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Canada’s secret weapon

Immigrants overwhelmingly stick to their end of the deal. Migrants take fresh new ideas, years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to their new home country and positively contributing to Canadian society.

Canada’S Secret Weapon

But just what have foreigners been doing for the country? Well in America alone, the list is impressive!

•More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.

•Those companies employ over 3.6 million Americans, and 10 million employees worldwide.

•In 2010, immigrant business owners had revenues of $121.2 billion – 15 percent of all business revenue in the U.S.

•A University of Denver study found that between 2005 and 2011, immigrants moving to metropolitan areas led to an increase in employment and a decrease in unemployment.

•A Kauffman study found that in 2012, immigrants started businesses at almost double the rate of nonimmigrants.

Think of some of the many immigrant entrepreneurs who have made America what it is today:

•Levi Strauss: The man who invented blue jeans emigrated from Bavaria in 1850. There are few things more American than a pair of Levi's.

•Liz Claiborne: This Belgian-born fashion designer co-founded the famous label bearing her name. In 1986 Liz Claiborne Inc. became the first company founded by a woman to make the Fortune 500.

•John W. Nordstrom: The man behind the famous upscale department store chain came from Sweden in 1896.

•Eugene Kleiner: Austrian born Kleiner was one of the "traitorous eight," the founders of Silicon Valley, and the original founder of the famed venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

•Elon Musk: Tesla Motors, SpaceX, PayPal, household battery power. This serial entrepreneur emigrated from South Africa to Canada and later here to the U.S.

•Sergey Brin: The co-founder of Google was born in Moscow in 1973 and came to America at the age of 6. Where would you be without Google?

•Sofía Vergara: Perhaps known best for her role in as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the hit TV show "Modern Family," Colombian-born Vergara also started the Hispanic talent agency Latin We and launched a clothesline for Kmart.

Immigrants to Canada also impress!

Donovan Bailey

Donovan Bailey is Canada’s most successful Canadian runner having won two gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell, an immigrant from the UK, is credited with inventing the first practical telephone . Both his mom and wife were deaf, influencing Alexander's life occupation significantly.

Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Clarkson was the very first visible minority to be granted Governor General. While in office, Adrienne made a point of traveling all over Canada to meet Canadians in their home. Upon leaving the office in 2005, an Institute for Canadian Citizenship would be created in her honour, with up to $10 million in government backing.

In 1999 the Prime Minister of Canada announced that Queen Elizabeth II had approved Prime Minister Jean Chretien's choice of Clarkson to succeed Romeo Leblanc as the Queen's representative.


Donovan was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame twice. The first was in 2004 as an individual, and then again in 2008 as part of the 1996 Summer Olympics 4x100 relay team.

Donovan was the first Canadian to legally break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m. The first Canadian to break the 10 second barrier was Ben Johnson who won the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea but he was later disqualified for doping.

Michaëlle Jean

Michaëlle Jean was a refugee from Haiti and came to Canada in 1968 living in Thetford Mines, Quebec. She received a number of university degrees and then worked as a journalist and broadcaster for Radio-Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation along with doing charity work, mostly assisting victims of domestic violence. In 2005 she was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to the post of Governor General of Canada, and she occupied the post until 2010.

Vivienne Poy

Vivienne Poy founded her own fashion label called Vivienne Poy Mode in 1981 and ran a successful business in fashion and retail. Ms. Poy was appointed to the Senate in 1998 and one of her most notable contributions was to motion that the month of May be designated as Asian Heritage Month.

In May 2002 the Government of Canada accepted the motion and declared the celebratory month in a formal ceremony. Senator Poy works closely with various Asian Heritage societies in Canada and she served as Chancellor of the University of Toronto from 2003 to 2006. She has also authored five books on Chinese immigration, various Chinese people, and Chinese culture.

Mike Lazaridis

Mike Lazaridis was born in 1961 in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to Canada when he was 5. He started Research in Motion (RIM) who did research on wireless data transmission. The research led to technology that enabled RIM to launch the hugely successful line of Blackberry products. RIM became the industry leader in pagers and smart phones but has since been passed by Apple and Samsung.

In 2011 he had a net worth of $800 Million Canadian and was the 17th wealthiest Canadian.

Statistics on immigrants' effects on business and job creation provided by the Immigration Policy Center, the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council.
We are all – with the exception of native Americans – the descendants of immigrants.

That's something to celebrate.


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