Douglas Todd: Canada’s foreign-student policy needs public review, say experts

Noteworthy from who the call is coming from, the generally pro-immigration experts. Royal commissions appear to have fallen out of  favour given the time involved but nevertheless Canada benefits from those more in-depth reviews:

The public is in the dark about how Canadian immigration policy has been changed to give preference to international students, say experts.

Ottawa should set up a royal commission to look into issues such as whether Canadians agree that foreign students, who tend to come from the “cream of the crop” in their homelands, should go to the front of the line for permanent residence status, says Chris Friesen, who chairs the umbrella body overseeing settlement services in Canada.

Most Canadians have no idea that roughly one in three people approved each year as immigrants — especially during COVID-19-battered 2020 — were already living in the country as either foreign students or temporary workers, says Friesen, who also directs the Immigrant Services Society of B.C., which has provided support to tens of thousands of newcomers.

Source: Douglas Todd: Canada’s foreign-student policy needs public review, say experts

Trudeau’s Plan to Ramp Up Immigration Falls Flat With Canadians

While it would be helpful to have more information on the context and wording of the framing questions, overall seems to make sense. But not that negative: 40 percent maintaining the current level (340,000) and 17 percent supporting an increase, is very positive during an economic downturn:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may struggle to sell his ambitious new immigration plan to Canadians, a new survey shows.

Only 17 per cent of respondents say the country should accept more immigrants in 2021 than it did last year, according to a Nanos Research Group poll conducted for Bloomberg News. That suggests most Canadians are less than enthusiastic about aggressive new targets announced last week.

Trudeau hopes to attract 401,000 newcomers next year, 60,000 more than in 2019. The target would rise by 10,000 in each subsequent year, bringing it to 421,000 in 2023. Respondents were asked whether the government should raise levels above last year’s actual inflows.

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Tepid Support

An open-door policy is a central tenet of the Liberal government’s long-term growth agenda. But with the economy recovering from the damage wrought by COVID-19, opposition parties are raising concern.

“We’re facing 9 per cent to 10 per cent unemployment — more than a million Canadians are out of work,” Conservative lawmaker Raquel Dancho said in an interview, adding that affordable housing is also scarce. “Where are these folks going to work? Where are these folks going to live?”

Closed borders and pandemic-related travel restrictions have slowed immigration this year and the country is on pace to meet only 60 per cent of its 2020 target of 341,000 permanent residents.

Labor Gaps

The survey results suggest Trudeau’s new targets don’t enjoy widespread support. Some 40 per cent of respondents say the government should reduce the number of new permanent residents accepted in 2021 below 340,000. And 36 per cent say they would like the country to maintain the same immigration levels as 2019.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino argues increasing the number of permanent residents will support the economy’s recovery from COVID-19 and help fill vacancies in essential work like healthcare. He is also hoping to draw on the more than 1 million foreign students, temporary workers and asylum seekers already in the country to achieve the increased targets.

“Canadians have a long, proud history of welcoming immigrants, because we know immigration makes our country stronger,” Mendicino said Friday by email, citing support for the higher targets from business and unions.

The flow of newcomers into Canada has been credited with helping counter aging demographics and supporting everything from the housing market to banking services. Before COVID-19, the government’s policies helped drive the fastest pace of population growth in three decades.

Dancho, the chief Conservative spokeswoman on the issue, said her party is pro-immigration but thinks the Liberal government’s announcement of new targets was “tone deaf” as “it did not acknowledge the feasibility concerns of bringing in this many new workers.”

The Nanos survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 1 via telephone and online. The government announced the new targets Oct. 30.

Source: Trudeau’s Plan to Ramp Up Immigration Falls Flat With Canadians

How Many Immigrants Does Canada Really Need?

Needed discussion and questioning of the 2021-23 immigration plan given the economic and social context:

Canada’s ambitious plan to admit 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years sparks discussion on the nation’s ability to accommodate this surge.

It is hard to find anyone who doubts Canada’s need for immigrants, the only point of disagreement seems to be the number of immigrants Canada admits each year.

In September, the Department of Immigration’s annual tracking study found that four in 10 Canadians believed immigration quotas were too high, and 52 per cent of the surveyed agreed with the statement that “Canada should focus on helping unemployed Canadians rather than looking for skilled immigrants for our workforce.”

