The Canadian government will launch a new “start-up” visa to attract foreign entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada as part of a new economic strategy, the Telegraph reports this week.
The government last week revealed its Economic Action Plan 2012, which highlights its commitment to support entrepreneurs, world-class research and innovators.
Citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister Jason Kenney said: “Our government’s top priority remains jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Canada cannot afford to lose out in the competition for foreign entrepreneurs among immigrant-receiving countries.”
He added: “We need to proactively target a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians.”
The government also announced plans to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system focusing on meeting the new and emerging needs of the Canadian economy.
This will include changes to Business Immigration Programmes, which will target more active investment in Canadian growth companies and more innovative entrepreneurs.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) wants to consult with industry groups about setting up a start-up visa programme for innovative entrepreneurs in the coming months.
The scheme involves linking foreign entrepreneurs with private sector companies that have experience in working with start-ups.
Tim Simpson, a British expat running his own consultancy firm in Canada, said: “The Canadian economy has recovered well from the global financial crisis and has broadly replaced all the jobs lost during that time. But things have slowed down a bit since then, as Canada mirrors the fortunes of the US, which has seen its recovery ease up as well.
“Every country should actively be encouraging the best and brightest minds to its shores and Canada is competing with many other countries keen to attract entrepreneurs. The big plus point for Canada is that it is a great place to live.”
The retail sector is the single largest employer in Canada, accounting for almost two million workers. Health care, nursing, social assistance and manufacturing are the next biggest employers.
However, there has been a big shift towards natural resources. Mining, quarrying and the oil and gas sectors have seen a big rise in headcounts in recent years. At the other end of the scale, jobs in real estate and education have been shrinking.
In March, Canada added more than 82,000 jobs with the gains coming from its two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec. Source: The Telegraph.
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