How do we get them to come, these precious immigrants, these people over whom virtually the whole developed world is fighting? I am deeply sceptical that we can bring in the immigrants we need through compulsion or crude incentives; rather the key is to create a climate of opportunity that is attractive to immigrants. I cannot underline strongly enough that what I am describing is not an immigration policy. It is a prosperity policy. Doing what is right for Nova Scotians will also be the right thing for attracting immigrants, including a reduced tax burden, a culture of education, a lightening of the regulatory burden, including on newcomers’ access to many regulated professions — all these would be powerful recruitment tools. Attracting highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs from elsewhere will also both help to fill skills gaps while generating economic activity that can help employ less-skilled workers currently unemployed or underemployed in the less-developed provinces like Nova Scotia.
To read the full text of his call to action on immigration in the region, click here.