This poll obviously wasn’t taken into account because last week Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino announced a plan to bring in 1.2 million new immigrants over the next three years — a historic high for the country.

Few would argue with the need to bring in around 300,000 immigrants annually, but increasing that number at a time when 1.8 million people in Canada are officially categorized as unemployed (as of September) has taken many aback.

It seems to me that apart from politicians, immigration consultants, manufacturing and business associations, there is little appetite among many Canadians for high levels of immigration during an economic crisis brought about by COVID-19.

The rationale offered by Minister Mendicino is that since the pandemic struck, immigrants and international students played a prominent role as front-line workers in grocery stores, warehouses and in long-term care facilities.

Very supportive of high immigration numbers is the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association, who are on record stating that the immigration numbers for the next three years were too modest given the shortfall of admissions in 2020.

As the Business Council of Canada President and CEO Goldy Hyder said in a statement, “There is widespread agreement across party lines that immigration is essential to long-term economic growth.  Newcomers bring energy, skills, new ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. They start companies, fill skill shortages, buy houses and pay taxes.”

The reality of the job market

According to StatsCan, as of August, there were still 2.2 million unemployed people in Canada. The unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 69 was 11.3 per cent. As of September, it hovered around nine per cent.

But Canada’s unemployment rate would likely be much higher had it not been for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which has ensured that employers continue to keep on their rolls 3.7 million Canadian workers

The CEWS will continue until June 2021, after which a spike in unemployment is a distinct possibility. Most companies across the country are restructuring their businesses, reducing staff and investing more in automation.

Amazon, one of Canada’s largest employers, with 21,000 full- and part-time staff, as well as its rivals are increasingly requiring warehouse employees to get used to working with robots. Amazon alone now has more than 200,000 robotic vehicles it calls “drives” that are moving goods through its delivery-fulfilment centres around the U.S. That’s double the number it had last year and up from 15,000 units in 2014. 

It is quite likely that in a matter of years, most manufacturing companies and warehouses here in Canada won’t be needing more than a few dozen workers to oversee the robots.

Another big employer, Loblaws, began investing heavily in artificial intelligence and automation at the company’s offices, distribution centres and stores in 2019.

So, it is quite possible that those politicians and mostly small-business owners who are up at night worrying about impending labour shortages are not taking into account the rapid pace at which artificial intelligence and other technologies are expected to significantly reduce their staffing needs.

Working from “home” could mean anywhere

Thousands of employees working at some of Canada’s top companies are expected to work from home even after the pandemic passes. Technological improvements over the past year has made it possible for any company to outsource an even greater number of jobs. 

There is little stopping a company from hiring a software engineer anywhere in the world and giving him or her the option of working from “home” without setting foot in Canada. Technology makes “attracting” the best brains and talent from around the world possible on a scale that could never have been imagined.

Immigration has historically been a convenient way to address labour shortfalls which could last for decades, however in today’s fast-changing economy, it may not be wise to bring in permanent residents to essentially do jobs that are expected to become redundant in a matter of years. 

By 2034, immigration will account for 100 per cent of Canada’s population growth, as the number of deaths is expected to exceed the number of births. There will have to be a steady influx of immigrants, but not in the numbers we see today. While most Canadians have been led to believe that fewer immigrants would lead to the collapse of the economy, perhaps one could point to Japan which is facing a steep population decline. In  2014, its population was 127 million and is expected to shrink to 107 million by 2040. Not wanting to stoke xenophobia, the government has not resorted to mass immigration despite a growing labour shortage. There is more acceptance of automation and robots than for immigration and companies are automating at record speed.

At some point in the near future, Canada will have to become more creative when it comes to dealing with its labour shortages.

A case to calibrate immigration with the economy

There is plenty of evidence that in previous Canadian recessions new immigrants suffered high rates of chronic unemployment and underemployment, sometimes with lasting effect — a phenomenon referred to as the “scarring effect.”

For example, immigrants who had been in Canada for less than five years preceding the 2009 economic downturn suffered job losses at a rate far more than their Canadian-born peers. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, several visible minority groups have significantly higher rates of joblessness, such as South Asian (17.8 per cent), Arab (17.3 per cent), and Black (16.8 per cent) Canadians. 

