Can We Stem the Exodus?
A frank analysis of the trek southward of Made-in-Canada brains and manpower
W. A. IRWIN
WE CELEBRATE our Diamond Jubilee on July 1, and on that day, the ghosts of one thousand Canadians-who-might-have-been will stalk un-
seen wherever four thousand of their flesh-and-blood brethren shall be gathered together in patriotic assembly.
If all the Canadians who have emigrated to the United States since Confederation had remained in Canada, they and their children and their children's children now' would outnumber the present population of the Dominion’s four western provinces.
In sixty years, we have budded one great west—and lost the potential man-power of another great west.
The riches of an area greater than that of Europe lie ready for our taking. Europe divides its inheritance among four hundred and fifty millions; we among nine and a half; and yet, the six years now passed have witnessed the expatriation of half a million Canadians.
Man for man, we are to-day the richest among the adolescent nations of the world. Only two of all the nations exceed us in per capita wealth. Our development during the past three decades, our march to, possess the white man’s last great west, have been things to marvel at; and yet, during six decades, we have frittered away the equivalent of more than a fourth of our present population.
Staggering statements those, but they do no more than justice to the facts.
Equally staggering, whether we regard them as an indictment of the past or as arrows which point the way to a larger future. We cannot undo what has been done, but he is no patriot who, without taking thought, applies ‘cannot’ to the years beyond to-morrow.
No doubt, there are those who will hurl the taunt, ‘unpatriotic’, at the broadcasting, in this, our year of national jubilation, of such unpalatable truths as those already recited. To that, one answers only this: It is a poor jubilee that does not stimulate in the celebrator a desire to discover whereby he may improve on his own record. He is no traitor who takes cognizance of the, errors of the past in the desire to prevent their recurrence in the future.
Facts .Should Be Known
LET there be no mistake as to the intent of the series of J which this article is the introduction. The series was not conceived in the minds of catch-penny alarmists. It represents a sincere and honest effort to state facts which should be known to every Canadian; an effort to collect and examine evidence on the causes of a fundamental weakness in our program for national expansion: and an effort to furnish constructive criticism based on that evidence.
To begin with, let us examine the basis for the statistical generalizations already stated. If there is any doubt as to their accuracy, he who doubts should search out some mathematically-minded friend and ask him to retrace the path followed by the writer. Furnish him
with the totals of native-born Canadians recorded in the last six censuses of the United States; set him to work with mortality tables and birth rates for his tools, and ask him for a computation of the natural increase over a period of sixty years. Then explain that his figures do not include naturalized and British-born Canadians who have gone to the United States. Point out that the aggregate of the flow to the United States from British North America, since 1871, according to the incomplete records of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration, has been 2,330,000. Be sure that he makes wide allowance for possible returns from the United States to Canada, and unless the doubter disbelieves in figures entirely, there can be but one conclusion: Had we retained our own we would now have an additional population outnumbering the 2,700,000 Canadians who live in Western Canada.
Admitting that population is not necessarily the be-all and the end-all of national existence, it yet remains an axiom that our most pressing need is more people. Our governments, our railways and other colonizing agencies are spending millions upon millions to induce millions to make this country their home, and rightly so.
During the six fiscal years 1921 to 1926, inclusive, the Federal Government alone spent $13,002,067 under the head of ‘immigration’. Some of that money was used to keep people out of the country—the exact proportion it is impossible to determine—but most of it was spent in the effort to get them in. As a result of that expenditure, we succeeded in drawing 667,349 new Canadians to our shores. All things considered, that’s a creditable record.
BUT there’s another side to the story. During those same six years 630,016 Canadians were recorded by the Washington authorities as having immigrated into the United States. How many of the latter have returned to Canada is a question that has generated much heat
within the austere walls of the House of Commons at Ottawa. We know definitely, however, that 90,996 expatriates who have been south of the border from more than six months and less than three years returned during the years 1925 and 1926. Beyond that, there are only the United States emigration figures, which are sharply questioned by some authorities as being incomplete.
Be that as it may, the U.S. figures show a return flow of 15,313 during the four years 1921-1924. That leaves a net loss during the six years of, roughly 524,000. In all probability the total loss was larger than the figure cited, for there is an indeterminate ‘bootleg’ emigration from Canada to the United States which responsible authorities estimate as being of considerable proportions.
