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Canada has the Capacity to reach a Target of 450,000 Immigrants per year - A Report

October 2017, 05
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On Nov. 1st 2017, Ottawa will announce the immigration target of the country for 2018.

The deliberations so far had shown that the federal government had agreed for an annual immigrant intake of 300,000, but are there any possibilities going beyond that?

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada, gives a forecast of the potential impact of different immigration scenarios, on the economy, public spending, and income levels.

The findings highlight the fact that, a high immigration level, brings more workers and fills up existing vacancies. The entrepreneurs are in a position to create fresh jobs, and there is a demand for buying things. The immigrants are mostly young, compared to native Canadians, and entail fewer health expenses. They also help to pay for the increased expenditure to support aging population.

Conversely, Immigrants compete with native workers, for the same jobs, reduce the wages, and add on the public social safety. The results of the Conference Board of Canada survey are in the middle of these scenarios.

At present, the immigrants are roughly 0.8 percent of the population. If the target is upgraded, and 450,000 immigrants have let in annually, it would amount to 1.1 percent of its population.

The 450,000 number has been proposed by Advisory Council on Economic Growth of the Federal Government. The year recommended was 2021, as the report makers thought that the operational capacity of the federal government was low.

The study also reveals that the status quo would slow the economy, and the GDP would grow at 1.85% only. The cost of Health-care as a share of revenues would increase to 42% from 35 % now.

Under the 450,000 scenario, Canada would accept 528,000 immigrants annually by 2040. Economic growth would be above two % annually, and health-care spending share of revenues would be 40 %.

Another feature is that per capita GDP would reduce if high-immigration is pursued and rest at $61,600, compared to $62,900, at present status. The immigrants earn less than native Canadians and earn only 83% of the average wage.

These large numbers of newcomers would result in high social expenditure.

The numbers, lifting Canada’s immigration target to 450,000 and subsequently to 500,000, will directly depend upon having more growth through newcomers, and assisting them to find fitting and better professions, as per their skills and education.

Even the figure of 500,000 looks smaller when compared to the people who will retire. There will be a major economic and fiscal challenge that Canada will be forced to face.

In order to fill the demographic gap, Canada needs additional six million people, as per the noted economist Stephen Gordon.  The figure increases annually by 200,000.

Boosting immigration boosts growth. It will also help to address fiscal pressures but fall short of canceling the impact of a low birth rate and an aging population. 

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