Whether Canada sinks deeper into recession after government subsidies dry up in mid-2021 or rebounds is anybody’s guess. Public hostility toward immigrants could rise and xenophobes could blame them for worsening a bad economic situation when immigrants themselves could well be hurting more than the average out-of-work Canadian.


Canada raises immigration targets to record level, eyeing COVID-19 recovery

Will be interesting to observe the range of commentary on these ambitious targets. Hard to square this with Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem’s warning that the economy is unlikely to get back on track until 2023. Moreover, previous downturns and recessions tell us that immigrants who arrive during difficult economic times suffer economically in both the short and longer term::

In the midst of a second wave of COVID-19, Canada isn’t just maintaining its immigration strategy, but taking it up a notch, increasing the number of people it will bring into the country in a bid to stimulate the post-pandemic economic recovery.

On Friday, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Canada will welcome more than 1.2 million new immigrants over the next three years, with an annual intake that could reach 401,000 in 2021; 411,000 in 2022; and 421,000 in 2023 — equivalent to one per cent of the population.

The previous plan, unveiled right before the onset of the pandemic lockdown in March, set targets of 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table,” Mendicino said.

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table,” Mendicino said.

“As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.”

The much anticipated 2021-23 immigration plan was tabled amid a cloud of uncertainty over Canada’s economic future in the middle of a global pandemic that has seen the country’s jobless rate surged to nine per cent last month from 5.6 per cent before the pandemic. It peaked at 13.4 per cent in May.

The government’s immigration strategy has been consistent with the approach taken by successive governments to keep intake high during recessions since the late 1980s, when prime minister Brian Mulroney’s government first used immigration to withstand the economic slowdown in 1990s and 2000s.

Canada was on track to bring in 341,000 newcomers this year; 351,000 in 2021; and 361,000 in 2022 — with about 58 per cent of the intake being skilled immigrants, 26 per cent under family reunification and the remaining 26 per cent as refuges or on humanitarian grounds.

However, due to travel restrictions, reduced application processing capacity and flight cancellations, only 60 per cent or some 200,000 are expected to have made it to Canada by this year’s end.

The new plan hopes to make up the shortfall over the next three years, with 60 per cent of the intake coming from economic class, 30 per cent from family reunification and 10 per cent under refugee protection and resettlement.

Last month, Statistics Canada’s latest demographic update showed the country’s population has reached 38 million but only recorded a 0.1 per cent growth or an increase of 25,384 persons between April and June — the lowest since 1972 — because of the pandemic.

In contrast, the growth rate stood at 0.5 per cent in each of the past two years at this time. In 2019, immigration accounted for 86.5 per cent of Canada’s population growth in the second quarter. This year, that dropped to 38.2 per cent (an addition of 9,700 persons).


The full report and related material:

Pre-release commentary by the Conservative and NDP immigration critics:

Conservative immigration critic Raquel Dancho said that whatever the Trudeau government announces today, it must have a concrete plan for bringing people safely into the country during a pandemic and for integrating them into Canadian society.

She said the backlog of applicants has grown during the pandemic.

“The immigration system has not been well-managed, I think to say the least, in the last eight months. So I will be looking for some sort of plan for how they’re going to improve it,” Dancho said.

“The number can be whatever it’s going to be, but unless they bring forward a plan for how they’re going to change course and get better at processing immigration applications, it’s really all for nothing.”

Dancho said Canadians must have a clear explanation of how immigration targets will meet Canada’s labour needs while upholding its humanitarian commitments.

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan urged the government to increase its capacity to help vulnerable people in need of protection in Canada, noting that persecution abroad has not stopped during the pandemic.

She said Canada also should give permanent residence status to people who want it and are already in the country, such as temporary foreign workers and international students with job offers.

“Canada can, in fact, take a true humanitarian approach by regularizing all those immigrants and refugees and undocumented people,” she said.

Source: Federal government to announce new immigration targets today

And Quebec continuing to have relatively low immigration targets, making the demographic gap between Quebec and the rest of Canada continue to grow:

Quebec could welcome between 44,500 and 47,500 immigrants in 2021.