Ignoring the ‘bootleg’ flow entirely, however, the net result for the six years is sufficiently startling. Figure it out. Cost—$13,000,000, plus whatever amount -was spent by the provincial governments, the railways and other colonizing agencies; gain by immigration—667,349 new Canadians; loss by emigration—524,000 native-born Canadians. To put it mildly, that kind of national arithmetic is not as satisfactory as it might be.
Nor are these figures peculiar to the post-war period. There is not space here to follow the statistics for sixty years and analyze their trend in detail. Sufficient to say, by way of indicating the continuity of the flow, that during the years 1911 to 1920, 742,185 Canadians were registered as having immigrated into the United States. Furthermore, quite apart from the American figures, our own Bureau of Statistics estimates empirically that the total loss by emigration during those ten years was 1,297,740. Going back to the decade, 1871-1880, immediately following Confederation, we find that the leak was in existence even then. During that ten-year period, 383,000 Canadians crossed into the United States. Taking the change in population into consideration, this represents a percentage loss almost identical with that of the decade of the war.
If corroborative evidence is desired, it can be found, as suggested previously, in the United States census. Away back in 1870, 493,454 native-born Canadians were living in the United States. By 1900, the total had risen to more than 1,100,000, and the quota of our native-born residents south of the border has been maintained above that figure ever since.
It might be said that we have managed to get along very nicely without the exiles. True. But another Western Canada would eat a goodly number of loaves of breads for the bakers of Canada to make a profit on, another Western Canada would wear out a sizable number of boots and shoes for the bootmakers of Canada to
manufacture, to mention nothing of collar buttons and caterpillar tractors No need to argue that aspect of the case.
Where Does Fault Lie?
'T'HAT being so, what are we going to do about it? Can we do anything about it? Are we the victims of malign circumstance, as many of our pessimists would have us believe? Are the forces which have conspired for sixty years to place this drain on our man-power beyond our control? Or is it ourselves and not our stars that are at fault?
Any attempt at an answer to those questions, of necessity, must involve an understanding of the causes of the malady. In a general way, that information can be had for the asking almost anywhere. At Ottawa, the ‘outs’ have explained times without number that the trouble is due to the pestilential policies of the ‘ins’. The ‘ins,’ in turn, have explained that it undoubtedly is due to the pestilential policies of the ‘outs’. The experts in the Bureau of Statistics ascribe it to a natural ‘drag’ on our population, due to the proximity of a larger and mo: > wealthy neighbor. The man on the street dismisses it more succinctly still with: “More jobs; better pay.” All of which—excepting the battledore-and-shuttlecock theory of the ‘ins’ and the ‘outs’—is good enough as far as it goes, but, for our purpose, it doesn’t go far enough.
Natural drag? It is possible that that might be the sole explanation. But consider this fact: for sixty years, generations of Canadians have defied natural geography to build a nation. What is more, they’ve been getting away with it! Heaven knows that it would have been easy enough
for the Fathers and their successors to let Nature run its course, and their dreams of ultimate nationhood go smash. But they didn’t. They willed otherwise, and, Nature to the contrary, so it came to pass.
What is more, intelligent exploration has shown that even Nature was not so harshly disposed as once-was thought. In the beginning, the wilderness north of Lakes Huron and Superior was visualized as an almost insuperable barrier to national unity. To-day, that barrier stands revealed as a veritable treasure house, and where the treasure lies to-day there can be neither wilderness nor obstacle to unity to-morrow.
No, natural drag is not good enough. We can’t absolve ourselves of all responsibility for this particular failure— it must be admitted it is a failure—without first exhausting every means within our power in an attempt to dent the immutability of whatever natural laws enter into the case. And it may be that the obstacles may prove to be no more impenetrable than was the pre-Cambrian wilderness., That may or may not be the case, but in the meantime, it remains to be discovered if and where we ourselveshavefailed to measure up to our responsibilities.
Here’s the Evidence
TF WE are to make out a case against ourselves, how-
ever, we must have evidence. Where to get that evidence? That was the quest which confronted the editors of MacLean’s when they had argued themselves thus far into the subject. Casting about for an answer, they found it in the alumni lists of Canadian universities, in which are recorded, with a fair degree of accuracy and completeness, the addresses as well as the names of the graduates. What more simple than to write to those living in the United States and ask them to testify?
Even before the plan was in operation fully, results were disclosed that, to say the least, were disquietening. For one thing, it was learned that, since the close of the war, Eastern Canada has been exporting its universitytrained brains at a rate anywhere from two to six times the rate of the aggregate emigration from the entire country for the same period.
