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Dispelling Myths

Dispelling Myths

Newcomer Myths and Facts

Attracting newcomers and creating welcoming communities has both economic and social benefits for Leeds and Grenville. Newcomers bring new ideas and different experiences to their new communities that can strengthen local economies and increase the diversity of the social fabric of local communities.  The information below is to dispel some common newcomer myths by reporting facts.  The St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership strives to make Leeds and Grenville a welcoming place for newcomers.

Myth: New immigrants don’t know how to speak, or do not want to learn English/French

  • Fact: Accessing language classes can be a challenge. Newcomers can sometimes face difficulties including transportation, lack of child care, conflicting work/class schedules and unfamiliarity with services.
  • Fact: The employment rate of immigrants increases with their ability to speak English.

Myth: Newcomers are a drain on resources

  • Fact: Canada’s immigration policies are designed to attract more skilled workers than any other class of immigrant.
  • Fact: Immigrants are educated in diverse fields, and bring knowledge of diverse languages. They are a resource to Leeds and Grenville as newcomer staff allow local businesses to become more competitive in a global market.  Leeds and Grenville newcomers also open successful businesses that create jobs. 
  • Fact: In 2014, 12% per cent of immigrant owned businesses exported goods and services to markets beyond the U.S., which supports Canada’s trade agenda (versus 7% for businesses owned by non-immigrants). Exporters with a recent immigrant as majority owner are among the fastest-growing Canadian Small-Medium Enterprises. (1*)

Myth: Internationally trained professionals are not as qualified as Canadian professionals

  • Fact: Foreign trained professionals must have their credentials reviewed by accredited Canadian assessment bodies in order to be employed in their field.
  • Fact: It is estimated that more than 40% of immigrants to Canada are working in their trained profession. (2*)
  • Fact: More than 26% of all physicians practicing in Ontario in 2011 were foreign trained. (3*) 

Myth: Immigrants take jobs away from Canadians

  • Fact: New immigrants are 2.5 times more likely than Canadian-born workers to be found in low-skilled jobs. (4*)
  • Fact: Between 1993 and 2001, it was found that immigrants who had been in Canada for 10 years or less had a higher rate of over-qualification than their Canada-born counterparts. (5*)
  • Fact:  Newcomer businesses owners create jobs in communities. 

Myth: Newcomers don’t need help

  • Fact: Newcomers may face isolation and may feel anxious when they arrive in Canada.
  • Fact: The financial challenges and employment barriers faced by many newcomers affect their health and access to key determinants of health such as housing, education, and healthy food. Immigrants' health is generally better than that of the Canadian-born since only applicants who pass a thorough medical exam can be granted permanent resident status, but it tends to decline as their years in Canada increase. (6*)

Myth: Immigrants bring crime to Canada

  • Fact: In Canada, an overall drop in crime has paralleled the increase of immigration since the 1970s. (7*)
  • Fact: According to the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, immigrants are “much less involved in criminal activity than are those who were born in Canada.” (8*)

Myth: Refugees in Canada receive greater assistance from the government than Canadian pensioners

  • Fact: The amount of monthly financial support that government-assisted refugees receive is based on provincial social-assistance rates. It is the minimum required to meet basic food and shelter needs.
  • Fact: Privately sponsored refugees do not receive government funding.
  • Fact: Government assistance is only provided up until one year from arrival, or until the individual is able to support him/herself. (9*)


  1. Businesses Owned by Recent Immigrants More Likely to Export to The US And Beyond” Conference Board of Canada, 24 June 2014. Web.
  2. Grewal, San (2007, September 13) Engineers breaking new ground. Attitude shift helps professional body lead the pack in licensing foreign trained workers. http://www.thestar.com/article/255475 4
  3. Canadian Medical Association Statistics, Percent by Country of MD Graduation, Canada, 2011.https://www.cma.ca/Assets/assets-library/document/en/advocacy/IMG_Healthcare_101_Oct2012-e.pdf
  4. Ferrer, Ana M., Garnett Picot, and W. Craig Riddell. “New Directions in Immigration Policy: Canada’s Evolving Approach to Immigration Selection." Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network 107:8. Nov. 2012. Web
  5. Statistics Canada. (2006). The Dynamics of Over qualification: Canada’s Underemployed University Graduates = Catalogue No: 11-621-MIE2006039.
  6. “Myths about Immigrants and Refugees in Relation to the Canadian Healthcare System” Toronto North Local Immigration Partnership, Oct. 2013. Web
  7. Arrival of the Fittest: Canada's Crime Rate Is Dropping as Immigration Increases. Is There a Connection?" Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. 9 May 2011. Web.
  8. Scot Wortley (n.d). What are the challenges and where should public policy be directed in order to produce safe, cohesive and healthy communities?–focus on Justice issues.http://canada.metropolis.net/EVENTS/ottawa/WORTLEY%20PAPER%201.htm
  9. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?q=105&t=11

Developed by:  Leeds & Grenville Immigration Partnership

Adapted from a document produced by the Chatham- Kent Local Immigration Partnership 


November, 2015