Canadian immigration post COVID-19 is expected to keep growing in 2020 due to the economic, cultural and social benefits of immigration in Canada.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino quoted in an interview with the Canadian Press “Immigration is fundamentally about people coming together to build a stronger country, and that is an enduring value that I believe in, that I have faith in Canadians that they believe in, that we will see endure long after COVID-19 is behind us.”
In the midst of lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Medicino released the three-year plan for immigration in Canada. As per the plan, Canada is continuing its gradual increase of immigration levels. Canadian immigration targeted 320,000 new immigrants in 2018, 341,000 in 2019, and hopes to welcome another 341,000 immigrants in 2020. Immigration in Canada will increase with an aim of 351,000 immigrants in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022. In the plan, Mr. Mendicino highlighted a program that was released on May 15th 2020 – ‘The Agri-Pilot Program’ that is aimed at those working in meat processing, mushroom, and greenhouse production, as well as livestock-raising industry.
This goes to show the essential nature of immigrants even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted the impact that newcomers have on the Canadian economy and the importance of maintaining immigration post COVID-19.
Immigration is vital for the growth of country’s economy. If we focus on demographic ratios it is easy to understand the impact of immigration and the positive effects it brings:
- 25% of the Canadian population will be over 65 by 2035. With 5,000,000 Canadian population set to retire by 2035, we need a working population to outnumber the retiring population
- Today Canada’s worker to retire ratio is 4:1 which will be 2:1 by 2035. With the fertility rate being 1.5 which is way below Canada’s replacement rate i.e. 2.1 which can now be replaced by added immigrant younger and working population.
- According to the projected ratios Canada needs 3,50,000 working immigrants annually by 2035 to meet its workforce requirements.
- Additionally, immigrants enhance the county’s culture and diversity which provides economical efficiency for future growth
- Immigration also boosts trade ties between Canada and the world
Following the positive effects that the immigrants provide it is essential to maintain the three-year immigration plan. Immigrants are a vital part of the Canadian economy with their support in population growth, labor growth, and the innovation they bring to Canada. Immigration is expected to account for 100% of the labor force in the next five years.
It is clear that economic immigration is essential and is only expected to grow. There is another area of immigration that is also very important to the Canadian economy – International Students. International students add to the Canadian economy in terms of fees and living costs which are estimated to be $21.6 billion annually. Their absence this year can impact the economy. Therefore, the Canadian government had planned to resume the three-year immigration plan as soon as the pandemic ends. Universities and colleges have opened their admissions for January 2021 and the government has released programs to adapt to COVID-19.
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