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Building on COVID-Period Immigration Levels - The Economic Case

July 28, 2021

Immigration is key to Canada’s future prosperity. This year, Canada can choose between building on COVID-period immigration targets or returning to pre-COVID levels.

Today, Century Initiative and the Conference Board of Canada released "Building on Covid-Period Immigration Levels - the Economic Case". The research demonstrates that the case is clear - growing immigration with COVID-era levels can strengthen our economy and result in better worker-to-retiree ratio.

Key Highlights:

  • Building on COVID-era immigration targets leads to greater GDP and public revenues, as well as a better worker-to-retiree ratio.
  • Higher immigration levels yield a modest decrease in GDP per capita in the growth scenario by 2040, showing the need to bridge the employment and income gaps between immigrant and Canadian-born population.
  • Underemployment and lack of access to entrepreneurship opportunities remain a challenge for newcomers, particularly in the years immediately following their arrival. More rapid integration into the economy will increase GDP, GDP per capita, and public revenues in both scenarios.
  • Easy and early access to holistic settlement services that address all dimensions will help improve social and economic inclusion.
  • A stable immigration system with strong access to permanent residence and citizenship make Canada an attractive destination for potential immigrants.
  • Distribution of immigrants across Canada, including to rural communities, spreads the benefits of immigration.

The pandemic has focused our attention on the country’s long-term path to prosperity. We cannot lose sight of the critical role that immigrants must play in helping us get there.

To learn more, read the full report.