Canada is known globally as a welcoming and accepting nation. Each year we open our doors to over 400 thousand immigrants. But a recent survey indicated that 30% of newcomers under the age of 35 were planning to leave Canada due to underemployment. Sadly, despite our high rates of immigration and their contribution to our economy, 1/3 of Canadians don’t see their true value leading to discrimination in the workplace and society.
This being the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship thought it was time to set the record straight and prove the worth immigrants provide in dollars and cents. Using employment and immigration data, our ambition was to both celebrate their contributions and highlight the disparity that exists due to their undervalued status.
To dramatize this employment discrepancy, we created The Disparity Coin, a virtual commemorative coin powered by Statistics Canada data on immigration and employment. The coin’s value increases the more diverse the country becomes, and as immigrants’ earning power approaches that of their Canadian-born peers, narrowing the pay gap discrepancy. It loses value when newcomers aren’t equitably paid – proof that these newcomers are Canada’s most valuable asset.
The Disparity Coin has been met with resounding support by the immigrant population in Canada. It has been covered by Canada’s largest South Asian community based podcast “Spice Radio” as well as being named to AdAge’s top 5 metaverse activations of 2022.