“Canadian Business Wouldn’t Survive Without Immigrants”

Our current system—makes no sense and harms growth companies. So how do we help ? 


It is a tough problem, because the twin forces of automation and globalization are only escalating and the industrial capacity killed off by the petroloonie is not coming back, even with the recent fall in oil prices. The short answer must lie, in part, in the growth of local companies—particularly startups—to create economic growth and jobs at all skill-levels. This is where we run into another problem…A necessary condition for a healthy ecosystem of startups and growth companies is a large and growing pool of young talent. But demographic change is working in the other direction. From 2001 to 2014, the population of people 40 or older increased by 47,276. And those under 40? It decreased by 2,454.  This is an issue across Canada.


The problem, which the federal government denies, lies in the significance given to a certificate called the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). It is issued by Ottawa to ensure a candidate’s skills are sufficiently in demand to warrant hiring an immigrant. Ottawa says applicants for Express Entry, such as international graduates, do not need an LMIA to qualify. But Express Entry acceptance is based on a point system and it’s not possible to earn enough points without an LMIA, immigration experts say. “The new system is flawed,” Experts say  “We want people who went to school and have work experience in Canada. These people are already fully integrated. And now we are ignoring them. It is just bizarre.”


The Country is desperate for economic growth from startups. Startups are desperate for talented workers. These workers are desperate to stay in Canada. Yet we are kicking them out. It makes absolutely no sense. If the federal government truly wants to help, the place to start is to recognize the regions need talented young people and to reform the Express Entry system to allow us to keep more of our graduates.



Photo credit: Huffington Post Canada  




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