Granting the statement, already made, that the country as a whole has lost upwards of half a million by emigration since the Armistice, our total loss has been roughly about five per cent, of the population. A beggarly five per cent., however, falls far short of measuring the rate at which Eastern Canada has been yielding up its trained brains to its ‘larger and more wealthy neighbor’.
Hon. J. A. Robb once said jokingly in the House of
Commons that: ‘There are lies, damned lies and statistics’, but these statistics, showing the average rate of flow of our graduates from some of our larger universities during the years 1919 to 1926, are no joke.
University of Toronto—graduates in medicine, twentyeight per cent, emigrants to the United States; graduates in engineering, fourteen per cent.; graduates from all faculties, eleven per cent.
University of Western Ontario, London—graduates in medicine, thirty-four per cent, emigrants to the United States; graduates from all faculties, fifteen per cent.
Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia—graduates from all faculties emigrants to the United States, thirtysix per cent.
Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick —graduates from all faculties emigrants to the United States, seventeen per cent.
In passing, it might be noted that the peak of the export of medical graduates from the University of Toronto was reached in 1924, when the percentage was forty-four. In other years it ranged from fourteen per cent., in 1919, to thirty-three per cent., in 1926.
Lest it might be argued that those figures are abnormal and do not represent accurately the situation, let us glance at the aggregate figures for all years. Here they are for eight representative universities, scattered throughout the Dominion :
University No. of living No. of graduates Per cent.
graduates Toronto........ 19,987
Mount Ailison.. Saskatchewan ..
in U.S. 2,413 775 230 400 115 49 60 57
in U.S. 12 15 19 34 14
It is not intended that those figures should be read as being accurate to the last digit. Some allowance must be made for the probability that some of the recent graduates now studying in the United States ultimately will return to Canada, but that is a comparatively negligible factor in a tabulation which in some cases, covers years and more. On the other hand, there are a considerable number of graduates whose addresses are unknown, and there is no telling how many of them are in the United States. Nor must the reader run away with the idea that
the totals at the bottom of the tables represent our gross loss of university-trained men and women. They record only the exodus from eight universities and there are twenty-three universities in the Dominion, not to mention eightythree colleges and professional schools. Of that more later.
What Do Exiles Say?
TN THE meantime, let us see what the exiles themselves have to say about the causes of their going.
As has been intimated already, editorial curiosity evolved the idea of collecting evidence through a questionnaire where a questionnaire was possible. One thousand graduates of universities representative of all sections of the Dominion, now resident in the United States, were selected at random and asked to give the reasons that actuated their departure from Canada. They were told that they could speak freely under a promise of anonymity. Two hundred and three of the thousand responded—a remarkably high return, as anyone who has had anything to do with questionnaires will admit. The replies came from thirtyfour states of the Union and the District of Washington. The writers were representative of all the common, and many of the uncommon, professional classes known to modern society—doctors and dentists of all sorts—aurists, oculists, orthopedists and therapeutists, to mention only a few of them; pharmacists and chemists; physicists and metallurgists and engineers; clergymen; college professors, journalists and school teachers of both sexes; lawyers; financiers, men of commerce and industrial executives. There was even the odd
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Can We Stem the Exodus?
Continued, from page 4
millionaire or two and an extremely odd self-confessed failure. A thoroughly representative list, and one so widely distributed geographically as to be well worth analysing.
And what did they have to say?
Naturally, many of them gave more than one motive for their leaving Canada, but a more or less arbitrary classification of reasons works out, on a percentage basis, as follows:
Economic advantage ................ 57%
Better opportunities for advanced education and a wider field for the
specialist ........................ 20%
Health and climate ................. 9%
Family and personal reasons ........ 5%
Objection to political, social and intel-'
lectual conditions in Canada........ 5%
The lure of the unknown............ 2%
Miscellaneous ..................... 2%
At first glance it might seem that that analysis brings us back, full circle, to ‘natural drag’. Apparently, seventy-seven per cent, admit it’s all a question of economic advantage and wider opportunity. We shall see. It is not quite as obvious as all that.
