A wave of new immigrants is altering the political, economic and cultural dynamic in Canada, and Manitoba is one of the provinces that stands to benefit, according to two prominent Canadian pollsters.
"A tsunami is heading towards you... and it's a good tsunami," John Wright, senior vice-president and managing director of Ipsos Public Affairs' public opinion polling division, said in an interview.
Wright said a growing number of skilled immigrants are moving to Canada because of its international reputation as a safe and desirable place to live. And when they look at where they want to settle in Canada, more and more of them are looking to go where there is a growing, vibrant economy, Wright said.
"The West is where it's at... and Manitoba is part of that equation," he said. "You need more doctors in the north? Now you have an opportunity (to attract them)."
Wright and Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, were the luncheon speakers at the first annual Manitoba Building Expo held Thursday in Winnipeg.
They said Canada is a very different country than it was five or 10 years ago, in part because of the influx of new immigrants. And the Greater Toronto Area and Western Canada are now the political and economic powerhouses within the country, they added.
They said it's up to Manitoba to take full advantage of the opportunities that presents. And Wright said in a later interview the provincial government's successful efforts in recent years to attract more immigrant entrepreneurs and skilled workers is a step in the right direction.