In the latest episode of Techopia Live, OBJ publisher Michael Curran and immigration law specialist Warren Creates discuss how immigration will continue to be a significant factor in the maintaining growth of Canada’s economy.
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MC: I like to think of Canada as a country that’s very welcoming, a country that’s very open to immigration, particularly when it comes to people coming for economic reasons. Do you see the real tangible benefits to immigration, from an economic standpoint?
WC: Well, the numbers I read are that 75 per cent of the population growth in Canada right now is taking place only because of our immigration programs, which are very positive, federally and provincially. We’ve got a very low and stagnated fertility rate — I think the seventh-lowest in the world. We’re an advanced industrialized nation. Families are putting off or punting out childrearing. The only way to overcome the demographic gap that’s going to happen as a result of our low fertility rate is to have a positive immigration program. So 75 per cent of all new labour force growth in Canada is caused by the immigration program. That tells you right there how important it is to the economy of our country.
MC: We talked at the outset of the impact of the pandemic on the immigration process. I think the message you’re sending is that there were some big hiccups. But the government has kind of worked those out, and you can bring workers into Canada now, right?
WC: Absolutely true. The government — just as another example — to overcome the [immigration] gap, is they lowered the points from 450 points required (as a measure of someone’s education, work experience, age, language abilities, and so forth) to only 75 points. They used to get a draw of only 4,000 people applying. At 75, they got 27,000 who were suddenly eligible because of the drop in points, which happened in February of this year. So we’re working on those cases now. And you never know when the government is going to do that again — they’re behind the scenes, they see how many applicants have uploaded their profiles and are waiting for an invitation to apply for permanent residence status. When the government has a gap in the numbers, they just lower the points, and that will happen up and down. So there’s all kinds of hope that our recovery is well underway in our immigration program, and we’ll get back to the numbers — and more, because the newly elected Liberal minority government has promised and pledged to grow that number way beyond what we’ve seen historically.