Immigration Welcoming Communities Tourism

January 2015 Month Theme: Immigration, Welcoming Communities, Tourism

Immigration and Retention, Welcoming Communities, and Tourism

Nova Scotia hovers on the brink of serious economic and population decline unless new growth emerges.

The periods in our history when the economy grew significantly corresponded to waves of new immigrants who injected new life into communities and local economies, started businesses, improved productivity, and sparked innovations that lead to new and better jobs. Tourism and post-secondary institutions are seen as important entry points.

“Cape Bretoners and Nova Scotians are innovators. We can create for ourselves the work opportunities we need to stay here, attract others and have a quality of life that is the envy of others,” said Joella Foulds, Coalition member and Executive Director of Celtic Colours of her work on retention and interprovincial immigration. “The world has changed, and there are tremendous examples of people already doing it. But more of us have to think differently about work and come together to create the right attitudes and conditions to turn our potential into reality.”

Today, Nova Scotia is home to more than 100 cultures and ethnicities from all over the globe. Two thirds (66%) of the more than 2,500 people that immigrated to Nova Scotia in 2013 were economic immigrants and family members. The average age of immigrants landing in Nova Scotia between 2008 and 2012 was 30, and the majority of immigrants experience success here.

In an average year (1972-2012), Canada increased international immigration at a rate 3.3 times greater than Nova Scotia. If we had achieved the same growth rate:

The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy called for the province to each year:

  • Gain 1,000 working age people through interprovincial migration
  • Receive its proportionate share of all new immigrants to Canada – about 7,000
  • Have 10% of foreign student graduates choose Nova Scotia as their home

Nova Scotia’s new Demand: Express Entry stream gives the Province an additional 350 immigration nominations, bringing our total number of nominations in 2015 to 1,050, up from 700 in 2014. That figure only partially reflect the total number of people able to move to Nova Scotia. For every nominee, their families, spouses and children are also included. In 2013, for example, Nova Scotia had 600 nominations, which resulted in 2,552 people immigrating to the province.

Meet A Few Proud Nova Scotians

Dr. Abdullah Kirumira

Dr. Abdullah Kirumira – scientist, inventor and entrepreneur-has been described as “the pioneer of Nova Scotia’s biotechnology sector.” Dr. Kirumira was born in Uganda, and as a child, dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Marty Janowitz

Marty took his impressive record to the environmental/engineering consulting firm Jacques Whitford as National Operations Manager for their new environment division, leading the firm’s evolution as a leader in sustainable practices. When Stantec acquired Jacques Whitford, he became Vice-President of Sustainability. Energetic Marty volunteered as president of Nova Scotia Nature Trust and GPI Atlantic, and chair of Authentic Leadership in Action and the Nova Scotia Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity. “I’m focused on how change occurs.”

Dr. Anil Makkar

Although Dr. Anil Makkar, and, by coincidence his wife to be, Neeraj, both arrived in Canada from New Delhi, India 42 years ago, they have not forgotten how their new life here began.

Joey Nasrallah

Joey Nasrallah is a man of strong beliefs and an unwavering conviction that Canada truly is a land of opportunity.

Nina Maric

Leaving your neighbourhood and school is challenging for a young person, let alone moving to another continent, but that’s what happened to Nina Maric at 12 when she and her family left their small town in then-dangerous Bosnia for Canada.

Pierre Lebreton

Nova Scotia means a lot to Pierre Lebreton. It’s where he met his wife and where he works at a job that he loves. And it’s where, with help from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, he became a permanent resident of Canada.

Fady Nashat

Fady Nashat is proud to call Nova Scotia home. With help from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, Nashat became a permanent resident of Canada in 2009.

One Nova Scotia Coalition — Immigration, Home Grown Successes Focus at Cape Breton Meeting

The One Nova Scotia Coalition travels to Membertou on Jan. 13, 2015 to focus on Immigration and Retention, Welcoming Communities, and Tourism. The Coalition will meet with local leaders in a variety of sectors and hear from Cape Breton-grown programs that are helping to address Nova Scotia’s demographic and economic issues.

“Cape Bretoners and Nova Scotians are innovators. We can create for ourselves the work opportunities we need to stay here, attract others and have a quality of life that is the envy of others,” said Joella Foulds, Coalition member and Executive Director of Celtic Colours of her work on retention and interprovincial immigration. “The world has changed, and there are tremendous examples of people already doing it. But more of us have to think differently about work and come together to create the right attitudes and conditions to turn our potential into reality.”

Nova Scotia hovers on the brink of serious economic and population decline unless new growth emerges. The periods in our history when the economy grew significantly corresponded to waves of new immigrants who injected new life into communities and local economies, started businesses, improved productivity, and sparked innovations that lead to new and better jobs.

The Coalition will hear from local students benefiting from programs that are finding home-grown solutions to our demographic challenges and preparing Nova Scotians to create their own opportunities.

Cape Breton University UIT students will practice pitches about products they are developing for sale with Coalition members. The One Nova Scotia Commission on Building our new Economy emphasized that new business start-ups and growth-oriented enterprises are needed and more of our young people must come out of their education with the skills and confidence to create jobs for themselves if our economy is to thrive. UIT is a one year start up immersion program that teaches the innovative business methods behind the world’s most successful startups. Aspiring Founders learn technology and business process leading up to a product launch.

“My interest in UIT came from me looking for a better way to contribute to my community, and build a better life for my family here in Cape Breton. I had been following news stories about our tech startup successes in Nova Scotia and felt inspired,” said student A.J. Fraser, from Sydney. “My background is in culture/tourism so I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be a good fit, but it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in such a short amount of time. The mentors, classmates and curriculum are amazing and I’m currently building something I believe in and think could have some legs.

Current and former Mi’kmaw students participating in CBU’s Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies’ Music Mogul program will also share their experiences with Coalition members. Music Mogul, an innovative business simulation game, is arming students through experiential learning with the technological tools they will need to succeed as business professionals. Greater inclusion of visible minorities and people with disabilities was identified in the One Nova Scotia Commission report as an important way to begin addressing the province’s demographic issues.

“Scaling of already successful programs delivered by many partners such as these, may be one way to move toward achieving the goals Ray Ivany and the commissioners laid out,” said Chief Sidney Peters, Coalition member and Chief of the Glooscap First Nation. The Coalition, for example, is working with a variety of sectors to bring Brilliant Labs – a program that offers hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship, arts and mathematics – to Nova Scotia’s youth.

While in Cape Breton, the Coalition will also meet with over a hundred local leaders from a variety of sectors at an event organized by the Cape Breton Partnership to share its work and identify, encourage and align broad-based action on the issues.

“No single organization or person can solve all our challenges alone because the kind of change Nova Scotia needs is systemic,” said Rankin MacSween, Coalition member and President of Sydney’s New Dawn Enterprises. “Leadership and new initiatives need to come from the private and public sectors, key institutions in the voluntary sector, and from citizens through their community organizations.”

The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New Economy called for the province to each year:

  • Gain 1,000 working age people through interprovincial migration
  • Receive its proportionate share of all new immigrants to Canada – about 7,000
  • Have 10% of foreign student graduates choose Nova Scotia as their home

The One Nova Scotia Coalition was established to help create a common agenda and foster broad-based action in response to the report. This multi-sector, all-party group is working on a 10-year, province-wide approach for all sectors to work toward the report’s population and economic renewal goals.