The immigration targets for 2021 were announced as part of the Plan d’immigration du Québec 2021, released on October 29. This report coincides with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada‘s (IRCC) announcement of its multi-year plan, which is expected this week and will guide Canada’s immigration planning for 2021 to 2023.

In 2021, the majority of new admissions to Quebec — 62 per cent — are expected to come through the province’s economic immigration programs.

The new Quebec immigration levels represent a slight increase over its 2020 targets when Quebec’s goal was to welcome between 43,000 and 44,500 immigrants.

According to estimates in the plan released today, Quebec will admit a maximum of 30,500 immigrants this year, instead of the projected maximum of 44,500. The province says travel restrictions and the closure of federal offices and processing centres around the world make it difficult to meet immigration targets for 2020.

However, the province’s immigration ministry said its targets for 2021 include a rebalancing plan “with the admission of an additional 7,000 people, representing the deferment of some of the admissions that were not fulfilled in 2020 due to the health crisis.”

As a result of the health crisis, the province estimates the number of unrealized admissions in 2020 to be between 13,000 and 18,000 but plans to make up the shortfall over the next two years.

Quebec’s Admissions targets for 2021

For 2021, Quebec has set a range of between 27,500 and 29,300 new admissions for its economic immigration programs, including a maximum of 24,200 skilled workers.

The province has also set a maximum of 4,300 admissions for its business immigration programs, which include Quebec’s Entrepreneur Program and the Self-Employed Worker Program.

In addition, a maximum of 800 admissions is set for “other economic categories” such as live-in caregivers and others.

Another 10,200 new permanent residents are expected to arrive through family sponsorship, refugee and other immigration programs.

2021 Quebec Selection Certificate targets

Under the provisions of the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has the power to select all economic class immigrants and certain refugees to the province.

Those selected are awarded a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) and can then apply to Canada’s federal government for a permanent residence visa.

Quebec’s plan calls for 26,500 to 31,200 selection certificates to be issued in 2021, slightly more than its 2020 plan, which called for a range of 20,100 to 24,700.

The majority — up to 22,400 — would go to skilled worker candidates.

The selection certificate targets are as follows:

  • Skilled workers: between 19,400 and 22,400;
  • Business immigrants: between 1,500 and 2,300;
  • Other economic immigrants: between 400 and 600;
  • Refugees selected abroad: between 4,400 and 4,700;
  • Other immigrants: between 800 and 1,200.

The targets set for 2021 include applications in process or waiting to be processed in Quebec and at the federal level. They also take into consideration the time it takes for candidates to complete all the immigration procedures.

Source: Quebec extends immigration targets into 2021

Canada to increase annual immigration admissions to 350,000 by 2021

In line with the previous plan. If I recall correctly, the Conservatives said barely a word on the change to a multi-year plan (understandably so, as this was long overdue) nor to the increase in levels. That the focus of this year’s plan is a higher percentage of economic class immigrants makes sense as that is where public support is greater.

What will be interesting (and worrisome) to watch is the extent to which the toxic US debates and hate-filled anti-immigrant campaign of Trump will play on Conservatives, along with any impact from Bernier’s new party. Will it pull them in that direction, and if so, how far?

Writing this before Conservative critic Michelle Rempel has her press conference so we will see. To date, most of her focus has been with respect to asylum seekers crossing the border with the CPC resolution restricting birthright citizenship part of their messaging regarding government management of immigration:

Canada will take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it plans to accept this year, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Wednesday.

The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly one per cent of the country’s population.

The figures were announced Wednesday as part of government’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, which covers the next three years. The target rises annually from 310,000 this year, counting all classes of new arrivals.

The vast majority of these newcomers are coming under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.

Hussen says economic immigration is badly needed in areas across the country that are short on workers and long on older residents.

“In certain regions the hunger for workers is huge,” he said. “This plan is making us very competitive in the global market. It enables us to continue to be competitive, it enables us to continue to present Canada as a welcoming country and to position us to continue to be (a leader) in skills attraction.”

Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s own economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016.

Hussen says the Liberal government is taking a measured approach, keeping in mind the need to ensure newcomers have access to suitable settlement services.

“You need to be able to house them, you need to be able to settle them, you need to be able to provide integration services,” he said.

The Trudeau government did increase funding for settlement services by 30 per cent since taking office, but if the immigration levels plan were increased dramatically, this would require even further funding increases, Hussen added.

