Moving is believing!
For Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, one particular childhood endures. It was the arrival of a Syrian immigrant to his rural town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
While most people in the town were sympathetic and welcomed the Syrian refugee, some held reservations. One xenophobe actually went to the Syrian to complain he had taken his job.
“That was the first person he hired” when the chocolate business he set up in the town started booming, Fraser recalled to reporters at the Collision 2023 technology conference that was held from June 26 to 29 at Toronto’s Enecare Center.
“We need to do a better job of recognizing that refugees who come to Canada come with a whole lot more than what they’re carrying with them. These are talented people.”
Canada to create a pathway for 400,000 H-1B visa holders in U.S.
Similar benefits have been realized by welcoming talented tech professionals from Ukraine and other jurisdictions facing conflict, Fraser said. Canada is also taking steps to attract more technology talents in the belief that companies will relocate to places they’re assured of the existence of a large pool of talent. One aspect of it is the plan, announced recently, to create a pathway for U.S. holders of the H1B visa working in the technology industry to move to Canada.
“There are approximately 400,000 H-1B visa holders in the United States, and we want to make sure that we create an opportunity for a number that we can more appropriately manage to test out this new idea,” Fraser said. “So we’re setting a cap on that new stream for H-1B visa holders at 10,000. And that program is going to launch officially on the 16th of July.”
Fraser insists that Canada can afford to take in even more people with anecdotes that illustrate the long term positive of impact immigration despite short-term misgivings.
While many developed countries have dithered about what to do with immigration, Canada has sought to remain clearheaded, articulating a vision of immigration as a means of replenishing its workforce and injecting new growth in its population.
Collision generates $188m for Toronto
Events like Collision act as a catalyst for Canadian business immigration, bringing along innovation and new ideas from diverse sources.
At this year’s event, there were exhibitors from, at least, 76 countries from across 30 industries, with more than 130 startups in attendance, said Paddy Cosgrave, the chief executive officer of Web Summit, the conference organizer.
Over the past three years of the event, Toronto has received economic benefits worth more than CAD188 million in hotel bills, taxis and dining, he said.
The impression conveyed by the government through its representative, Minister Fraser, is that Canada is aware of these benefits and will do more to further them.