Immigration increasingly important to Canada

A new report shows that Canada is becoming increasingly reliant on immigration.

Statistics Canada data analysed by the National Bank shows that immigration currently accounts for three-quarters of Canada’s population growth, compared to less than half in the early 1990s.

The figures show that Canada’s population grew by 1.2 per cent in the last year – far more than the 0.7 per cent growth seen in Southern neighbour the United States in the same period.

“The good news is that all provinces benefitted from international immigration, which was up 0.9 per cent nationally,” wrote National Bank economists Krishen Rangasamy and Marc Pinsonneault.

The increase comes as the Canadian government raised the annual immigrant intake figure from 250,000 a year to 300,000. And some experts believe the figure could go even higher.

According to a report released by the Conference Board of Canada earlier this week, the government should consider raising the annual immigrant intake target to closer to 450,000.

Doing this, the report says, would help the country solve the problems it faces regarding an ageing workforce and rising healthcare costs.

“Since immigrants tend to be younger than the national average, healthcare costs as a share of provincial revenues would decrease by 2 percentage points to 40.5 per cent in 2040,” the report suggested.

The report also stated that while Canada is already fairly successful in integrating skilled immigrants into society, if it could focus more on doing so then a rise in immigration levels would not cause major problems.

“Immigration makes an immense contribution to Canada’s economy, but the employment barriers that newcomers experience are preventing Canada from fully reaping the economic benefits,” said Kareem El-Assal, senior research associate for immigration at the Canadian Conference Board.

Article published 4th October 2017