The veterans affairs minister in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet apologized Sunday for saying immigrants “are better at creating new businesses and new jobs than people born in Canada.”
After being pummeled on social media all day, Seamus O’Regan confessed: “Well, that was foolish…Poor choice of words on my part…I met last week with an entrepreneur who rightly felt put out by what I’d said.”
— Seamus O’Regan (@SeamusORegan) August 5, 2018
O’Regan’s initial tweet had passed almost without notice, until conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel commented on the post Saturday night. That prompted a social media mass rejoinder on Sunday that continued until the Trudeau minister tweeted his apology.
Rempel tweeted: “Can of worms: opened.”
Can of worms: opened. https://t.co/Pa8n8o9P5f
— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) August 4, 2018
She was responding to a tweet of O’Regan who had commented a week earlier: “No, we just need more job creators. Immigrants are better at creating new businesses and new jobs than Canadian-born people.”
No, we just need more job creators. Immigrants are better at creating new businesses and new jobs than Canadian-born people. Simple. https://t.co/qfQE6FkKNA
— Seamus O’Regan (@SeamusORegan) July 30, 2018
The CBC story that O’Regan cited in his initial tweet was a report on a Statistics Canada study that examined immigrants who had been in Canada for up to 30 years. It found that small businesses created by immigrants created about half as many jobs as those created by people born in Canada.