Canada Tries To Poach High-Tech Workers From The U.S.

Alongside a freeway in Northern California is a billboard which reads: Pivot to Canada. The billboard is urging high-tech immigrants living in the U.S. to pay attention to Canada. Canada wants to attract highly-skilled, foreign-born tech workers who are fed up with the visa process that they must follow to remain in the U.S.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Our last word in business today is: Pivot to Canada.

That's on a billboard alongside the freeway in Northern California, meant to lure people even farther north.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The billboard is urging a very particular audience to pay attention to Canada, not the United States. They are high-tech immigrants living in the U.S.

GREENE: Canada's trying to poach highly-skilled, foreign-born tech workers who are fed up with the visa process that they must follow to remain in the U.S.

INSKEEP: Canada's startup visa grants permanent residency to entrepreneurs who can raise enough venture capital to start a Canadian business. Jason Kenney is Canada's Immigration Minister and he's been in Silicon Valley the last few days, trying to lure entrepreneurs into his country.

JASON KENNEY: An uncharacteristic bout of aggression, is we're actually going out and saying, please come to Canada. We've got a better immigration system and lower taxes. And I'm proud of it. I have no - make no apologies for saying that.

GREENE: Although Steve, I noticed that in this bout of aggressiveness, the Canadian minister still managed to say the word please.

INSKEEP: In an uncharacteristic bought of aggressiveness, we are really raising our voices here. Anyway...

GREENE: Right.

INSKEEP: ...let's give to Canada.

GREENE: There it is.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BLAME CANADA")

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