Immigration in Canada
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Canada is synonymous with the term high tolerance society. The environment in Canada has been identified as being extremely receptive to immigrants. Aside from a few bad elements, the general environment of the land has been identified as being conducive for immigrants. Such a perception has played a significant role in the rise in immigration rates in Canada. The understanding of immigration as it pertains to tolerance has been a little bit skewed. At first instance, tolerance is associated with the general perceptions of immigrants, both legal and illegal; by the native population. The second understanding of tolerance is associated with the impact of immigration on the economy. The Canadian economy is susceptible to the adopted immigration policies, which have the capacity to negatively affect the economic performance of the country. It has to be understood that the tolerance perspective of immigration is inadequate in addressing the economic aspect of the issue. With this being said, the tolerance perspective ought not to be the basis of immigration in Canada.
First world nations have had to live with the very real problem of immigrations. Canada is not an exception to this tenet. In most nations, immigration occurs both legally and illegally. Research has established that one of the main rationales as to why people to immigrate into other more developed nations are hinged on the need to develop the quality of life.1 Developing the quality of life is a goal realized in two core means. One is via finding work while the second is hinged on seeking better academic opportunities abroad. With this being said, it is clear as to why developed nations have to cope with the ever-present problem of immigration. Canada is among the nations that have to face the ever present problem of immigration., both legal and illegal.
The infrastructural system in the country acts as a lure for immigrants into the nation. It can then be postulated that the problem of immigration will persist for developing nations up for the foreseeable future. Most literature that exists on this topic is in support of the negative effects of illegal immigration. It has to be understood that illegal immigration has some significant effects on the economy. On the flip side, there are some positive and negative effects of immigration, be it legal or illegal. Focus herein has been placed on the underestimated positive effects of immigration. In the Canadian perspective, it is clear that the relevant authorities have failed to appreciate the positive impacts of immigration in Canada.
Canada has been ranked among the most difficult to live in as an immigrant. The conditions of the land are such that the systems in place are unfavorable for immigrants. For example, it is quite difficult to rent an apartment and get a job in Canada. As such, the country does not seem favorable for those who wish to live in the country illegally. The culminating situation is a reduced supply of immigrants in the country. Statistics show that there are about only 250,000 immigrants in the country.2 It is then clear why Canada does not enjoy the numerous benefits that may accrue from having a large supply of immigrants in the country. The need to protect the country from the negative effects of immigration seems to be the core motivation of the immigration policies adopted in the country.
It is essential to reiterate that Canada has a low supply of immigrants. Such an eventually is attributed to its stringent policies that are meant to curb against illegal immigration in the country. There is then a need to provide an understanding of why such a standpoint was adopted by the relevant authorities in the nation. One of the most potent rationales is the use of government resources while not being significant contributors to government income in terms of tax. Though they do not contribute to the government income, they are still able to use the services provided for by the government. Such capabilities have been termed as being unfair for the general population who are significant contributors to government income.
In the Canadian perspective, the understanding of using government resources is rather flawed. The system that is in place makes it almost impossible for illegal immigrants to live fairly well and blend with the general public.3 The government has sought to ensure that it has reduced the loopholes using which illegal immigrants can live in the country. With this understanding in mind, it is apparent that Canada has to contend with legal immigrants forming the largest percentage of immigrants in the country. It is then factual to assert that the dynamics of immigration in Canada are uniquely different from the dynamics in other nations such as America. In the U.S, a significant percentage of the population of immigrants in the nation is illegal. Given that it is quite easy to blend with the general population, illegal immigrants find the U.S to be conducive to live.4 The same cannot be said of Canada.
As such, whenever a problem of immigration arises in the context of Canada, it has to be addressed in terms of legal immigrants. The intent herein is to analyze the validity of the adopted understanding of the basis of immigration in the country. Despite the actuality that many Canadians seem to perceive their hospitality as the primary basis for immigration, the adopted immigration basis can impact the country’s economy. The need to meet the economic needs of Canada has to be at the forefront of the factors used to inform on the adopted immigration policy. Canada is not an exception to this rule. By exploiting the benefits of immigrants, Canada has the potential to increase the overall performance of the economy. By using a different basis for immigration in Canada, the country will essentially be putting emphasis where the returns will be trivial.
