Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told American press that Canada is willing to give American entrepreneurs the equivalent of a green card if they can start up a high-tech business inside Canadian borders, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Kenney spent four days travelling through Silicon Valley to spread the word that Canada will offer permanent residency for those who can successfully get a business off the ground and raise enough venture capital. Under current US laws, foreign high-tech workers can stay for a maximum of six years, but have to stay employed with the original company. Mr. Kenney called the American system “dysfunctional.”
A report released on May 21 by the Science, Technology and Innovation Council says Canada is falling behind other countries in science and technology innovation, QMI Agency reported. Canada is lacking in the area of private-sector investment in research and innovation. The country ranked 25 out 41 in 2011 when compared with other countries. Canada isn’t producing enough PhD graduates, the report also indicated. Minister of State for Science Gary Goodyear said he would follow up on the report, but also announced on May 21 that the Canadian government would give $413 million in science, math, engineering, and technology grants.
In his last scheduled public talk before departing as the head of the Bank of Canada for his new gig across the pond at the Bank of England, Mark Carney stressed the importance of Canada forging new trade relationships with emerging economies, The Canadian Press reported. Mr. Carney said Canada cannot be too reliant on countries like the United States, which is experiencing slow economic growth. Although he noted that Canada’s economy has fared quite well in comparison to other G7 countries, he said exports could be stronger.
The Federal Court of Canada has tossed out a challenge by two unions against the company controlling a British Columbia coal mine for its decision to hire more than 200 Chinese temporary foreign workers, CBC News reported. HD Mining was allowed to bring 201 workers from China after it turned down 300 potential Canadian employees, arguing they were not qualified for the new extractive techniques being used at the mine. The Conservative government is overhauling its temporary foreign worker program.
A Homeland Security budget proposal to study a new land-crossing fee along the United States borders with Canada and Mexico was killed on May 9, The Globe and Mail reported. The suggestion of examining a new toll for all vehicles and pedestrians entering into the US was proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, and caused outcry in both Canada and the US. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate condemned the proposal, and an amendment to the budget passed in the judiciary committee.