In many countries, immigrants are at the bottom of the social and meritocratic heap. But, in Canada, the opposite is also true. Children of newcomers are heavily overrepresented among the country's top achievers. For proof, look no further than Toronto or Vancouver newspapers that profile the top high-school graduates each year. Find the ones with Anglo-sounding names. Good luck.
This fall, I served on a Rhodes Scholarship selection committee. .... This year, nine of the 11 Ontario finalists were immigrants or first-generation Canadians..... Many of this year's finalists were Russian or Eastern European, offspring of the great diaspora of human talent that fled the former Soviet bloc during the 1990s.
Here's the immigrant difference. Your kids want to become documentary film producers and live in Vancouver; their kids want to become molecular biologists and live in the lab. Your kids will loby their professors to get their B changed to an A-minus; their kids will be crushed if they don't get an A-plus. Your kids ask not what they can do for their employer, but why their employer won't let them take three months off to backpack through New Zealand.... --- Margaret Wente