Showing posts with label University of Toronto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label University of Toronto. Show all posts

Making immigration work well

Manitoba Legislature, meeting place of the Leg...Image via Wikipedia
A global poll by Ipsos shows Canadians are way ahead of their international counterparts when asked about their views on immigration, with almost twice the respondents agreeing it has had a good impact on their country. But even at that, only 40 per cent said immigration was good. And 56 per cent said they believe immigration is too much of a burden on social services. Canadians should get to know their neighbours a little better.
Chances are immigrants are living not far from most of us. At 20 per cent, the immigrant population is at a 75-year high in the country.
It is a fallacy, a misperception perhaps drawn from sensational crime headlines in cities and cultural tension in other western nations, that immigrants are a burden. Good research has underscored repeatedly the success story of immigration for Canada. University of Toronto immigration expert Jeffrey Reitz notes that, statistically, newcomers use fewer social services than other Canadians.
With a declining birth rate over the decades, Canada's population would have slipped without immigration and the economy would have suffered. Since the mid-1990s, immigration has become the primary driver of population growth. Since 1998, Manitoba's homegrown provincial nominee program has staunched a worrisome net out-migration. More than 10,000 immigrants funnel into the province each year now.
While much of Canada sees immigrants leaving for Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, Manitoba's program retains 80 per cent and more of its nominees, who are selected for their ability to adjust to local labour-market demands, connections to the community and employability. A 2008 survey of 100 of the program's immigrants revealed that 85 per cent find work almost as soon as they hit the ground, rising to 88 per cent after three to five years.
Manitoba immigrants "make it" here, integrating in the community, improving their family incomes. While the average income of about $50,000 was $10,000 lower than the Manitoba average, fewer immigrants lived on less than $30,000. In fact, the picture of the survey conducted for the Manitoba government showed that the lower average income did not hold the nominee immigrants back from getting ahead and putting down roots in the community: Some 76 per cent owned their own homes and 73 per cent said they had no difficulties meeting monthly expenses.
Immigrants tend to earn less than native-born Canadians with similar education levels, but that difference disappears with successive generations. This reflects the age-old immigrant story in this country. Manitoba's particular success -- immigrants here are employed at higher rates than in Canada generally -- is derived from a keen understanding of what the economy needs and the tailoring of settlement programs to ensure that language and skill training supports the determination of newcomers.
The fact that those selected to land in Manitoba are not heading to Canada's mega-metropolises shows this province has made the wise decision to pursue higher immigration levels, which has been very good to Manitoba. Investing in people pays off.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 10, 2011 A10

Birth rate up for sixth year in a row: StatsCan 2

View of downtown Montreal.Image via WikipediaCASSANDRA DRUDI, QMI AGENCY

It's not a baby boom. It's not even enough to replace our own numbers. But more so than other parts of the developed world, Canadian women are becoming moms.
The number of births in Canada rose in 2008 for the sixth consecutive year, according to data released Wednesday.
In 2008, there were 377,886 live births in Canada. That number reflects a rise in every province and territory other than the Northwest Territories.
The rise in births seems to be slowing down, however, with a 2.7% increase in 2008, down from rises of 3.6% and 3.7% in the previous two years, Statistics Canada said.
That reflects a total fertility rate in 2008 of 1.68 children per woman - the highest total fertility rate on record since 1992, when it was 1.69.
While the rate is still "well below" the generational replacement level of 2.1 children per woman - the rate to replace the country's population in the absence of migration - it is still above other developed nations such as Italy at 1.39, and Japan at 1.21.
The numbers in Canada can be attributed to more women reaching their late 20s and early 30s, the ages at which the likelihood women will have a child is highest, said David Foot, an economics professor at the University of Toronto.
Foot, the author of Boom, Bust, Echo, a book about Canadian demographics in the 21st century, says that the recent growth in the number of births can be expected to continue for the next decade or so, as the children of the echo generation reach child-bearing age.
The echo generation are those born to baby boomers, who themselves were born in the post-war period between 1947 and 1966.
"This is the echo of the echo, the grandchildren of the baby boomers," Foot says.
In part, the rise in the national fertility rate can be attributed to a rise in the fertility rate in Quebec, Foot said. More than a third of the total increase in births in 2008 (35%) came from Quebec, StatsCan said. There have been more births there "primarily because of expanded child care," Foot said.
The continued increase in the number of births is likely to have "big implications" for child care in the next four or five years, before going on to affect elementary school enrolments as children grow older, Foot said.
And although the fertility rate is below the generational replacement level, immigration compensates for a fewer births than at other times in the country's history.
"The population of Canada would still be growing without immigration, but at a slower pace," Foot said.
An ideal fertility rate is somewhere between 1.6 and 2.6 births per 1,000 women, Foot said.
A society with too few children can't afford the costs of caring for its aging population, and a society with too many children will suffer from political instability because there won't be enough jobs for them all, Foot said.
Canada, with a fertility rate of 1.6, is on the right track.
"I think our position's very good," Foot said. "Canada's demographic future is considerably better than most of Western Europe and Japan, and Southeast Asia."

Canada should welcome 100,000 more immigrants per year: Report

Talk about a discussion starter. Canadian professor Tony Fang is making the contentious recommendation Canada would economically benefit from hiking its annual quote of immigrants to about 350,000 from the current 250,000.

Increasing immigration to Canada by 100,000 per year would boost Canada’s gross domestic product and spur investment in housing, and would not add to unemployment, according to results of Fang's study, which were released at the national Metropolis conference last week in Vancouver.

The York University professor led the study for The Metropolis Project. He claims his projections for the period 2012-2021 show that adding one million immigrants – an extra 100,000 annually over the current level of about 250,000 − would increase productivity and help the government’s balance sheets.

Fang's recommendation conflicts with the impressions of many Metro Vancouver and Toronto residents who worry that housing prices are rising far too high because of a river of immigrants into urban centres, and that strong immigration levels keeps Canadian wages low.

Canada has the highest immigration rate per capita of any major country.

However, a news release about Fang's report justifies his findings on the basis of the way he and his fellow researchers considered the interdependence of factors such as interest rates, wages, inflation, monetary economic policy and standard of living.

"To study the impacts of large-scale immigration on the Canadian economy, the researchers took into account many factors including: immigrants’ participation in the labour force; associated spending on government services and infrastructure; funds brought by immigrants; and labour market differences between migrants (in order to capture the effect of large-scale immigration on Canadian-born workers)," says the release.

Fang, a professor of human resources management professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York, performed a series of macroeconomic simulations with ProfessorMorley Gunderson, of the Centre of Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto, and Professor Peter Dungan, director of the Policy & Economic Analysis Program at the University of Toronto.

Fang's report -- which focusses on the economics of immigration and not other factors, such as cultural and environmental -- says that adding 100,000 more immigrants per year would:
• Increase real GDP by 2.3 per cent over the 10-year period by 2021
• Increase Canada’s population cumulatively by 2.6 per cent, creating demand for goods and services (especially housing)
• Add $14 billion to government coffers because taxes paid by immigrants exceed government expenditures

Conducted with funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada and The Metropolis Project, the study proposes to "provide policymakers at all levels of government with information about the costs and benefits of large-scale immigration, to better inform their decisions."

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