The reasons why immigrants choose to stay in Nova Scotia, as well as leave, are the subject of a new report by Saint Mary’s University economist Ather Akbari.

For immigrants who stay in the province, the top reasons they give include safe communities, quality of life, better educational opportunities for children and building a better life for children. 

For people who left or were planning to leave, the top reasons given were to seek better employment opportunities, seek better wages and lower taxes, and trying to find better health care. Some also complained of discriminatory workplaces. 

The findings were based on a survey of more than 2,800 respondents, as well as focus groups. 

The paper notes “stayers” and “leavers” believe Nova Scotia is worse off compared to other provinces on economic factors, such as wage and tax rates, and job opportunities. 

“On the one hand while the shortage of skilled workers in the province is well known and immigrants are recruited to help meet these shortages, many leave due to lack of employment opportunities,” says the report. “Do new immigrants face employment barriers? Do potential employers need more convincing to hire newcomers?” Additional research was recommended to answer these questions. 

The report was prepared for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration

Richard Woodbury

Richard Woodbury

Richard writes for both local and national publications and his work has been published by Reuters, Metro and Enterprise Magazine.

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