Monday, May 7, 2012

Globe and Mail tackles immigration in Canada, says we need to double it


Posted by Bethany Horne on Monday, May 7, 2012
Source: Open file
On Saturday, the Globe and Mail dedicated an entire section to immigration in Canada. “The immigrant answer: A time to lead” series calls for “a flood of immigrants” to help fill more than a million jobs that Canada’s demographers predict will go unfilled by 2021.
The newspaper suggested Canada should double its intake of “economic” migrants—“those selected for their skills,” to raise annual immigration to 400,000 by 2016.
The online version of the series includes an interactive look at the stories profiled in the paper.
Like a small town in Manitoba that actively recruited and retained immigrants who now lead productive, professional lives. (video)
The small community of Steinbach, Man., is a microcosm of Canada's dilemma: In the 1990s, it lacked the population to fill needed jobs, then a new provincial program helped it draw more immigrants.
Today, Steinbach is transformed, having grown by 60 per cent, with newcomers from 40 countries. The town has pulled together to help integrate the new residents.
Or the ways the immigration system is failing us.
There is also an interactive graph (which was a little buggy for me on Chrome this morning but worked great in Opera), plotting out Canadians attitudes towards immigration with one's responses to the the questions “How do you feel immigration affects Canada?” and “How often do you interact with immigrants?” You can rank yourself on the two axes, and then narrow the data down with drop down menus to see where others of your age group, province or gender ranked themselves.
With the data currently plotted, for example, here’s how B.C. compares to the rest of Canada:
In the “Where does your community fit in?” tab, you can enter your postal code and see immigration stats for your neighbourhood or city (the data is from Statscan, 2006). In Vancouver, for example, 42 per cent of the population are immigrants, mostly from China, India, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Most of them were children (under 15-years-old) when they arrived, mostly between 1991 and 2000.
There is more to come in this series. The Globe has put out a news release promising:
Later in the week, South Asia Correspondent Stephanie Nolen will cover why Indians are less inclined to immigrate to Canada, while the Globe's London-based European Bureau Chief Doug Saunders looks at Canada's future through the lens of Europe - and what will happen next if we don't embrace "smart immigration"
The demographics reporter Joe Friesen, who wrote the initial story, will also “examine the cost of an immigrant to Canadian taxpayers and whether geo-targeting is a strategy we should consider.”