentioned above.

    For instance, in the Chinese “gilded ghetto” near the area where I used to live in Ottawa(Nepean to be exact), there were many locally owned laundrimats, restaurants, taxi services and Chinese owned businesses where immigrants could work right away when they entered Canada. They knew this before they even set foot on Canadian soil.

    The problem with NB and the maritimes is that visible minorities do not have a presence or any services run by their own people. They, in turn, begin to feel isolated and uncomfortable here in NB, as well they are usually reliant on government welfare to survive their initial move. This is largely due to the sparse presence of a support system (i.e. gilded ghettos)in the maritimes provinces.

    This is why many people like Guy Shaham have to change their last name to Graham in order to find quality employment.

    Eventually, you will find that individuals like Guy will leave mainly because they don’t feel welcome.

    This is something that definitely needs to be addressed if we are to have more diversity and immigration here in NB in the future.

  6. Loula la nomade says:

    Good Day David,

    So Guy had to change his name to Graham. Is it because Guy is too exotic?
    Ok, for a strategy, but let us not forget the other components of a successful integration.
    Immigrants want to work, but they also need help when it comes to Second Language Training or Enhanced Language Training,
    Cross Cultural Communication Skills,
    Good connections
    They need help to build their lost Social Capital left in the country of origin. Immigrants do not need to be with people from their own background because that could “une lame à double tranchant” preventing them for knowing long established community members or to put it simply locals.
    But Locals have to understand all this. Subject is fascinating and this only the beginning.
    As an Immigrant I also have to say that we want to be perceived as citizens who can enrich (and want to do so) the social fabric of the Maritimes not by only producing children (it is a misconception widely spread that we immigrant women have more babies than locals).
    Immigration is not a band aid it is a long commitement and a society project, the economical factor must be present but jobs do not mean integration, so we need the human factor. People need to feel welcomed and each municipality has a role to play, each business, each school (Good Welcoming Communities is the strategy). It is the role of each and everyone to welcome immigrants.
    When immigrants meet locals, they learn, they feel at ease as long as they are not perceived as some exotic specimen.
    Long subject, could talk about it for months and years.