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Making Canada Great for the first time, by Scott Sumner

Canada has always been a rather successful country by global standards, with relatively high living standards, good human rights, lots of green space, not much civic strife, and other nice features. Canada is nice.

Now for the first time, Canada has a chance to become great:

Behind the robust health are data showing Canada transitioning to a technology juggernaut from a country defined by its dependence on fossil fuels. While the government continues to subsidize coal, gas and oil, which account for 77% of the nation’s energy needs, the correlation between the price of oil and Canadian stocks has all but disappeared since Trudeau became prime minister, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The traditional interdependence of stocks and oil prevailed during the 10 years preceding his election. . . .

The changes coincide with the growing perception of Canada as a haven, benefiting from President Donald Trump’s xenophobic restrictions on refugees and other immigrants. The nation of 37 million recorded its biggest immigration wave in more than a century last year, admitting 321,065 people, the most since 1913 . . .

Unlike Trump, Trudeau welcomes foreign talent, and his government’s Global Skills Strategy attracted about 24,000 technology workers and other skilled employees in the two years since it started, according to government figures released in June. Companies are saying that “the two-week processing has really transformed how they make business decisions,”

As a share of its population, Canada is admitting three times as many immigrants as the US.  Meanwhile, the Trump administration is making it tougher for high-skilled immigrants to come here, even as illegal immigration increases. Here’s Noah Smith:

Now, the Trump administration has launched a new attack on H-1B workers. Denial rates for H-1B applications have soared.

Canada does have one anti-immigrant party, but it did not do well in yesterday’s election, to put it mildly:

The election’s biggest loser was Maxime Bernier, a populist leader who embraces his nickname “Mad Max” and has pushed against immigration and what he calls “extreme multiculturalism” and “climate change hysteria.” His People’s Party was shut out of Parliament with not a single candidate, including Mr. Bernier, winning a seat.

One sign of Canada’s success is that people pay almost no attention to its elections. Switzerland is another example. I pity those countries where national elections are highly consequential.

I see little evidence that President Trump is “Making America Great Again”, but as his immigration policies divert talented people to Canada, he is certainly helping to make that country great.

 

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