What are the pros and cons of immigration after coronavirus?
Immigration after coronavirus will be difficult, but there are many advantages for Canada. Minister Marco Mendicino has defended the government’s commitment to increase levels of immigrants in coming years. It is also a question of how much does Canada need immigration for its economy.
The country’s economy is in a difficult situation. Yet, there are many things to look forward, since the country has a stable political system, resources and wealth as well as opportunities. Still, coronavirus has affected it greatly, forcing thousands out of a job and claiming many victims.
To factors to consider before we start talking about pros and cons: first of all, Canada continues to have a low birth rate and an ageing population. Policies aiming at promoting higher birth rates have not been thoroughly effective. It will become increasingly difficult for the country to sustain its current spending for social care as population ages. Faced with no replacement of workforce, the country must look for foreign skilled workers to fill vacancies.
Second, in order for Canada to support its economic growth, changes must be made. Under-utilised talent sources and groups such as women, indigenous people, person with disabilities, seniors and disengaged workers will be key. There is a need for more transparency, wage equality and less discrimination in the system.
Immigration: pros and cons
Mendicino is adamant in claiming immigration as the key for post-coronavirus economic recovery. But his are not the only opinions on the matter. For example, a new poll suggests the majority of Canadians look favourably to limit intake of immigrants. The case against immigration is simple: the economy is already stalling. Even Canadians cannot get much work, so taking in more immigrants at a time when we cannot ensure them to find work, wouldn’t help anyone. Politically it is also difficult to justify committing to high levels of immigration when your own citizens cannot find stable jobs.
However, the case for immigration is much stronger. One can legitimately argue that providing Canadians with new jobs and giving opportunities to immigrants are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, immigrants form the backbone of Canada’s economic miracle, and it would be too high of a risk for the economy to dismiss new applicants. Moreover, immigrants can also open businesses and provide jobs to Canadians, therefore ensuring growth and development.
Let us all remember, also, that Canada’s economy was doing outstanding before the pandemic, and that unemployment rate had reached record lows. Immigration played a huge role in this. Hence, it’s reasonable to believe that as soon as the ‘new normal’ begins, it will again become key to the country’s attractiveness and opportunity.