Listen to this from a graduate of Toronto, who is now head of the chemistry department in a Mississippi Valley college:
‘My reason for leaving Canada may be briefly stated: a desire to improve my economic condition. After graduation, and while pursuing post-graduate work at the University of Toronto, I was asked by a Toronto firm to organize an analytical and research laboratory for their factory. This was done. The analytical routine was quite a success. The individuals concerned worked hard and soon had the purchases of raw materials and the sales of finished product conforming to definite standards. The research program was a dead failure. The manufacturer was unwilling to wait for results. Even in connection with the most complex problems on which the best scientific brains in that industry had spent years, of study and investigation with only partial success, he expected and demanded that they be solved overnight. Instead of encouragement, he gave nothing but complaint. He was always generous with his praise concerning the results achieved in standardizing his purchases and his products. He could not understand, however, why it was we could evaluate a raw material in a few hours and could not solve a manufacturing problem in an equal period of time. Naturally I became discouraged and when I was offered my present position here—to train research workers—at double the salary, I accepted.’
Economic advantage and natural drag? Nominally, yes, but the reader can draw his own conclusions as to who was to blame for the loss of that particular Canadian who is now engaged in training scientists to build up United States industry.
And here’s another comment in similar tone from an observant classicist, now head of the Department of Greek in one of the largest universities in the Middle West, he, too, being an export from Toronto:
‘Many business organizations here insist on having college men. In this way they improve their personnel and absorb an increasingly large output of the colleges. Canadian organizations seem to cling to the apprenticeship idea and prefer high school boys. One result of this policy is that the Canadian college man is driven into the professions or into the* United States. If Canadian business men would only realise that it pays to hire college men you would soon be able to absorb your own output.’
Lest one might think that the professor of Greek is biased by reason of his being a college man, himself, place that over against this, from an industrial chemist in Connecticut:
‘After graduating from the University of Toronto in chemistry I endeavored to find a place in a Canadian industry. Everywhere I applied, not only did I not get the j ob, but I was looked upon as being somewhat crazy to think that a chemist had any place in the industry at that time. I then turned to the United States and my first application was promptly accepted by the company I am now with. During my experience here, the attitude of the industry toward my special training has been so cordial that I am now firmly attached to this country.’
From a Millionaire
AND here’s a word from one of the millionaires, now the vice-president and general manager of a realty company which controls, $50,000,000 worth of property in California:
‘I have been to Canada at least a dozen times in the last twenty years, and can see the great contrast. It appears to me that young men of good character and ability can receive much better financial assistance in the United States than they can in Canada.’
His letter is too long to quote in full but he is a native of Barrie, Ontario, and after graduating in pharmaçy, he ‘secured a position with one of the most aggressive retail druggists in Toronto, at a salary of $14 a week. Things did not look very bright to me, as there were registered pharmacists working in the same store for $9 a week.’ Suffice to say that he went to San Francisco and started in with a chain store company at $135 a month, and ‘in a short time I was made manager of their largest store in San Francisco, at a. salary of $175 a month.’ No need to follow in detail his subsequent progress from small store owner to chain store general manager and then chain store owner but it is interesting to learn how he got his first big push, eight years after leaving Toronto, when he was still in his twenties:
‘The big chain store people were watching my progress, and they succeeded in selling me an interest in their business. I was made director and given charge of all the business in Southern California fat
the----Drug Company. I obtained
options on a great deal more stock in this company than I could pay for in cash and I found it necessary to get acquainted with a good banker who believed in me and my company. This banker loaned me sufficient money to take up my options before they expired. The business grew and prospered and I was able to meet my obligations to him.’
On the face of it, that story suggests lack of appreciation of an ability in a place were it might have done a great deal of good.
Being a young country, Canada needs engineers, and yet, note the experience of a recent graduate in engineering from the Nova Scotia Technical College, now employed in Boston: .
‘Previous to graduating from the Nova Scotia Technical College, I wrote a number of letters to firms located at different points throughout Canada, chiefly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Not one of the replies received was at all favorable and I was practically forced to come to the LTnited States to obtain a position in the line of wrork which I had studied. My classmates had similar experiences, a fact which is proven by the fact that out of twenty-two graduates in 1924, not one is at present employed in Nova Scotia and only six in Upper Canada.’
‘Sorry, But No Opening—’
SO MUCH for the engineering graduate from the Maritimes. What of his brother from Central Canada?
