According to a recent report, “Immigration” is going to help in the economic development of the country especially in the provinces like Ontario and Quebec despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though labor market conditions have not fully recovered, a Scotiabank report suggests billions could be added to the economies of both provinces if Canada meets its new immigration targets. The increase in the number of newcomers could add up to $ 2.9 billion to Ontario’s economy and just under $ 1 billion to Quebec’s.
There is a labor force disparity that equals $ 12 billion – $ 20 billion in Ontario’s economy between the Canadian-born workers and the immigrants.
Clearing doubts on increase immigration levels
There are doubters on increasing Immigration to Canada especially during periods of economic contraction, as these newcomers have underperformed in comparison to Canadian-born workers.
However, the report indicates that immigrants make a “heavy” economic contribution and that their performance was improving in Quebec and Ontario before the pandemic.
The study model indicates that immigrants will contribute “a significant and growing share” of economic output in both provinces over the next five years. Beyond 2022, immigrants are expected to account for half of the economic growth generated in the two provinces. Without the newcomers, Ontario’s GDP would be 20% lower this year, or about $ 157 billion.
Any effort to increase the integration of newcomers into the labor market will provide additional economic growth. Immigrants have consistently experienced higher unemployment rates than Canadian-born workers. This is especially true in Quebec, although immigrants to the province tend to see greater participation in the labor market. These gaps between immigrant and Canadian outcomes are narrowing over time in the labor force and have narrowed in recent years, even with higher levels of immigration.
According to the report, closing these gaps will be a combined effort of policymakers and the business community. While this suggests that the business community can support newcomers through workforce diversification initiatives, for example, it is up to policymakers to foster an environment conducive to business prosperity. The new immigration policy should take into account the uneven impact of the pandemic on different sectors. Retail, for example, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, could experience near-term upturn inactivity due to pent-up demand, while the healthcare sector could continue to experience labor shortages. -work.
How does the government support immigrants during a pandemic?
International students who obtained their study permits after March 18 were not allowed to come to Canada initially, but the government has taken the unprecedented step of allowing online studies to count towards a post-graduate work diploma (PGWP). From February, international students can take 100% of their program online, until December 31, 2021, and still be eligible for PGWP.
In the fall, Mendicino announced that international students would be exempt if they attended designated educational institutions with a COVID-19 preparedness plan. The immigration minister announced that immediate family members are also exempted from travel restrictions. Also, foreign nationals who wanted to cross the border for compassionate reasons, such as a funeral, were allowed to travel and even break quarantine in certain situations.
The pandemic has also forced more IRCC services to go digital. Approved permanent residents can now complete the settlement process electronically. Also, Canada now offers citizenship ceremonies and citizenship tests online.
Preparation for COVID-19 Second Wave
A new mandatory requirement for quarantine was implemented in January. According to this air travelers coming to the country have to stay in a government-approved hotel situated near airports that have been in operation throughout the entire period. the pandemic. All international newcomers should also take a COVID-19 test when crossing the border.
Along with low levels of immigration in 2020, Canada’s population growth has also slowed. To address this, the Canadian government has set itself the ambitious goal of welcoming 401,000 new immigrants by 2021. This year started with 25,000 newcomers invited to live in Canada which is the number that looks like pre-pandemic immigration levels.
Canada has also stepped up its efforts to admit new permanent residents who are already in Canada. On February 13, Canada invited every Express Entry candidate who qualified for the Canadian Experience Class to apply for permanent residence. About 90 out of 100 of those eligible for this program are already in Canada.
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Immigration is the priority for the federal government. Canada still faces the demographic challenges it was before the pandemic, an aging workforce, and a declining birth rate. To tackle this problem, there is only one solution, a higher admission rate for immigrants.
There is no deadline for reopening the border and allowing immigrants from overseas to easily travel to Canada. However, Trudeau has repeatedly promised that everyone in Canada who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of September, or maybe sooner.