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Canada without immigrants?

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The Conference Board of Canada has published a new study analyzing how would Canada look like without immigration in 2040. Obviously, Canada will not stop the immigration, however, this study helped the public to better understand the importance of immigration for the Canadian economy.

Without immigrants, Canada would suffer from a serious shortage in labour force, which in turn will reduce the economic growth and will challenge funding of the universal health care and other social services. The Canadian population is small considering its vast territory. The population is also getting older, generating high costs to a healthcare system which, in many provinces, leaves much to be desired and places significant fiscal pressure on the country. According to the 2016 Census, immigrants represent 22% of the country’s population. However, the institution notes that by 2020, Canada’s population growth will be boosted only by immigration. Kareem El-Assal from the Conference Board of Canada said: “Immigration contributes to the economy in many ways. Immigrants contribute to the workforce, but they also are going to contribute in terms of economic activity.”

The smaller labour force automatically means higher taxes for the existing ageing population that will have to handle this burden to maintain the current situation of Canada as welfare-state. Without immigrants, the ratio of workers to retirees would drop from 3.6 to 2.0 by 2040. More than 26.9 % of the population would be 65 and older, compared to 22.4 % with a gradual increase in immigration.

The report showed that without immigration economic growth would slow down to 1.3 %, while now Canada’s GDP growth is expected to grow by an average of 1.9 %, guaranteed by a gradual increase in newcomers.

The future of Canada without immigrants seems to be very dark and we are happy that in reality, the government intends to keep the immigration as Canada’s first priority. When it comes to the future of immigration to Canada, it’s no longer a question of “why immigration” but “how much,” says federal Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen.

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