Immigrants can enhance the overall development of the economy. Most of these advantages have an economic aspect. The validity of this assertion is pegged on the understanding that when immigrants actively participate in economy building endeavors, the economy will experience increased productivity thereby affirming the need for the immigrants. Prior to providing the rationales as to why adopting an economic aspect of immigration is the best course of action, there is a need to illustrate why the standpoint adopted by critics is flawed. Critics point out that immigrants take-over the job opportunities that are available for the locals.5 As such, in reducing the overall supply of immigrants in the nation, the native population will be characterized by an enhanced employment rate. The unemployment rate has been recorded at 6.5% in Canada.6 It can be asserted that the need to reduce this unemployment rate even further has motivated the need for the stringent immigration policies.
The parties who believe that immigrants play a significant role in the unemployment rates in Canada. Such understanding of the role of immigrants in the country is best termed as flawed. When immigrants enter a country, they are usually coming to enhance the quality of their lives. As such, they are more likely to take low paying jobs as compared to the native population. The culminating situation is where immigrants take the low-paying jobs that the general population is unwilling to take. A perfect fit is then created. It is then unrealistic to assert that the immigrant population is preying on the potential jobs that could have otherwise been given to the native population. It cannot be discounted that the immigrant population does in need reduce the overall supply of jobs. However, in most of the scenarios, the immigrant population usually takes jobs that are less appealing to the native general population.
The culminating situation is a perfect fit. There are two additional aspects via which immigration in Canada can be understood. There are a political aspect and social basis. In line with the political basis, immigration will be understood primarily in the political context. It translates to mean that immigration will be set up so that it meets the political goals that have been set. In using this approach, the economic and social basis of understanding immigration in Canada will take a back seat. The same has to be said about the social basis is adopted. Whenever the economic aspect of immigration is under-appreciated, there is bound to be some negative repercussions.
Projections show that there will be about one million unfilled job positions in the country by the year 2021.8 In about ten years, the growth of job opportunities will have surpassed the growth of about supply. It cannot be discounted that the reforms are being implemented to guarantee that this does not occur. However, these reforms are somewhat inadequate in addressing the real issue of job supply outgrowing labor supply. As these jobs go unfilled, it is clear that the immigration approach being adopted has to be on an economic basis. Canada’s economy has the potential of experiencing significant growth with time. The potential for future growth is quite significant. However, steps have to be undertaken to ensure that under-exploitation of this potential does not occur. For such a goal to be realized, Canada has to appreciate the role of immigrants. Devoid of adequate economic participation by immigrants, the under-exploitation of the country’s potential will be a possible eventuality.
Different policies have been adopted by different regions in the country. The government has given local governments the capacity to enact different varying policies regarding immigration. Such individual capabilities have enabled easy identification of the benefits to accrue from adopting an economic approach to immigration policies. The city of Steinbach can be used an example. Research shows that the city has experienced a 60% rise in its size.9 One core factor that has led to an increase in size is the city’s immigration policy. During the past year, the city has become home to about nine hundred immigrants. The decision to increase the number of immigrants in the city was motivated by the need to ensure that there was adequate labor supply. The rise in population size has had the effect of rejuvenating the city’s economy.10 As businesses can acquire sufficient labor supply, the city is experiencing a boom in overall economic productivity. Businesses are motivated to open shop in Steinbach because of the sure market that exists in the city.
