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Canadian Immigration

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7/20/2015 8:20:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Being a Fine Arts student at the University of the Fraser Valley, I know little about the issues surrounding immigration in Canada. However, this is a subject that I find intriguing and thought-provoking. How does immigration affect the Canadian economy? Is our government becoming more pro- or anti- immigration? Does immigration encourage a free and open society? And finally, how does immigration affect the lives of Canadian immigrants? To answer these questions, I first must do some research.

After some reading, I conclude that Canada"s high immigration policy helps support the economy. For example, Canada has one of the world"s largest supplies of natural resources, including oil, lumber, and metals, but a relatively sparse population which often leads to labor shortages. However, this is offset by the high number of immigrates coming to Canada in search of jobs. In Canada, we also have a low birth rate and a rapidly aging population. Experts disagree on how this will affect the economy. Some argue that a smaller population would lead to a higher income per capita simply because the wealth would be spread amongst a smaller amount of people. Others believe that the economy would be negatively impacted by the lack of workers. There is also no current consensus on how immigration affects government finances. However, the average immigrant family contributes roughly $22,500 in taxes per year. In comparison, the average native-born Canadian household pays only $20,259. Immigrants are also less likely to use many social services than are native Canadians, including subsidized housing and employment insurance. From this point of view, Canadian immigrants help, rather than strain, the government"s finances. I believe high immigration rates in Canada will help make up for a lack of workers and our low birth rates without negatively impacting the Canadian economy.

Currently, all of Canada"s major political parties support high immigration rates, suggesting that Canada is moving in a pro-immigration direction. Since 2001, the immigration rate per annum has fluctuated between 221,352 and 262,236, with some political parties even favouring an increase in the immigration rate. Historically, Canada has been quite reliant on and supportive of immigration. After all, the original pioneers and settlers in Canada (with the exception of aboriginals) were all immigrants. In the 1800"s, Chinese migrants were recruited for the construction of the railway and European farmers were actively sought after. This tradition of high immigration has continued into the 1900"s, although the majority of Canada"s immigrants now come from developing countries. Several major changes have been made to Canada"s immigration laws, such as the Immigration Act in 1976, which was replaced with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in 2002. This recent Act sets out Canada"s guidelines for immigration, which are quite broad in comparison to other countries, allowing Canada"s immigration rate to be amongst the highest in the world. This is also reflected in Canada"s diverse culture and ethnicities. With our history of high immigration rates and our current policies and laws, I think Canada is continuing to support immigration.

Immigration"allowing people to permanently move to a new country"aligns with the ideas of an open and free society. The ideal free society has a flexible structure, freedom of belief, and allows its citizens to act voluntarily. Immigration enables individuals to voluntarily move to a foreign country for various reasons. Often immigrants are denied freedom of religion and have very few job prospects in their native country. By immigrating to countries like Canada, individuals gain new freedoms and opportunities. Canada"s immigration laws allow many people around the world to find new jobs, new liberties, and the opportunity to better themselves. This makes Canada and its immigration policies an excellent example of a free and open society.

Initially, immigration to countries like Canada sounds beneficial. But after some research, it appears that the situation of immigrants in Canada is not as I had hoped. In comparison to the native population, the economic position of immigrants has been declining over the past twenty-five years. Also, immigrants face higher unemployment rates and lower pay. This is likely due to the fact that many immigrants have unstable secondary sector jobs that often involve hazardous work environments. Immigrants are also more likely than native Canadians to have difficulty finding a job. Language barriers, discrimination, lack of contacts and networks, job competition, and a lack of certain job skills all create obstacles for newcomers. Employers are also less likely pay an immigrant the same salary as a native, since they often know little about their background. However, the majority of immigrants come from developing nations where the standards of living, job prospects, and other opportunities are low in comparison to Canada. With this in mind, many immigrants are probably better off in Canada than in their native country. Although immigrants face many challenges upon their arrival in Canada, immigrating probably impacts their lives in a positive way.

After researching this article, I have learned more about Canada"s policies concerning immigration, and I find my good opinion of immigration is justified. I fully support Canada"s broad immigration policies which allow the immigration rate to stay high, giving more people a chance for a better life in Canada.