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The Canadian economy is heavily reliant on immigrants to stimulate economic growth. The population, along with labour force growth, are considered a stimulus for a strong economy. Thus, Scotiabank economist Marc Desormeaux has often emphasized that immigration is a key national priority. Canada has an aging population, and the birth rate is also declining over the years; these factors have contributed to the lowering of workers, which can contribute to the economy. By welcoming newcomers, Canada will be able to meet economic challenges and bring about economic growth.
Canada is the only G7 country that witnessed a significant increase in population before the pandemic because it imbibed global talent and opened doors for a skilled workforce. The plan was moving ahead smoothly before the pandemic happened, and with the onset of COVID 19, the contingencies arise. Thus in October 2020, the Canadian government released a new plan to support economic recovery through immigration. To fill the gap of demand and supply of labour and remain competitive in the world market, the new plan was to stick to the immigration targets - for 2021 is 401,000; 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023.
There has been a significant drop in all program immigrations with the restrictions imposed to control COVID 19 situation. As per the Statistics Canada reports of January 1, 2021, Canada experienced a low annual growth since 1916, and a drop in immigrants is considered the prime factor. The newcomer admissions dropped from 342,000 in 2019 to about 185,000 in 2020. It is a 45 percent drop which had serious consequences.
The vaccination drives have given some hope of curbing the pandemic, and it will help in economic stimulation, but the effect is not expected to be immediate. So far, there has been a rise in immigrations by 25 percent, but the immigrations are still below pre-pandemic levels. This 25 percent rise has been because of the changes in the immigration status of the people who are already in the country as in the last year Canada has transformed a lot of temporary workers into permanent residents. In such a case, a lot depends on the vaccination drives and how quickly the borders can be opened.
For the future plans, Desormeaux says, "we're optimistic about Canada's ability to attract skilled newcomers after the pandemic." This optimism was reported in a March 2021 report from the Boston Consulting Group, where a study of 209,000 people in 190 countries was conducted, and Canada was rated as the first choice for foreign workers.
There are numerous benefits for newcomers in Canada, and the reasons for them are listed below:
· Immigrants contribute to economic growth
Immigrants contribute to the economic growth in Canada as they stimulate the economy by spending money on goods, housing, and transportation. When they become entrepreneurs, they help employ Canadian citizens, and as employees in the organization, they become direct forerunners in economic growth.
· Immigrants help an aging workforce.
Immigration helps offset losses from an aging Canadian-born population. The Canadian workforce can have variation from size to age range. There can also be a range of Skills integration in the job market.
· Skilled workers can be relocated to Canada
Global talent can get an opportunity to settle in Canada. University-educated newcomers and people who are highly skilled can help in strong job creation in high-wage sectors. The people can settle in professional, managerial, or technical occupations. Immigrants represent 50% of all degree-holders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM fields); when such kind of talent migrates, then skilled work can be initiated.
· Immigrants help create jobs and strengthen trade
Immigrants bring out innovation and job creation as they can be entrepreneurs. Immigrant-owned businesses can also improve trade ties to Canada.
Canada has a very acclimating culture, and it provides the immigrants a safe ground to grow and flourish. The Business community can be of great help for immigrants and help them start a new life. The Four core ways to do so are -
· Financial literacy of the immigrants can be advanced through the use of resources
· workforce diversification initiatives can be initiated
· Services that integrate professional integration can be used
· Business-supported programs to provide professional and social support.
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