In this submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley points out that Atlantic Canadians in general, and Nova Scotians in particular, used to thinking of their region as a source of immigrants for other societies, have given far too little thought to the value of attracting others to come here. This is a short-sighted approach considering the benefits that immigrants confer on the societies they choose. In this century we have attracted far too few immigrants and our social, economic and cultural development has been held back as a result.
The key is to create a climate of opportunity that is attractive to immigrants. Many policies that would be good for the region in any case, including a reduced tax burden, a culture of education, a lightening of the regulatory burden, including on newcomers’ access to many regulated professions, would all 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 of Canada.