Volume 93, Issue 36

Wednesday, November 3, 1999


OUSA forum harps on students' tuition

No Return of the Blob for the city

Access cause for concern in market

Tadpoles may hold key

Brain drain continues to cause campus concern


bass ackwards

Caught on campus

Brain drain continues to cause campus concern

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

As the emigration of Canadian minds to the United States continues to tear at the fabric of Canada, a number of Western professors have recommendations to solve the problem.

Just this week, Industry Canada hired the services of an American company to help generate ideas on how to stop the flow of working Canadians to the United States, also known as the "brain drain."

Michael Parkin, professor of economics at Western, said he has seen the effects of the brain drain first hand and cited a lengthy list of Western's faculty members who have jumped ship for opportunities at American schools. He added the drain has made Canada less exciting and less productive.

Parkin said the main reasons so many Canadians have left for the United States are the higher salaries and lower taxes found south of the border.

He explained one solution to the problem is to re-organize Canada's tax system. "They have to create a level playing field for Canadians," Parkin said. "The government has to allow people to earn as much as they're worth and put them on par with the U.S. system."

Western political science professor, Martin Westmacott said Finance Minister Paul Martin's recent announcement to use a billion dollar budget surplus for tax relief, indicates the government is concerned. However, he said the problem is at a personal level.

"There is not a heck of a lot the government can do when it really comes down to it," Westmacott said. "It is up to the individual to decide where their values are."

Westmacott added the quality of life is greater in Canada based on the increased level of social programs and individuals have to decide what means more to them.

Westmacott added the key statistic which has to be assessed is the long-term numbers regarding how many Canadians stay in the U.S..

Niraj Dawar, professor of marketing at the Richard Ivey School of Business said one of the main issues not looked at often enough is the issue of job satisfaction.

"A lot of people are not just leaving because of taxes and higher wages," he said. "People want jobs where they make decisions on things and not just do things. Businesses have to create more jobs at the strategic decision-making level.

"As well, we have to improve the commonly held view that [Canada] is not a happening place," he said. "Silicon Valley and New York are made to look always on the cutting edge and people want to go where the action is."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999