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Premier Doug Ford, you need to apologize.
According to the CBC/Radio-Canada website, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said “people who want to come and work their “tail off” like every other new Canadian has done should come to Ontario, but people who want to “collect the dole and sit around” should go somewhere else.”
That statement casts aspersions on new Canadians suggesting we are lazy – and it is offensive to me, to other immigrants, to Canada’s history and future. It is wrong and should be condemned.
I’ll share 3 key facts as a reminder for anyone who shares the same perspective.
1. 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration, mostly in the economic category.
2. About 6 in 10 immigrants are selected for their positive economic impact. In fact, since 2015, Express Entry has attracted almost 230,000 highly-skilled new Canadians.
3. As of May 2019, more than 650 entrepreneurs moved to Canada representing about 200 Canadian start-ups.
My source? Google “positive impact of immigration on Canadian economy”
Because I know that the meaning of statistical numbers often get lost in translation, let me share a few things about me:
1. My wife and I moved to Canada from Nigeria in 2012 – as successful entrepreneurs and career professionals.
2. While my wife went back to School and restarted her business here, I worked three jobs daily to support my family.
3. Yet, from our savings, we purchased our home under one year of arrival in Calgary.
4. We both went back to School and partially took Student loans. My School fees alone was about $25,000. Today, we have paid off our loans.
5. We took car loans and paid them off.
6. Through hard work, we paid off at least 34% of our mortgage in 8 years.
7. We both have businesses and pay our staff.
8. We both volunteer with organizations and give in support of charities.
9. Even in inclement weather, we get out and vote in fulfillment of our civic duties.
10. We started The Immigrant Life (https://immigrantlife.ca) with an annual conference called “Thrive Conference” in support of first-generation Canadians without government funds.
11. We support our of-age kids to solve problems for others and get paid for it.
The above doesn’t look like what entitled, lazy new Canadians will do! We don’t “collect the (government’s) dole and sit around” – even when we can.
And we are not unique. This is the spirit of the Canadian immigrant!
We work hard and we take support when we need it, no shame in that! But we build the Canadian economy because we are its engine and we give back even while building. All we ask is that we be respected for what we stand for and our contribution.
But for those who choose to disrespect us and refuse to acknowledge our contribution, be well on your way. At least we know who you are.
Premier Doug Ford, I again call on you to apologize.
Written by Dapo Bankole.
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