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The following from a recent graduate in engineering of Toronto University, now in Detroit, is illuminating:
‘About a month before graduating in mechanical engineering at Toronto, in 1923, I started writing industrial firms located in all sections of Canada and visiting those in Toronto, regarding employment. I did not ask for a high salary, my only request being for a position with an opportunity for advancement, if I showed that I possessed the necessary abilities. My letters invariably brought the polite reply: “We have no opening at the present time but will file your letter for future reference.”
‘My personal visits to Toronto firms usually did not get me beyond the office boy or some lower official. No doubt the executives were too busy to bother with a university graduate who, probably, had his head chuck full of his own importance.
‘Upon graduating, I was still as far from employment as ever. I went to Montreal and after a week’s search secured a job trucking castings in a large machine shop, hoping that this would to be the thin edge of the wedge which might get me into talking distance with some of the executives. Industrial conditions became slack, and two weeks after I was employed the firm began to lay off men. I spent another week looking for other work, but failed to find it, so came to Detroit where, at that time, industrial conditions were excellent. I had no difficulty in securing work at much better pay than I could secure in Canada.
‘The point I want to make clear from my own experience is that Canadian employers have no interest whatever in the young university graduate, and that the reverse is true here. Here, when you state that you have a university training, it has been my experience invariably to be sent to a department head who, if he cannot place you, will direct you to some other firm, telling you to say that he sent you.
‘My impression is that the American employer is always on the lookout for employees with the ground work and education fitting them for development into executives. He does not consider it a waste of time to talk to prospective employees himself and advise them and encourage them.
‘I might mention a fact that has been brought to my attention by friends working in the Border Cities. Their firm does extensive advertising for draftsmen in England and Scotland, with considerable success. The quota being filled to the United States, English and Scottish draftsmen will accept a much lower wage than the prevalent one in Detroit, although there is very little difference in the cost of living, in the two cities. This practically forces the Canadians working for this firm to come to Detroit, where they can earn considerably more money.
‘Such being my experience, I have no desire to return to Canada, other than that created by family ties.’
Exporting Our Brains
'T'HE seriousness of our loss through export of our brains is emphasized by the number of outstanding successes recorded among those of the exiles who have been in the United States for a number of years. The next ‘case’, to cite a striking example, is that of a graduate of Mount Allison University who is now the assistant vice-president, directly responsible for the Research and Development Department of one of the largest utility corporations in the United States. This company owes its phenomenal development during the past quarter of a century largely to the skill with which it has applied scientific discoveries to its business and—the head of its research department is a Canadian!
‘On graduating in 1893,’ he writes, ‘I passed the provincial examinations in New Brunswick, securing what was known as a grammar school teacher’s license.
At the end of two years’ teaching, I went to Harvard University, and was there for about four years taking graduate work in physics, mathematics and some work in electrical engineering.
‘In 1899, I entered the employ of the
----Company in their Research and
Development Department—thus taking up work with which I have been connected ever since. At the present time, I
am assistant vice-president of the—----
----Company, responsible under a
vice-president of that company for the operation of the Department of Development and Research.
‘You ask me why I left Canada. In 1899, neither in Canada nor in the United States had industrial research become very firmly established, and to a young man at that time there were not many choices of opportunities. In Canada particularly, the positions open to men of my training were almost entirely in the universities, and there were very few of them.
‘You ask whether I have any criticism of the Canadian educational systems. I think it is unfortunate that there is not in any one of the Canadian universities a graduate school of arts and sciences which can at all compare with the graduate schools connected with some eight or ten of the universities in the United States. The lack of such a graduate school means that a young man who has taken undergraduate in some Canadian college or university is attracted to one of the graduate schools in the United States, and rather infrequently returns to his native country. I do not mean to imply that in certain departments professors in some Canadian universities are not doing research work of a high grade, or offering high grade instruction.’
It is to be noted that that exile puts his finger on a factor which, to a very considerable extent, explains his own presence in the United States.
Returning, however, to the more strictly economic side of the case, let us see what this graduate in medicine from the University of Toronto, now.practising in Detroit , has to say:
‘On graduating, I made arrangements to enter--Hospital, Detroit, as an in-
terne, and I was there when the war broke out. I returned to Toronto in 1915 and went overseas. After the war I was
second in command of the--
hospital, in Toronto, until 1920. Before leaving the army, I looked over Toronto and the vicinity but could see no opening for a medical man with any future to it, such as I knew existed in Detroit, so I came down here.
