Shame-Us O’Regan and Canadian-Born Businesses

(Update. September 9, 2018) Here is further proof that O’Regan’s attack on Canadian born entrepreneurs was not only false, but he owes an apology to so-called “Canadian-borns”. Many or most migrants given permanent residency under the business start-up program not only did not start the businesses, but they were draining Canadian tax payer dollars, as reported by Global News.

(Update. August 6, 2018)

How do you like us Canadian-born business owners now, Seamus O’Regan?

Two days after O’Regan’s attack on Canadian born entrepreneurs there is concrete evidence that “foreign-borns”, supposedly starting businesses in Canada under the SUV/provincial business incentive programs, are fraudulently using the program. The CBSA says that 462 foreign-borns – in PEI alonehave fraudulently used Canadian business incentive programs


(July 30, 2018) Seamus O’Regan, the Liberal Minister of Veteran Affairs, went on a rant against “Canadian-born” people claiming they were inferior to Foreign-born people:

“Immigrants are better at creating new businesses and new jobs than Canadian-born people. Simple.”

Today, Seamus O’Regan continued with a back-handed insult by saying he understands that “Canadian-borns” don’t like to be on the “lesser end.” Basically, it was a nonchalant “my bad, for being so blunt about my racism against Canadian-born people. Nothing to see here.” His statement seemed to be a highly crafted kind of casual that wanted to side-step, rather than explain, the basis of his extraordinary bombshell of an insult to Canadians.

Shame-Us O’Regan raised the ugliness of divisive Liberal Identity Politics with a punch that left a mark on Canadian-borns. Now, he wants everyone to pretend that didn’t happen.

The issue he raised, however, is calling for an answer: are so-called “Canadian-born” people inferior entrepreneurs in comparison to so-called “Foreign-borns”? It would be extraordinary, if true, that the tens of thousands of foreign-born people coming into Canada are actually creating more businesses than Canadian-borns, given the financial and language challenges we are told hinder them.

We’re told many or most of the foreign-born migrants coming to Canada are fleeing horrific situations. They are in shock, with little to no English, or work experience much less business experience in North America. Canadians are generous. We generally want to welcome, receive and help foreign borns get back on their feet, and make Canada their home.  The expectation is that they will work. Not that they will start businesses right away, a huge and difficult undertaking for anyone, but rather that they contribute and are at least self sustaining.

So called “Canadian-borns” on the other hand, speak English and/or French fluently, have had exposure to how Canadian businesses operate, and have family business contacts, etc. So it’s very curious, hard to believe in fact, that Canadian-borns could be doing so relatively poorly considering our relatively enormous advantages.

Maybe O’Regan was only comparing Canadian-born entrepreneurs to a select number of foreign-born who say they are an entrepreneur interested in coming to Canada to start a business. Some preliminary fact checking into just such foreign-borns shed some light on why O’Regan wanted to drop the issue, and quickly.

There is a program for “Foreign-borns” called the “Startup Visa” program. It was initiated by the Harper Conservatives to fast-track the citizenship of foreign entrepreneurs who wanted to come to Canada and set up businesses.  A good program for welcomed and needed immigrants to Canada with realistic checks on it to ensure bogus claims were refused. To be successful in the SUV program, the foreign-born applicant had to pass some expected requirements like basic English or French skills, and have at least $10,000, and some other like criteria.

Most significantly, it had an important check on bogus applications.  The foreign applicant had to convince a Canadian business investment organization to invest their hard-earned money in the foreign-born’s proposed business. (Think Shark Tank) Specifically:

  • An investment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel investor group; or;
  • An investment of at least $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund; 

and (emphasis added)

  • Acceptance into a business incubator program

On July 28, 2017, about a year and a half after the Liberals formed government, they announced that they were making the Startup Visa program permanent – but with some changes. They said “this program grants permanent resident (PR) visas to foreign entrepreneurs who intend to operate a business in Canada that has received at least one of the following:

  • An investment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel investor group;
  • An investment of at least $200,000 from a designated venture capital fund;

or (emphasis added)

  • Acceptance into a business incubator program by a designated business incubator. (emphasis added)

In removing the criteria of investor support for foreign-borns  (i.e. a real investor confident the business would succeed) the Liberals arguably shifted the balance of funding foreign born would-be entrepreneurs over Canadian-borns.

The Liberals incentivized foreign-borns with a fast-track to Canadian citizenship for them and their family, and with it all of the social assistance programs Canada has to offer, for example, healthcare. All the foreign-born has to do (in addition to the minimum $10,000, and routine requirements like basic language skills) was be accepted into an Incubator program which would, bonus, provide them mentorship, office space, etc to start the business.

This SUV program is being actively marketed by Canadian immigration lawyers and advocates to foreign-borns.  A deal to good to be passed up. It’s like being guaranteed a winning lottery ticket.

The point is not that migrants should be denied this opportunity, in spite of  the growing evidence of fraud occurring in the business immigration programs generally even by those within the SUV and those in the business of immigration.

The point is that for O’Regan to compare “Canadian-born” business start ups with a select, small group of “foreign-born” business start ups – who have been highly incentivized and funded to start a business in comparison to Canadian-borns, is clearly a false comparsion. The only purpose it serves is to falsely degrade and try to make Canadian-born citizens feel inferior, and to make foreign-borns feel superior.

Navdeep Bains, Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, made the below announcement. He did so by sticking President Trump in the eye (as Liberals are so foolishly want to do) saying:

“We as as a [Liberal] government have been very clear that, while other jurisdictions are focused on building walls,” he said, “we are truly focused on opening doors and creating opportunities for people to come here and help create and grow Canadian businesses.”

The top three countries for which SUVs are granted:


One would like to think that all of the foreign-born recipients of the SUV program had a devotion to their new Canadian home. It appears that at least some, or most, it doesn’t say, had no regard for Canada because in April, 2018, the Liberals began to realize there was a problem.

Businesses created by the ”foreign-borns” through the SUV program were not actually operating their businesses in Canada. Foreign-borns were operating their businesses in foreign countries, apparently increasing the economic growth of those foreign countries, not Canada.

In all, Seamus O’Regan was wrong on all counts. He was especially wrong to make a broad comparison of  Canadian-born entrepreneurs with foreign-born entrepreneurs.

The truth is, O’Regan was comparing a small, select segment of foreign-born immigrants who are being highly incentivized to start a business, in comparison to Canadians-born employees, the engine of the Canadian economy.

Thanks for letting Canada know your true feelings about Canadian-borns Seamus O’Regan, and for raising the opportunity to have your views about foreign born superiority come out into the open to be shattered. Foreign-born business owners are welcome in Canada alongside Canadian-born business owners, and together we will make Canada strong in spite of the Liberals divisive politics.

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