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Thank you for your cogent piece on immigration. We do pay lip service to Ivany, though the immigration file is one that at least the government is working on. They work on tourism, too, but the numbers never change much, partly because they do not put much money into tourism, and you must invest to reap the benefits. (The tourism budget for Toronto alone is 20 millions). I’ve been in an around tourism for years. Doubling it by 2024 is doable but it would need a huge effort.
On the immigration file: All of the immigration workers are in Halifax. We are well organized in Cape Breton, but there is something wrong with a system that expects people traveling in the dark to find their way. We need people on the ground here, too.
maps | March 15, 2016 | Reply
In his column of March 12, Bill Black argued for the importance of population growth in Nova Scotia and speculated where that growth might come from. He mentioned that in addition to immigrants “we should also examine ways to make it easy for Nova Scotians who have moved to other parts of Canada to return.”
I strongly agree with this position. I myself am a Nova Scotian who left 22 years ago, and has since lived in Ontario, the UK, and Australia, but who has just returned with my wife and 2-year-old son. I was able to return and continue the career I have developed because my job can be done from anywhere that has a phone signal and an internet connection.
Many IT companies are increasingly comfortable with remote workers for certain roles. Many Nova Scotians left for jobs like these but may now be in positions where they can do those jobs from here. Raising awareness of this possibility might result in more folks like me returning to live, pay taxes, and raise children.
maps | March 13, 2016 | Reply
Bill B’s article and the comment by the other “Bill” are both well founded.
We have a federal government, primarily PM Trudeau, which is founded on, and guided by concepts. A “simplistic” concept that is established and measured based solely on a number and a date is more likely to contribute to failure than success. My sense is that the government never had a plan beyond getting the people here, and even there they struggled. God only knows how many short cuts were taken to meet the concept.
The federal government had the “easy” task– transport the people here, however as Bill B identifies there is still significant work to be undertaken to make this successful. The Federal Government is now ready to abandon these people, and the communities involved, and get on the their next easy task— transport more.
A simple, narrowly defined concept might be useful for government propaganda purposes but we are talking about the lives of new and established Canadians. The federal Government is the only organization in Canada that has the resources to bring about a successful integration of these people into Canadian society. The Province of NS is, and really all the provinces are, struggling to cope with their current responsibilities. I think it is time the Feds came up with another concept—- establish programs that help the communities grow and which facilitate the integration of immigrants into Canadian society. However that might be beyond their capabilities. Besides there are not many photo ops in that kind of a program.
maps | March 12, 2016 | Reply
Declining population is a symptom of the problem, not the root issue.
The real problem is a lack of economic activity which in turn leads to less taxable workers to support the pyramid scheme of social entitlements.
Bringing in X thousands of people who are unable to find meaningful employment or more importantly create economic opportunities to retain people and ideally grow the economy will only make a bad situation worse. There will be more people drawing on social programs we already cannot afford.
We need to grow the economy. We need to become economically competitive first within Canada and then NA and then within the Global economy.
Once we have jobs the population problem will be taken care of… Like Alberta people would come here for work.
How do we do that? Certainly not with the failed government strategies of the past 60 years. It is time to try something new. How about VC funds for local entrepreneurs? How about cutting tax rates to lure businesses from the USA and the rest of Canada (ie tax inversions)? How about stream lining any number of silly laws that are impediments to opening a business? How about courses in high school on useful things like government finances (ie tax payers fund the government so stop looking on it as “free stuff”) and opening a business?
I tend to sympathize with the intended immigrants who are fleeing economic and/or physical threats.
But I do not think we as, a nation, understand their mindset.
They are fleeing their culture,families,and heritage to not only escape, but to better their lot in life.
We must ask ourselves–why would they want to settle in NS? Would you as an individual given a choice and in their factual situation choose NS.?
These are people,who out of desperation are abandoning their homeland to seek a better life for their children.
Do you not think that they would choose to reestablish themselves in an area that offers the most opportunity for work, education and health services?
When we are not even able to provide for our own youth–why do we expect to be first choice for those who have no ties whatsoever to the Maritimes?
To expect them to welcome the chance to gut fish or shell lobsters is to expect them to be grateful for the opportunity to perform slave labor.
If we are to expect them to settle in NS we must offer jobs commensurate with their abilities, skills and education.
These are people who have sacrificed all to move to Canada–a further move to places within Canada where there are better opportunities will require little thought.
To put it in perspective from my fortunate position in life— it is like asking me if I would prefer to winter in Florida or Frobisher Bay?
These immigrants are “survivors” and care little for our population problems (most of which are self induced)
maps | March 11, 2016 | Reply
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