‘To-day I am making $35,000 a year from my practice alone. I own over $75,000 worth of real estate and am building a home—it is started now— which-is costing me $35,000; and I have many other things I never expected to have before I was sixty. In five years I will have plenty to retire on and I won’t be forty years old.
‘The things to which I attribute my success are, the ability to work that I had hammered into me while young, by my Scotch-Presbyterian relatives, and the fine education I received in the Canadian schools and at Toronto. I would prefer to live in Canada; in fact, my wife and I are already contemplating buying an estate in London, Ontario. Even my wife, who is a Yankee, prefers our Canadian friends. If one could find the same opportunities in Canada, as here, one would be foolish to move, but where are they? In five years time, I am making more than the eminent practitioners in Toronto, men who have been there twenty-five years or more. Nor, am I the only Canadian who is doing so well here. Nearly all Canadians do well for the reason that they are well educated and have self-discipline which is the average American’s weak point. In conclusion, I will say that the money is here and the real people are in Canada.
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By the time I am fifty, I hope to enjoy them both.’
‘In Canada,’ adds another physician, also in Detroit, ‘a physician is never established until he is well on in years. Here, a young man is considered as being as good or better than a tottering sexagenarian.’
Turning to another and highly specialized group, here is the evidence of an actuary. It is written by a graduate of Mount Allison University, now employed by an insurance company in a large Connecticut city:
‘Toward the latter part of my senior year, I made application to some ten or twelve insurance companies, four of which were American. I shall not bother you with the details of the various replies received, except to say that even the most favorable from the Canadian companies were, to say the least, vague and uncertain. On the other hand, the Connecticut Company, invited me to come to their headquarters, at their expense, for a conference.
After discovering what that company had to offer, I considered the other replies and decided, in the end, to come to the United States after graduation. In fact, one of the officials of a Canadian company advised me to accept such an offer, rather than anything his company could offer in the event they needed a man after I graduated.’
Another indication that the United States employer is more interested in potential executive assistance than in his Canadian brother.
Some Blunt Comment
DLUNTNESS is seldom pleasant, but ■*“* it is a characteristic of many of the letters whose writers discuss the purely economic reason. Note, for instance, the following evidence from this Maritime graduate, who is now a clergyman in a Massachusetts city:
‘In our senior year at college we received a letter from the province stating that we would be provided with churches paying ten dollars a week to single men and fifteen a week to married men. This, to my mind, was altogether too conservative. I rather think Canada underestimates her own clergymen.’
From a Canadian newspaper man in New York comes the complaint that he left New Brunswick because, in the neighborhood he came from, wages did not depend so much on merit of the man as on the number of years that had passed over his head.
‘Such may not have been the case in Ontario, but it certainly was the case in the Maritime Provinces’, he adds, and that is why so many ambitious young men have left the country and are making a success in this country. These men wotild have built up the Maritime Provinces, which are now crying so loudly for help, if they had had half a chance for a living wage.’
And here is the opinion of a woman graduate of Acadia University now engaged in library work in a city in New York state:
‘I should have been glad to have obtained a position in some Canadian library but the variety of work and the salaries are so much better here, that, naturally,I chose to go to the place where my work was decently valued. So many libraries in Canada pay a mere pittance, and unless one lives at home, it is absolutely imposssible to make ends meet.
‘I have no doubt that as time goes on, the conditions in the field of library work will improve, but until they do, I shall not feel I am called to return to Canada. I do think it is deplorable that so many of our young people are leaving home, but I am sure the reason is not lack of loyalty to our country.’
Another woman graduate, this time from Dalhousie University, who is now teaching music in a women’s college in
Virginia, expresses a similar opinion: ‘Needless to state, the salary I receive here is practically double what I received in Halifax. I am not very familiar with opportunities in Toronto, Montreal, or places farther west, but I would certainly prefer to have an opportunity of working in Canada were conditions favorable. Do Canadian institutions make special efforts to secure Canadians for their vacancies? I would like to be working for the improvement of my own country rather than for that of another.’
There is no doubt about that exile’s desire to return home, as is also the case with this graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College, who is now engaged in the livestock business in Topeka, Kansas: ‘At the time of my leaving Canada (1922), it was not because I considered there were no opportunities there, but because I had not sufficient capital to engage in farming for myself, and I was able to secure a position here that was more remunerative than any I could secure there. Apart from economic conditions I would prefer living in Canada and I am looking forward to the time when I can see my way clear to return.’
