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.