Can Relocation Save the Western Economies?

February 28, 2012

OK; I am clearly biased, but I give the answer to this a resounding yes.

I am a historian by training (isn’t everyone in relocation?), so I am going to give a super-quick Canadian history lesson. Immigration was not only important to Canada’s growth; it was crucial!

Apparently it isn’t easy attracting immigrants to a frozen, northern hinterland? at least that’s what the Canadian Government found in the late 1800’s. Canada had difficulty in settling the west.

Lantern Slides enticing relocation

Enter Clifford Sifton. This Minister of the Interior went on a global marketing barrage to entice people to come to Canada. You have to read about this guy? he is great.

He sent legions of agents out globally to public fairs, to put up posters and billboards, give away tracts of land, wrote poetically about Canadian wonders, and the coolest thing? Lantern Slides.

The projected image was a new technology; so to go into community halls and church basements and project slides (over)selling the virtues of coming to Canada, was truly unique. The methods proved to be hugely successful.

Who can come to the rescue of National Economies?

OK ? history lesson over. Flash forward – in the last few years, the province of Manitoba has been aggressively pursuing an open immigration policy (for targeted skills), and guess what ? Manitoba is booming.

Global economies are changing; old industries in Western economies are unlikely to be the sources of large scale hiring as they were in the past. So, who can come to the rescue of national economies? The relocation industry!

Suffice it to say that Governments don’t like explaining to under-employed populations that tactical immigration is a good thing. It can’t be explained in a newspaper headline.

Relocation isn’t Willy and it isn’t Nilly

But we, Relocation Professionals, know how much an intra-company assignment costs ? companies don’t send people around the world willy-nilly, because they have nothing better to do.

Global mobility is an important economic engine, and we need to get the word out. Difficult immigration policies, such as those of sooooo many countries, do their populations no favours at all.

One final word from Clifford Sifton; he said his ideal immigrant was ? a stalwart peasant in a sheep-skin coat born on the soil? with a stout wife and a half-dozen children.

Whoa Clifford ? not very PC, but a great quote nonetheless. All of those countries going through difficult economic times do not have to agree with our man Cliffy on the set of skills to relocate, but let’s take a page from his book and set up the Lantern Slides of today for our industry.

Go Jump off a Cliff

For more on Clifford Sifton please follow the link below:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/publications/002/015002-2250-e.html

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