Sunday, March 18, 2012
Irish migrate to Canada fleeing Ireland's economic depression
At the end of 2011 more than 5,200 temporary workers arrived in Canada from Ireland. This is almost 1,000 more than in 2010.
However, the total number of workers from other countries such as the Philippines is in absolute terms much larger. Even so Canada is now one of the destinations of choice for Irish workers who face a dismal job situation at home. The Irish unemployment rate is around 15 per cent. This is actually much better than Spain or Greece.
Formerly the U.S. was one of the favorite destinations of the Irish but U.S. immigration policy seems to have led to Irish to choose other destinations including Australia as well as Canada. A New York Daily News column lamented:"Today, however, our country is being deprived of the talent of the best and brightest of Ireland's young,"
Some provinces such as Saskatchewan have actively tried to attract Irish immigrants. Premier Wall visited Ireland a month ago with business leaders and attended job fairs hoping to find applicants for vacant positions.
Actually not that many of the Irish temporary workers end up staying in Canada. Only 665 Irish workers became permanent residents last year. This is not a significant number compared to about 20,500 Filipino immigrants on average who came every year to Canada between 2001 to 2006. For more see this CBC article