Opening Canada’s doors to newcomers has for generations built and strengthened the inclusive and diverse nation that is admired by the world. Although #COVID19 has slowed immigration to Canada, this announcement by the federal government is a critical step to ensure the country can continue to compete globally and all Canadians can thrive. We acknowledge the growing evidence that immigration is a complement to our homegrown talent rather than a substitute, and believe we can do better:
- Immigrants in Canada are often underemployed, unable to find work that fully utilizes their skills. This deficiency costs our country up to $50 billion annually in unrealized GDP
- We need to support immigrant talent in finding mentorship (or, better yet, sponsorship), building community connections, and providing internships or other pathways for specific communities
- Government can help by connecting professional accreditation bodies to the immigration process for easier and smoother recognition of credentials, which can expedite their inclusion into the labour force
For businesses, greater equity and inclusion—of all underrepresented groups—in the workplace is the right thing to do. It also makes business sense. The business case for diversity and inclusion has been supported by research, including our recent Catalyst report.
Inclusive organizations are more innovative, resilient, and likely to win in the marketplace—and they have the power to drive productivity growth to ensure Canada will thrive in the next decade.