September 25, 2013
New Mowat research on Diaspora Networks in Canada.
Toronto – The Mowat Centre at the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto has released new research outlining how Ontario and Canada can leverage diaspora networks to improve outcomes for immigrants and strengthen the Canadian economy.
The report, Diaspora Nation: An Inquiry into the Economic Importance of Diaspora Networks in Canada, outlines the increasing importance of diaspora networks – that is, international communities of shared identity – in the global economy and Canada’s underwhelming performance in mobilizing our diverse immigrant talent. Patterns of immigration are changing dramatically.
Not long ago, immigrants would settle in new countries and maintain sporadic contact with their countries of origin. Today we live in a world where more people move around the globe, have multiple national identities and have sustained contact with multiple countries,” said Mowat Director Matthew Mendelsohn.
“If Canadian businesses fail to mobilize immigrant talent and expertise, Canada will miss one on the enormous global economic developments now underway,” he added.
Serene Tan, one of the authors of the report, concluded: “Patterns of global trade and the nature of immigration to Canada are changing. Canada has an enormous opportunity – but it must do more. Bringing a disaspora lens to private sector and public sector decision-making must be a front of mind consideration.”
The report was the product of a year-long process of interviews with businesses, professional immigrant networks, ethno-cultural chambers of commerce and other experts. It concludes with specific recommendations for the public and private sectors.