Essays

Essays May 2010
For Immediate Release: May 25, 2020; Ottawa, CANADA

Press Release: Canada Recruits 700,000 Great Minds, Invests $2 billion in Innovation Overseas

Neil Seeman

The federal government today (May 25, 2020) announced the latest annual influx of 700,000 new Canadians from around the world to spur game-changing innovation, creativity and jobs. Most are thrilled to start their own business, with access to new capital and the most diverse workforce anywhere. Canada’s reputation for being an immigrant’s dream shines. Canada is a place where you do not need a fancy University degree in order to build and thrive.

“Due to an aging population, it is not surprising that many of these new immigrant entrepreneurs are focusing on the healthcare market,” said Harvard drop-out and multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, 33, who last year moved Facebook’s head office to Ottawa, a city now ranked by Wikipedia as among the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. “While other countries are still boasting about focusing all of their innovation efforts on recruiting superstar academics in niche fields, Canada gets it: innovation is driven by opening more doors to more immigrants.”

Kayo Tesfaye, the Minister of Intellectual Free Trade who emigrated to Canada from Nigeria three years ago, said: “Canada figured out that more minds of more types means greater innovation. These new, great minds are going into the trades, into the care-giving professions, and, all the while, creating new globally competitive businesses.”

“Not so long ago, Canada had 17 medical schools. Now it has one national, virtually integrated medical school – and offers online practicums for clinicians from Beijing to Bangalore. Canadian newspapers used to include colourful advertising inserts from Universities and hospitals that boasted about recruiting superstar scientists and engineers from around the world as ‘University Chairs’. But today, every print newspaper in Canada has vanished. Most Universities still in existence have become virtual campuses. And, today, due to our relaxed and sensible immigration policy, we lure more leading researchers from around the world than we ever did, and at zero cost to the taxpayer.

The era of aggressively ‘recruiting superstar talent’ is over.  Brilliant minds from overseas – with interests ranging from the arts to biomedical science to the trades – flock to Canada because here we know that more diversity of minds is what matters in order to travel that  last mile of innovation: toward commercialization and global impact.”

“Of greatest pride to me,” said Minister Tesfaye, “is that Canada is committed to the global marketplace of ideas. While we still need to welcome millions of new people to this great country, we know that investing in budding research communities overseas also returns tremendous investment to Canada. Since Canada is the destination of choice for global immigrants, we benefit by building up the research capacity of other nations. When researchers in those other countries innovate, their entrepreneurs can take advantage of that research. Since Canada is a global ideas hub, we want to work with the entrepreneurs in those other countries, not against them. That is why I am proud today to announce a $2 billion investment in innovation and research in 20 countries around the world.”

About the Author

Neil Seeman is a writer, and Director and Primary Investigator of the Health Strategy Innovation Cell at Massey College at the University of Toronto.

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