A large increase in the number of Irish arriving to Canda to take up job opportunities has been evident.
Canada has become the perfect fit for the Irish: a country that speaks English, recognizes the qualifications they worked hard for and plentiful jobs. New visa rules allows thousands of Irish professionals to emigrate there.
In January Catherine McKee moved from Ireland to Montreal having studied French in university. She told CTV "I've lived in France previously, so I wanted a new experience and I thought that Montreal would be a good place to learn." She quickly found work in an IT company.
She said her transition was made easier by the Irish Immigrant Integration Initiative who helped her to get started. McKee said "It all seems to be very well organized…They're really looking out for the Irish people that are coming in."
The group organizes networking events which allows new Irish to learn about the Irish Community in Montreal. In Toronto a group called SWAP organize a similar event.
Edel Horgan (29) an Irish emigrant who recently arrived to Toronto said the Irish attending these events are serious about creating a new life for themselves.
She told the Irish Examiner "People turned up in jeans and T-shirts but most Irish people were dressed in suits. They meant business. People from other parts of the world came to Toronto on working holidays and they weren’t too bothered about finding proper work but this wasn’t the case with the Irish there.
"Most Irish people come to Toronto because they can’t get a job at home and they want to use their time in Toronto to advance their career so that they can go back home and give themselves a better chance of finding work."
A representative of the Irish Chamber in Canada, Alannah McMahon, said Canadian companies look favorably on the Irish. They're impressed with their hard work ethic, positive attitude and ability to fit in.
She said "Of the well-established ex-pat community it is clear to see how well the Irish have done. Most have leading positions in their respective companies…Canada is a nation that is not only welcoming to the Irish but to all cultures. Most Canadians have a history of immigration at some point in their family history so they are understanding of the challenges we face."
Dave (23) from Passage West, County Cork, arrived in Toronto in January with a degree from Cork Institute of Technology. He told the Irish Examiner "Myself and my friends came to a decision to move to
Toronto as we heard that the Canadian economy was doing pretty good in comparison to our dismal economy. So we said why not."
He works in Toronto city and pays just $590 for rent. He said that he would absolutely return to Ireland if the economy improved.
"I think one of the biggest differences between Canada and Ireland is that the Canadian government is full of intelligent people who know what they are doing. They didn’t destroy their country or bail out their banks like that power hungry Fianna Fáil party who forced me, and thousands like me, to leave our shores in search of proper opportunities."
Aoife Hennessy (32) has been in Toronto for almost a year. She said "There is no talk of a recession here and no negativity. I have no immediate plans to move back to Ireland. It is unfortunate to say but I don’t think Ireland has much to offer at the moment…I miss Ireland, I miss my family and friends and do get homesick from time to time."
She continued "I did not want to be struggling, I wanted to enjoy a good quality of life and be happy…The Irish community over here become your new family and everyone looks out for each other."
Currently the Canadian and Irish government also have a working holiday program agreement for people aged 18 to 35. Canada has also increased the number of Irish working visa from 2,000 to 5,000 and the length has been extended from one year to two.
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