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Halifax immigration lawyer suggests ‘easy fix’ to attract newcomers and boost economy – The Guardian

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Out of the 794 invitations sent out by the province to immigrant entrepreneurs all over the world, only 14 of them ended up obtaining their permanent residency in Nova Scotia, projecting a lower than two per cent turnout rate. 

Since 2017, the province has sent out over 200 invitations annually to prospective immigrants asking them to bring their investment or business to Nova Scotia. In return, the province would endorse the candidate on their permanent residency application under the entrepreneurship immigration program. The endorsement is believed to be a guarantee for permanent residency. 

However, the rigid requirement has stopped many from coming through the door. Upon invitation, the applicant can enter Canada on a work permit but they will have to keep the business running for at least a year to qualify for the final nomination. 

“Basically, if you’re not able to establish the business and make your investment and run the business for a year. Then, you don’t get nominated. You’ve come here, uprooted your family, made your investment, all on speculation because you’re only temporary,” said Elizabeth Wozniak, lawyer and founder of North Star Immigration Inc.,  in a phone interview. 

Uncertainty makes for hard sell

The program asks the applicant to invest at least $150,000 to establish a business that has a net worth of at least $600,000. 

Wozniak said the uncertainty of the program makes it really hard to sell. 

“What kind of business person is going to do all that and make that investment with no guarantee that they’re going to ultimately become a permanent resident,” said Wozniak.

The Nova Scotia Immigration office said the entrepreneur stream is an important tool that allows experienced business owners to immigrate to Nova Scotia by starting or purchasing an existing business in Nova Scotia.

“Many applicants receive ITAs but do not commit, withdraw or have their file closed due to not meeting timelines for information,” said NSI spokeswoman Elizabeth MacDonaldin an email statement. 

RBC senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz  of Halifax said Nova Scotia's economy needs more business investment. - Contributed
RBC senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz of Halifax said Nova Scotia’s economy needs more business investment. – Contributed

We need investment and immigrant entrepreneurs

Senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz at RBC said although migrant workers are important to maintain a robust labour force, the economy needs more investment. 

“I think if you want to spur real economic growth going forward you definitely need to have strong investment people starting new businesses, and people creating, generating that internal energy for the region,” he said. 

According to a Statistics Canada study, immigrant-owned firms are younger and because of this, they grow faster. These younger firms are more likely to expand and so they contribute significantly to overall job creation in Canada. In the study, firms owned by immigrants accounted for 25 per cent of net jobs created by private incorporated firms but only accounted for 17 per cent  of the sample. 

The easy fix to cut off the middleman 

The entrepreneurship stream doesn’t recognize temporary status for entrepreneurs. This means if a newcomer comes to Nova Scotia on a temporary work permit and starts a business, their entrepreneurship experience is not going to help them to stay in Nova Scotia permanently.

Wozniak said that the first year of operating the business should count for the Nova Scotia entrepreneur program. 

“Nova Scotia could cut out the middleman essentially. Just recognize the people here who’ve worked for a year in a business that they own should qualify for nomination and PR through the entrepreneur program,” she said. 

Wozniak said this is a simple fix because the federal government has vetted and researched those applicants when they applied for a work permit.          

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Economy

CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

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* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

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Economy

Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Economy

Canadian dollar rebounds from one-week low ahead of jobs data

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) -The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Thursday, recovering from a one-week low the day before, as the level of oil prices bolstered the medium-term outlook for the currency and ahead of domestic jobs data on Friday.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.4% higher at 1.2560 to the greenback, or 79.62 U.S. cents. On Wednesday, it touched its weakest intraday level since March 31 at 1.2634.

“We have seen partial retracement from the decline over the last couple of days,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

“With oil prices where they are – let’s call WCS still at roughly $49 a barrel – I still think CAD has room to strengthen over the medium term and even over a one-week horizon.”

Western Canadian Select (WCS), the heavy blend of oil that Canada produces, trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark. U.S. crude futures settled 0.3% lower at $59.60 a barrel, but were up nearly 80% since last November.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high as Treasury yields fell following softer-than-anticipated labor market data, while the U.S. dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of major currencies.

Canada‘s employment report for March, due on Friday, could offer clues on the Bank of Canada‘s policy outlook. The central bank has become more upbeat about prospects for economic growth, while some strategists expect it to cut bond purchases at its next interest rate announcement on April 21.

On a more cautious note for the economy, Ontario, Canada‘s most populous province, initiated a four-week stay-at-home order as it battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian government bond yields were lower across a flatter curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries. The 10-year fell 3.3 basis points to 1.469%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith;Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

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