Study says immigrants vital to Canada's growth

A study released by the Conference Board of Canada this week has found that immigration is vital to Canada. The 60-page report was just released and is expected to inform both the Canadian government and Canadian businesses on the value of immigration.

The Conference Board of Canada is a not-for-profit independent research organization that releases studies and reports on many topics that affect Canada and Canadians

“Immigrants are by definition seekers of a better way – the very embodiment of innovation,” says the report, “at every level of analysis, immigrants are shown to have an impact on innovation performance that is benefiting Canada.”

The report aims to emphasize the innovativeness of immigrants when it comes to starting new businesses is Canada. Canada has just fallen from ninth to tenth place in the 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness report, behind the United States, which sits fourth, and behind the top three countries: Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore. In Canada today, it also takes longer to start up a business and with more hassle than in previous year.

In 2006, 251,511 immigrants were welcomed to Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently announced it would be welcoming between 240,000 and 265,000 immigrants for 2011. However, the Conference Board of Canada study says that about 375,000 new immigrants are needed on an annual basis to secure economic growth and keep our workforce stable.

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development has found in a separate study that immigrant innovation helps Canada patent new ideas: in one case, 50 per cent of the staff of Xerox Canada are immigrants and the company attributes its ability to create 130 patentable ideas per year to its diverse staff, while the majority of the management team of Steam Whistle Brewing, based in Toronto, are immigrants. The company credits them with bringing new techniques, fresh perspectives and an understanding of a diverse marketplace to the company thanks to their foreign upbringing.

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Tags: conference board of canada Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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