Why I left #Canada — An open letter to Justin Trudeau

By Chris Pereira

Canada is the destination for hundreds of thousands of hard-working new immigrants every year, seeking to build a better and more dignified life. They view Canada as a land of opportunity — until they actually arrive.

I have heard countless friends and colleagues in Canada comment recently that they are thinking about leaving. Everyone is saying that Canada today bears little resemblance to its past legacy of being a great land of opportunity. Canada today is not strong and not free. This letter is a reflection of those comments, and my own experience.

I have lived primarily outside of Canada for two decades. The world outside of Canada is full of opportunities these days. In places like Shenzhen, China, Singapore, and Dubai, there are business incentives that make sense and encourage hard work. People in these regions view competition as a good thing—something that makes you better and stronger.

Singapore offers a 17 percent flat income tax rate no matter your income, has zero drug and homeless issues, and offers a standard of living above that of Canada.

Thanks to smart business incentives and less government interference, growth in Southeast Asia is exploding, including in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia, as these economies expand trade with China. Africa and South America are also de-regulating—note the reforms occurring in Argentina and Mexico, too. Shenzhen, with its famous “Shenzhen Speed,” continues to be the innovation capital of Asia. Even Saudi Arabia is reforming and opening up.

Meanwhile, in Canada, public and political policy is focused on extreme non-mainstream gender issues, restricting the free market, and expanding the government payroll. Recently announced further tax hikes make Canada even less competitive globally.

Canada is committing cultural and economic suicide, thinking it is saving the world. In reality, the world is increasingly ignoring Canada and working hard to make a better future without Canada.

Canadian business policy needs to reference places like Singapore, Dubai, and Shenzhen. I meet with globally-minded young leaders in Shenzhen and Singapore every week. Compared to the average Canadian, young people in these regions are focused on improving themselves, providing value to the world, and working hard; working very hard—harder and smarter than the average Canadian

There is a lack of urgency regarding the economy and business growth in Canada that is appalling to business people outside of Canada. In fact, the business people I know who have travelled to Canada openly mock the Canadian government’s inefficiency and lack of innovation.

There are many great things about Canada. Unfortunately, for hard-working, smart, and innovative people who deliver so much energy into societies and economies, living and working in Canada just doesn’t make sense.

For smart and hard-working Canadians, it might be time to get out of Dodge.

Chris Pereira is the founder and CEO of iMpact, a communications and business consulting group. He has worked with hundreds of companies on branding, PR, and business support for international expansion, and has nearly two decades of experience in China.