One in six male immigrants leaves Canada for better opportunities elsewhere within the first year of arrival, and those most likely to emigrate are the cream of the crop: businessmen and skilled workers.
Those findings are part of a Statistics Canada report released yesterday, the first national study to get a firm handle on the extent of out-migration and "brain drain" among the country's new arrivals. Anecdotal evidence for several years has suggested immigrants are leaving in droves because they can't land suitable jobs in Canada.
Experts say the findings highlight the need for an integrated approach that focuses not only on selecting the right immigrants but also on keeping them by matching them with suitable opportunities.
"The people who are leaving the country are true migrants. They move by choice for pure economic reasons," said Jean Lock Kunz, associate project director of Policy Research Initiative, an Ottawa-based think-tank.
"In our global economy, there is a greater movement of people and businesses. We are going to see more and more people moving in and out. Every country will be competing for skilled workers. The key to keep them here is to match them up with the needs of the labour market, so they have a reason to stay."
The word is getting around about Canada's cruel bait-and-switch technique to attract immigrants: promise them jobs and an open market on arrival, then ensnare them in red tape when they get here.
Entrepreneurs aren't going to want the hassle of dealing with suspicious banks and suppliers. Professionals aren't interested in driving cabs and cleaning hotel rooms while their supposedly desirable skills go unused for lack of "proper qualification" or "Canadian experience".
It's time to be honest about our immigration objectives. If we want guest workers to do the scut work native-born Canadians consider themselves above, then let's make that clear up front. If we want people to contribute professional skills and entrepreneurship, let's get their credentials recognized and cut the red tape.
Our immigration policy should not be a feel-good measure to congratulate ourselves on our tolerance and diversity on the backs on resentful and frustrated immigrants.
Source: Toronto Star