Toronto immigration lawyer Karen Kwan Anderson: A recent article in the Toronto Star talks about the declining number of immigrants who entered Canada in the past year:
The number of people in Canada rose by just 308,100 in the year ending July 1, Statistics Canada said Tuesday, marking the country’s smallest annual population increase since 1999.
Data show Canada received fewer immigrants than the year previous, and seniors aged 65 and over now outnumber youth aged 14 and under for the first time.
The country’s estimated population stands at 35,851,800, an increase of 0.9% over the last year. By comparison, Canada’s population grew by 1.1% in 2014.
The drop is largely a result of less international migration, which pushed the population up by 0.5%.
It’s pretty obvious that the number of immigrants entering Canada has an effect upon the Canadian population as a whole, not only culturally, but economically. Here’s why I think immigration matters to Canada now more than ever:
- As per the stats above, Canada needs immigration because Canadians are having fewer children and our population is aging.
- With an aging – read, retiring – population, our economy would not function without a supply of new workers.
- Immigration brings diversity to our workforce, which leads to innovation and strengthened ties with other countries. Canada should continue its tradition of embracing multiculturalism.
- Canada should continue to accept immigration applications from applicants who are educated, have work experience and are proficient in English or French. Such people could hit the ground running and not only make a better life for themselves, but also benefit Canada immediately.
CHANGES TO CANADIAN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Working in the field of immigration on a daily basis will open your eyes and ears to how changes imposed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) can impact all Canadians. Some changes make sense while others don’t.
From what I’ve seen over the past year, many potential immigrants have been shut out of applying because they do not have enough points to qualify (see more on the Express Entry program). The points mainly focus on whether or not the person has a job offer, rather than the person’s education, skills, and potential.
CIC’s process has become about meeting the right numbers rather than about people. As the article above shows, the numbers themselves are no longer being met. This needs to change before Canada’s immigration policy begins to hurt the country rather than help it.