Written by

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.

Front cover of report with a masked man, masked woman, and two overlapping circles