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The Institute for Canadian Citizenship Proves Immigration is Canada’s Most Valuable Currency


Wunderman Thompson Canada and the ICC create The Disparity Coin, whose value is powered by data on immigration and employment

The Institute for Canadian Citizenship Proves Immigration is Canada’s Most Valuable Currency

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) has launched a new campaign for Canadian Citizenship Week (May 23rd–29th) to remind Canadian citizens of the benefits of immigration. While two-thirds of Canadians acknowledge the benefits immigrants bring, newcomers remain systemically underemployed relative to their Canadian-born peers, causing many to reconsider staying in Canada. 

To dramatise this employment discrepancy, the ICC has 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. 

While the value of the coin reflects the tough reality immigrants face in the labour market, the coin design reflects Canada’s aspiration to be the most welcoming country on Earth. One side features a depiction of the Monument to Multiculturalism by Italian sculptor Francesco Perilli, while the other depicts the ocean liner SS Nieuw Amsterdam, which became the first ship to bring immigrants to Canada through the new terminal of Pier 21 in Halifax. These images together symbolise Canada’s openness and long history of eagerly welcoming newcomers. 

As an organisation committed to unlocking Canada for newcomers and encouraging the journey to full and active citizenship, the ICC wants Canadians to know the effect underemployment is having on the immigrants upon whom Canada’s future prosperity and dynamism depend. A recent Leger survey for the ICC indicates that 30% of immigrants under the age of 35 say they are likely to leave Canada in the next two years, mostly due to underemployment. 

“Canada’s cross-partisan embrace of immigration is unique in the world, but too often, we forget that our good intentions don’t always become reality,” says Daniel Bernhard, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. “This is our way of reminding Canadians that newcomers’ experience of Canada may not be as positive as we would like. If we want immigrants to stay in Canada, become citizens, and build their futures here, we must first acknowledge that their true value is much greater than what they’re currently being paid compared to equally qualified Canadian-born peers.” 

“Every year, Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of newcomers from all over the world,” says Ari Elkouby, chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson Canada. “Not only do they add billions to the public purse annually, but they also help diverse organisations achieve higher revenues, and contribute significantly to our country’s GDP growth. We must be clear-eyed about the reality immigrants face so we can do what’s necessary to keep Canada welcoming to the best and brightest from around the world.” 

The Disparity Coin is being promoted through owned and earned channels. Those looking to learn more about the campaign can visit a dedicated website,  


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Categories: Associations, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Wunderman Thompson Canada, Wed, 25 May 2022 08:29:57 GMT