Canadas Brain Drain Issue
What is a brain drain? It is the emigration of highly educated and skilled Canadians to the United States. Does Canada suffer from a Brain Drain? This is a question that economists have been trying to answer for a decade now and have conducted different studies resulting to different conclusions about this issue. There are some economists that believe that yes Canada is suffering from a brain drain if not now it will be soon, amongst those economists are Don DeVortez and Samuel Laryea who prepared a study of C.D howe Institute. They claimed that Brain Drain is real and is costing Canada Tax Payers millions of dollars. Then on the other side of the debate we have economists like John Helliwell, who compares the current perceptions to past movements of educated Canadians to the United States, and the past and current immigration to Canada from other countries, concluding that the 90’s movement of educated Canadians to the United States, is relatively small. He strongly believes that the existing data and analysis provides no evidence of a current crisis or any great changes in the tax system.
So why is it that the media are convinced that there is a brain drain? This “brain drain” leads to the conclusions that there must be something wrong with Canada and that if nothing is done the nation is doomed. A brain drain means that Canadian productivity will slip even further behind American, that will cause even more of Canadians to leave, and the cycle will continue. Although brain drain believers don’t have much data to back them up, they have two strong arguments 1. The apparently small numbers of emigrants are a catastrophic loss for Canada, cause the issue is not how many we are losing, but who we are losing.
2. A definite crisis will come unless governments do something -cut taxes- for example.
The main concern economists have is the future outcome of this brain drain. They understand and even some might agree that Canada is not currently suffering from a brain drain but there definitely is a problem and if it is not addressed by the government fast then there will be a major threat to the economy of Canada and then there will definitely be a BRAIN DRAIN. McKinsey & Company describes the Brain Drain as “WAR FOR TALEN”, it is a battle of quality rather than quantity so even though the statistical eviden...
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...ment does not lower taxes and other economic forces such as post secondary educational subsidies, then we will not only lose our brains but also our most reputable companies (Nortel) will move and establish themselves someplace where talent is found.
· William Watson. (1999) “The Brain Drain Campaign” Policy Options Politiques. September.
· John F. Helliwell. (1999) “Checking The Brain Drain:Evidence and implications” September.
· D.J. DeVoretz. (1999) “ The brain drain is real and it costs us” September.
· Herb Emery. (1999) “ The evidence VS. The tax-cutters” September.
· David Stewart-Patterson. (1999) “ The drain will be a torrent if we don’t staunch it now” September.
· Mahmood Iqbal. (1999) “ Are we losing our minds” September.
· Globe and Mail. (1999) “The Brain Drain: truth and consequences” Editorial. May 8
· Reguly, Eric. (1999) “Dollar union fails a reality check” The Globe and Mail. June 26: B2
· Lewington, Jennifer. (1999) “Is Canada really losing its brains?” The Globe and Mail. January 4.
· Canadian Association of University Teachers www.caut.ca “There is little evidence that Canada is experiencing a brain drain”