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Land of opportunity?

By Rebecca Cohoe

The baby boomers have begun to retire, leaving major holes in the workforce (and probably increasing the wait for tee times on the golf courses).

With plenty of projects on the horizon, their exit will present a challenge for many Newfoundland and Labrador employers, but, according to Dr. Ather Akbari, professor of economics at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, it also has the potential to be an incredible opportunity for immigrants to this province.

On Friday, Jan. 21, at 12 p.m., Dr. Akbari will discuss his research into the Atlantic Canadian immigrant experience at a Harris Centre Synergy Session entitled “Land of Opportunity? Why Immigrants Fare Better in Atlantic Canada.”

In his presentation, Dr. Akbari will discuss the differences in labour market performance experienced by immigrants to Atlantic Canada, versus major cities including Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Many people would likely be surprised to hear that immigrants to the east coast actually tend to fare better in the job market than the local population, a phenomenon that is the opposite of the case in the immigration-hub of Ontario.

Along with benefiting immigrants, differences like this one have the potential to provide Atlantic Canada with a distinctive advantage in the international labour market. Dr. Akbari’s talk will explore the reason for the differences in immigrant success across the country, as well as suggesting ways that this part of the country can maximize success, not only for immigrants, but for Atlantic Canada as a whole.

If you’re interested in attending, either in person, or via a live webcast, please contact Kathy Mason at by Wednesday, Jan. 19.