Why Nova Scotia Should Look Beyond Econocentric Immigration Policy
Authors: Alexandra Dobrowolsky and Howard Ramos
Nova Scotia’s immigration policy to-date has largely fallen into step with other governments (federal and provincial) by banking on the purported benefits of economic migrants and using an econocentric model to inform its policies. Immigration in Nova Scotia has been seen as a solution to an aging population and weak economy, but with the recent release of the Ivany report there is the potential for a different approach to the current econocentric immigration policy. The current approach is narrow, instrumental and epitomizes short-term thinking. It aims to maximize the economic contributions of immigrants to the province and minimizes the costs associated with attracting them; immigrants are expected to do all the giving, while the province does all the taking. Nova Scotia needs to think beyond the economic, and start shaping policies with addtional dimensions to create a more balanced approach to immigration – one which will create more winners and fewer losers.
This report demonstrate the limitations of a narrow, short-term approach to immigration that seeks only to maximize economic returns, while also laying out the elements of an alternative approach.