Similarly with this building engineer, now working in Chicago:
‘Apart from its money making possibilities, Canada to-day is a far safer and saner country to live in than the United States, and if the money making opportunities of the United States were transferred to Canada to-day, to-morrow most of the Canadians here would transfer themselves home.
“Canada seems to have room only for those who have arrived and for that reason, this country is a good training ground. My observation is that as fast as success comes to Canadians in the United States, they take it home to Canada to enjoy it in peacè and comfort. Given time we will all come back and together push Canada to her proper place in the sun.’
‘I have no criticism to offer as to the educational institutions in Canada for it was through them that I received a training which has enabled me to compete successfully with university men trained in this country,’ says a Mount Allison graduate, who is now working in a large plant at Edgewater, N.J. ‘However, there must be something wrong with the fundamental policy which controls the development of the magnificent resources which the Dominion possesses, otherwise, the thousands of splendid young men who are now crossing the border every year would find in Canada even greater opportunity than that offered by their southern neighbor. Speaking in generalities, it seems to me that the underlying cause of this condition is the fact that United States capital is being used without stint in the development of the United States, with the result that on every hand there is intense activity and the wage earner reaps his reward. Canadian capital is not being used to any such marked degree in the development of Canada’s almost matchless resources and for that reason the ambitious young men are looking elsewhere for an opportunity to use their ability.’
No Room For Specialists?
'T'HE darts of criticism are not all aimed -*■ at the same target, however. Consider this, for instance, from a graduate of Alberta University, now a medical scientist in one of the most famous hospitals on the continent:
‘If you exclude the drifters, I think you will find that many men, whose abilities lie in a narrow field are driven to the more highly organized conditions of the United States. For myself, I may say that not more than two or three people in Canada are doing the kind of work that I am now fully occupied at, and these few are only partially engaged in it
‘But, underlying all this emigration of intellect is the lack of a distinct and
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bellicose Canadian nationalism . . .
You cannot build or strengthen a national spirit by argument. Those who support their patriotism by statistics are poor patriots. Sentiment is behind it all. We need someone to re-write our songs and stories, not of the Canada before Canada was, not of the frozen north or the isolated community, but of the Canada that has struggled and is still struggling toward a great destiny. Is there any commonly known romance of 1812? There is a “protection” more vital to the survival of Canada than the protective tariff ever could be to its industries.’
That theory may have something to do with the next ‘case’—an oculist in Arkansas:
‘It’s a long time—thirty-nine years— since I made the change, but I still have a clear remembrance of the influences that led me step by step to this country.
‘The first step was the work of part of the public press of Ontario. Forty years ago, the people on this side of the line were the great boosters, while, unfortunately for Canada, a part of her public press backed up the boosters and decried their own country. Trying to win political support, many of the papers of Ontario harped and harped on the handicaps of Ontario while they give much space to glowing laudation of the United States. Naturally, as an ambitious young man, I was influenced by this propaganda. In me was born a feeling of unrest and a strong desire to share in the riches to be picked up in the land of “golden opportunities”.’
Forty years ago! And no further back than two years ago, we were roaring over a ‘blue ruin’ election. Ye gods, will we never learn?
Distinctly apropos in this connection is
the following comment from another exile who has become an American citizen in order that he may earn his living by teaching history to young Californians:
‘In teaching history here, I have discovered that Canadians have much to learn in connection with the teaching of their own history. For one thing, I would suggest that Canadian history be written in an interesting style and be taught, not as a dry skeleton of wars and dates and constitutional acts, but as a live subject, by teachers with enthusiasm. Furthermore, Canadian magazines and daily newspapers should join in a concerted effort to boost Canada and discourage in every way the publishing of articles boosting the United States.’
While we are talking about some of the intangibles beyond the ken of the economist, we may as well hear what this Bluenose from Mount Allison University, now a lawyer in New Jersey, has to say:
‘When I was a boy my grandfather was in a certain business in the Maritimes. His route of progress was the groove. He had certain set times at which things had to be done and fixed methods of doing them. My uncles and my father broke loose from the old methods and embarked on entirely new methods with the result that they multiplied the prosperity of the business four times over. A successful business in my opinion is a business that keeps moving and changing, always developing new methods and new interests. More rapid development of Canada in a busipess and material way will come with a new generation and a new freedom.’
Editor’s Notel This is the first of a series of three articles by Mr. Irwin dealing with the exodus of Canadian manpower to the United States. The second article will appear in an early issue.