Canada is a country that has traditionally welcomed immigrants widely. However, while two-thirds of Canadians acknowledge the benefits immigrants bring, newcomers remain systemically underpaid relative to their Canadian-born peers, causing many to reconsider staying in the country.
To highlight this and remind Canadian citizens of the benefits of immigration, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and agency Wunderman Thompson Canada created a special virtual token whose value reflects the pay inequity.
The "Disparity Coin" is a virtual commemorative coin powered by data on immigration and employment. Its value increases the more diverse the country becomes, and as immigrants’ earning power approaches that of their Canadian-born peers, narrowing the pay gap discrepancy. However, it will lose value when newcomers aren’t equitably paid.
“Canada’s cross-partisan embrace of immigration is unique in the world, but too often, we forget that our good intentions don’t always become reality,” said Daniel Bernhard, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, in a statement. “This is our way of reminding Canadians that newcomers’ experience of Canada may not be as positive as we would like."
The "Disparity Coin" is being promoted through owned and earned channels and a dedicated website, disparitycoin.ca.It was launched for Canadian Citizenship Week (May 23–29) to mark the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, but will continue to live on the site. According to the agency, there are plans to mint it as a coin in the future, possibly as a gift when immigrants become Canadian citizens.
It's not the first time that a coin has been used to highlight pay inequity; in 2019 a U.K. campaign for Equal Pay Day by agency Mr President and SheSays minted one pound coins worth 82 pence to reflect the gender pay gap.