Strangers in a strange land

Canada’s HR community has overlooked the country’s pool of newcomers
By Natalie Bagwell
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/28/2004

Canadian employers are bracing themselves for a skills shortage over the next decade. Enlightened organizations have found a way to address that shortage, by tapping into a reservoir of potential talent — Canadian newcomers. (In this age of heightened security awareness and daily coverage of the continuing threats around the world from terrorists, the term “immigrant” often takes on a negative connotation for some.)

In Calgary alone, about 10,000 Canadian newcomers land each year and roughly another 5,000 relocate from other Canadian centres. They come from all over the world and from many different backgrounds. However, they all have one thing in common: the desire to live in, and contribute to, Canadian society.

These Canadian newcomers have trouble getting jobs in Canada, which negatively affects the Canadian economy. If these newcomers are not working, they are not paying taxes and are therefore unlikely to be contributing to the economy as meaningfully as they could be.