'Time to get some facts out': Pro-immigration billboards go up in Halifax area
'Immigration is strengthening our economy in Nova Scotia,' says Halifax Chamber of Commerce CEO
Less than two weeks after a controversial political ad warning Canadians to "Say NO to Mass Immigration" was taken down in Halifax, nine new billboards sharing a pro-immigration message have gone up in the Halifax area.
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and EduNova (an industry association for education and training firms) have teamed up to place digital billboards across Halifax and Dartmouth.
"We felt it was time to get some facts out in the marketplace about immigration," said Patrick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
"Immigration is strengthening our economy in Nova Scotia, it's increasing our population."
There was public outcry after a billboard featuring an image of the leader of the People's Party of Canada was posted along a busy highway in Halifax last month.
Maxime Bernier's party told CBC the billboards — which also popped up in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Regina — were done by a third party.
"I think we were disappointed to see those billboards," Sullivan said.
The new billboards aren't in the exact spot of the former People's Party billboard in Halifax, but Sullivan said the two are "remarkably close."
"We hope that anybody who saw that billboard will see the more positive message," Sullivan said.
He said he's seen a positive response on social media and is pleased people are embracing the messages.
The billboards went up on Tuesday and will be up for about a week.
They have five different messages, including:
- IMMIGRATION GROWS: the economy, jobs and diversity.
- 15,000 international students add over $400,000,000 to Nova Scotia's economy.
Robert Batherson, interim CEO of EduNova, said he saw the previous billboard as an opportunity to provide factual information about the benefits of immigration.
He said they hope to get the word out that Nova Scotia is open to newcomers.
"When we open our doors to new Canadians, when we open our doors to international students, to immigrants, there is a positive economic impact from that," Batherson said.
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