Population growth is a significant motivator for businesses to open up shop. As such, in the long run, the economy of Steinbach benefits in two ways. First, by increasing the numbers of immigrants in the city, the local government has ensured that there is adequate labor supply. Second, the rise in population size attracts business to operate in the city.11 Using the example of Steinbach, it is clear why the economic basis of immigration is the best plausible approach for Canada. One of the core dangers facing the Canadian economy is a limited supply of skilled labor.12 The adopted immigration policy in the country seems to worsen the already wanting situation. Investors in Canada have complained about the negative impact of immigration policies that have been adopted by the government. The laws in Canada seek to ensure that the skilled labor not be imported while there are unemployed skilled persons in the country who can meet the demands of the said job.13 The culmination situation is thus detrimental to meeting the goals envisioned by the investors.
The case of China can be taken to show the degree of laxity in the government’s part. Chinese companies have complained about the inability to bring in skilled labor from China. The policies in the country are rather rigid to the point that the Chinese firms have to contend with the skilled labor that is in the nation. As might be expected, such constraint on accessing skilled labor negatively impacts the overall performance of the firms. At the moment, the immigration policies in Canada seem to favor candidates with a university degree. Such a biased principle has the effect of disqualifying a large percentage of the potential immigrants to Canada. Although Canadians like to see themselves as being extremely tolerant, the dynamics of the land seem to be against this tolerance. The policies that have been set up, thus far, seem to be against this tolerance principle. It can be asserted that at the time of informing on this policy of candidates being degree holders, the economy of the country had not been adequately factored into the equation. The decision-making process might have only focused only on short-term goals of the nation’s economy.
Xenophobia is a real threat to Canada. The means that have been adopted by the government entails a pitting of the poor immigrants in the country against the poor Canadian-born workers. By creating a room for the increased negative perceptions of the immigrant population by the native population, the government is guilty of eroding at the level of intolerance in the country. It can be asserted that this situation is resulting from the adoption of ill-advised policies. Ridding the nation of this developing mentality is going to be a difficult undertaking. However, it is still a possible goal.
Canada is characterized by an increasingly aging population.14 The dynamics of the population structure are such that they tend to promote an over-emphasis on the working population. It then translates to mean that focus has to be on the working population whose returns will enable the government meet the needs of an aging population. In meeting the expenditure needs of an aging population, there has to be a significant percentage of the population that is working to enhance the overall productivity of the country. The cost of pensions and health care plans for retirees is expected to rise in the future. As such, steps have to be undertaken to ensure the economy of the land is well positioned to meet the expenditure rise. Given this goal, it becomes immediately apparent why adopting an economic basis for immigration in Canada is the best approach.
Canada has high potential for economic growth. However, unless this potential is adequately exploited, the economy will start to stagnate and eventually embark on a decline. In order to guarantee the future vitality of the economy for the time to come, steps have to be undertaken. One of the chief quandaries facing the country happens to be its low supply of skilled labor. When this is coupled with the inadequate and flawed immigration policies, the future seems bleak at best. In the Canadian perspective, adopting an economic basis for immigration is one of the most potent decisions that can be made. There are two factors at play here. One of the factors is the aging population. The other factor is the low population size in relation to the country’s size.
In order for the country to cater for the needs of an aging population, there ought to be a higher percentage of the working population. At the moment, the population size is unable to me the needs of the rapidly aging population. Such a declaration is in reference to the income generated by the government, primarily in the form of tax. When the contributions of the immigrant population to the government income are not factored in, the general population is unable to exploit the potential of the country adequately. With time, the government has to ensure that there are more immigrant workers in the country who will then increase the potential of the country’s economic performance. For one, the immigrant population helps to fill the job vacancies that are being under-utilized by the native population. Second, the immigrant population is aiding in improving the level of government income attributed to taxation.
Canada’s population size is low. When the size of the country is put in relation to the population size, it is clear that Canada has a population size that is unable to adequately exploit the potential of the land. The country has been able to enhance its potential by creating an enabling environment for immigration. Given the dynamics of the country, the aging population and the increased potential of the economy, it is clear that the country has to engage in immigration. The complexity of the issue is that devoid of increased immigration, the country’s economy will suffer. Such a probability will become a reality unless steps are taken to counter the current cycle. With this being said, as far as the welfare of the Canadian economy is concerned, there is a need to embrace an economic basis of immigration.
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