“It’s also a question of gradual increase so our immigration system can be able to process these things, communities can be able to absorb them and local immigration partnerships can do their work,” he said. “We can’t just go to 450,000 at once. You need to build up to that.”

Meanwhile, as the global number of displaced persons reached a record high 68.5 million last year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called on countries around the world to do more to help those being pushed out of their homes by wars, violence and persecution.

Canada does plan to gradually increase the number of refugees it will accept under its humanitarian, family reunification and sponsorship programs from 43,000 to reach 51,700 by 2021.

Nevertheless, the lion’s share of the new admissions under Canada’s immigration levels plan — 72 per cent — will be allocated to economic programs in 2021.

Hussen says he acknowledges that more must be done to help refugees around the world, and says he fights every single day to increase the number of refugees Canada admits.

He also noted that Canada has “exported” its program allowing private citizens to sponsor refugees to several other countries that previously did not offer a program like that. The United Kingdom has implemented its own version of Canada’s program, with Ireland and Germany set to soon do the same.

Additional funding has also been earmarked to bring 1,000 vulnerable women and girl refugees to Canada over the next two years, Hussen said.

Source: Canada to increase annual immigration admissions to 350000 by 2021

Business groups fear refugees and immigrant families will crowd out spaces for foreign workers in Canada

Will be interesting to see how the Government balances the different demands and whether or not it raises the overall number of immigrants (levels, currently around 250,000).

And it is not only refugees that are creating pressures on levels, as seen in Minister McCallum’s mandate letter:

  • As part of the Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2016, bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.
  • Give additional points under the Entry Express system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
  • Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada.
  • Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada.

Should know the results of these trade-offs March 9:

Provinces and businesses keen to bolster their workforce are worried the push for Syrian refugees this year will lead to a cutback in foreign workers..

The government admits a set number of immigrants each year. In 2015, for example, the Conservative government planned to admit up to 285,000 immigrants. Of those slots, 66 per cent were reserved for economic immigrants; 24 per cent of the slots were for the family members of immigrants; and the remaining 10 per cent were for refugees and other humanitarian entrants.

The federal government is supposed to provide its immigration admission numbers by Oct. 31 each year. Because of last fall’s federal election, the numbers for 2016 haven’t yet been published. The government now has until March 9 to come up with its plan.

But with tens of thousands more refugees being admitted this year compared to 2015, and with the Liberals’ campaign promise to make it easier for immigrants to reunite with their parents and grandparents, the number of slots reserved for economic immigrants may be reduced.

(Economic immigrants are foreign workers, including business people and skilled tradespeople, who are allowed into Canada on a permanent basis. Those admitted through the controversial temporary foreign worker program fall into a different category.)

Immigration Minister John McCallum said last week he has consulted with industry, as well as refugee groups and other organizations about this year’s immigration levels. But he wouldn’t say whether the government is considering reducing the number of economic immigrants allowed.

Critics often accused the Conservatives of turning Canada’s immigration system into little more than a hiring program, with refugees and families being given short shrift. In 2007, foreign workers represented only 60 per cent of immigration admission targets. with 26 per cent family members and 14 per cent refugees.

Given the state of the Canadian economy, with unemployment rising, some question whether the government should continue to admit tens of thousands of foreign workers, including business people and skilled tradesmen, on a permanent basis.

But provinces, industry associations and experts say economic immigrants are essential for meeting Canada’s labour needs. Some bring skills that are in short supply in Canada, while others are willing to do jobs Canadians won’t. The country’s low birthrate also threatens long-term labour force supply.

“We really need immigrants to drive economic growth,” said Sarah Anson-Carter, director of skills and immigration policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Economic immigrants make up about 30 per cent of new entrants into the labour force each year.”

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said economic immigrants are even more important now given that the temporary foreign worker program has been effectively frozen while the Liberals review it.

“The small business community does not want to see economic immigration drop in this country,” he said. “TFW has been rendered largely useless for small businesses.”

Provinces are also counting on the government to keep the levels where they are. One provincial official, speaking on background, said provinces loudly protested when federal immigration officials recently suggested that the number of economic immigrants could be scaled back this year.

