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Following the Leaders


Overcoming financial hardships and lack of experience, these immigrants have not only survived in their adopted country, they’ve flourished


by Manon Chevalier photo by Christian Fleury/KlixPix


O MATTER WHERE THEY COME FROM, newcomers leave practically everything behind to live in Canada. Once in the country, some create hundreds of jobs or help the country shine on the international stage. Others do business on a smaller scale, contribute to their community or offer a helping hand to other newcomers in search of professional achievement or a safe haven — a place


away from armed conflicts or a turbulent economic climate. But what they all have in common is a desire to thrive and, in their own way, give back to their new country, whether they immigrated as children or as adults. Of course, newcomers must overcome many challenges, including language barriers, lack of recognition for their qualifications and the inevitable culture shock. Despite these obstacles, however, many immigrants achieve considerable business success. Many experts see immigration as the country’s saving grace rather than a threat.


According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, new residents play an active role in the economic, social and cultural development of the country, as it grapples with an aging population and a shortage of qualified labour in several industries. Beyond that, economists say that Canadian society must increase its consumer base to ensure internal economic growth, although some say immigration will not be enough. It’s no wonder that Canada is among the 10 countries in the world to welcome the highest number of immigrants — 7.3 million or 21% of the total population. What’s more, according to a 2011 Statistics Canada survey, a substantial portion of the population


32 | CPA MAGAZINE | JUNE/JULY 2016


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