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Too often many Canadians view immigration as a cost to our society rather then as a net benefit. But research has found that immigrants are an enormous benefit to Canadian prosperity.

Lately from Europe to the United States, countries are increasingly becoming in-hospital to immigrants, and the talk of walls and quotas exceeds that of showcasing their contributions to economic prosperity in Canada.

Canada’s story includes the fact that immigrants are highly entrepreneurial - whether they come to Canada with millions of dollars in their pockets to invest, have Phd’s to hope to find work or arrive with nothing but the shirts on their backs to seek political stability.

Recent data from Stats Canada noted that immigrants, across the various categories of entry, are more likely than Canadian-born citizens to start up their own businesses. They employ other Canadians, create new products and services and generally generate wealth and prosperity for Canada and Canadians.

The businesses owned by immigrant entrepreneurs range from small-scale businesses on Main Street to corporate giants on Bay Street.

It may surprise you that some of Canada’s businesses owners include many immigrants who came originally came to Canada with nothing but an idea and a burning will to succeed and make a difference to their adopted country. Corporations such as Magna International, Blackberry, Saputo, Larco, and Shopify to name just a few. Magna’s Frank Stronach came from Austria with fifty dollars in his pocket along with a skill as a tool and dye worker and now he is a billionaire making parts for the auto industry.

In the London area we have wonderful role models in Sam Katz, Ewald Bierbaum who came to the Forest City with a desire to do well and combined their talents into Esam Construction that built thousands of apartments in Cherry Hill.

London has new visionaries of businesses such as Shmeul Farhi Holding Corp and Vito Frijia of South Side Construction.

They are both economic immigrants to Canada and we can be very proud that they have made their homes in London. Not only are they both successful business men ; they make a difference in the London and area and subsequently we all benefit from their giving back to their community.

When you visit the Stoney Creek YMCA you can take your young children to learn to swim in the Farhi pool. Take in a game with the London Lightening Basketball Team at the gardens and you can see Vito Frijia of Southside Construction proudly walking back and forth at the back of the Bush Gardens admiring the sportsmanship like conduct of his players.

I know that their literally hundreds of other immigrants to London but their business and charitable contributions are too many for me to acknowledge.

Many immigrant entrepreneurs have chosen Canada for the appreciation of their diversity that they can bring to their new home. We are a patch like quilt of many diverse people who have chosen to make our homes in Canada. Every one of our people are immigrants who came to Canadian shores in pursuit of peace and prosperity, We are a mobile country of a very proud people where we are not judged by the colour of our skin, family origin or by our sexual orientation but rather by the content of our integrity.

Our immigrant entrepreneurs are a success story that needs to be showcased and celebrated.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com