“Our hope is it would remain the same or have a modest increase,” the official said.

Source: Business groups fear refugees and immigrant families will crowd out spaces for foreign workers in Canada

Herbert Grubel: Canada should not open its doors to the world

The contrary view to Corcoran (Terence Corcoran: Open our doors to the world). The Grady/Grubel study he refers to have been effectively countered by Pendakur (Fiscal Effects of Immigrants in Canada, Fiscal Effects of Immigrants in Canada):

Fifth, the most important difference between modern Canada and when previous waves of immigrants entered this country is the existence of the welfare state. In the absence of its universal social benefits in the past, only healthy immigrants with strong work ethics, drive and skills came to Canada. Under present conditions, potentially many immigrants would not possess these qualities and impose heavy fiscal burdens on our welfare programs and ultimately bankrupt them. It is for this reason that Milton Friedman, one of the world’s most ardent advocates for human and economic freedom concluded that, “The welfare state and free immigration are incompatible.”

The problem identified by Friedman has been quantified in a study by myself and Patrick Grady, in which we found that the average incomes and tax payments of recent immigrants (documented by Statistics Canada) are much lower than those of the average Canadian and that the immigrants consume roughly the same amount of government services as the average Canadian. The difference between the taxes paid and services consumed by the average recent immigrant equals about $6,000 annually. Given the total number of these immigrants, the annual fiscal burden on Canadian taxpayers comes to about $30 billion.

Sixth, immigrants in large numbers cause a substantial redistribution of income, decreasing the incomes of workers and increasing the income of employers. Drawing on the basic results of a study of the redistribution effect in the United States by Harvard University Professor of Economics George Borjas, in Canada the decrease of the annual income of labour is $40 billion and the gain of employers is $43.5 billion, resulting in a net gain of $3.5 billion for the latter. This gain is called the immigration effect and is due to increased opportunities to trade.

Advocates for free immigration make much of this gain but the data show that it is very small relative to the redistribution of income. These advocates also laud the increase in Canada’s aggregate national income resulting from the immigrants’ economic activities. However, all of this increase accrues to the immigrants in the form of wages, lowers per capita incomes and is accompanied by greater congestion and pollution in metropolitan areas. Increased demand for and cost of housing reduces the ability of young Canadians to own homes and start families, creating frictions between generations.

The economic and social costs just discussed do not make the case against all immigration but make the case for the selection of immigrants with prospects for economic success that are high enough to eliminate the fiscal burden and the admission of immigrants in numbers small enough to prevent the risk of creating the substantial redistribution of income, the establishment of ethnic enclaves, the threat of jihadist terror and the problems associated with substantial and rapid population increases.

In the context of the current debate over policies for the admission of refugees from the Middle East, it is important for all Canadians that these considerations are given proper weight in the selection of immigrants and decisions about their numbers.

Source: Herbert Grubel: Canada should not open its doors to the world

Why its time for Canada to grow up – Increasing immigration

Pretty shallow argumentation, with no evidence apart from asserting it will be so.

No mention of inequality issues and that some communities are struggling more than others that the NHS and various studies make clear.

While overall Canada’s success at integration is almost unique in the world, simply assuming we could scale up immigration, integration, citizenship and multiculturalism by 50 percent a year is naive at best.

It would not be hard. Now at 34 million people, we would only need an annual growth rate of 1.3 per cent to reach that target. Assuming our fertility rates remain low, this means an additional 186,000 migrants annually, bringing our total immigration numbers to 444,000 per year. This may sound like a lot, but we could absorb them easily. By comparison to most cities around the world, Canadian urban areas are sprawling and empty. Even if we doubled our immigration numbers, the lineup at Tim Hortons would stay the same. It would only increase our workforce by one per cent per year, a number that our economy could easily engage, especially if we continue to recruit and favour skilled and educated migrants.

More immigrants mean more minds, more hands and more tax dollars. There is a misconception that new arrivals are a net drain on our economy. In fact, they are more entrepreneurial and work longer hours than average Canadians. The added muscle would make us smarter, stronger and louder.

While my bias is towards more pro-immigration rhetoric than the anti-immigration crowd, this has to be grounded in reality, and recognition that our absorptive capacity cannot be increasing by wishing it was so.

Why its time for Canada to grow up –