Economic future of Canada and immigration

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newguy
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Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by newguy » 10 Feb 2017 17:54

The latest census report shows how much the G7 depends on immigration nowadays. You may have read in other news that not everyone is in favour of immigration. I have some things that concern me about the future.

-population decline
-population growth.
-population static.

Perhaps I'm neurotic, and worry too much. If population declines we get in the situation of Japan with deflation and a powerless central bank with extravagant fiscal policy. Can't end well.

If worldwide population continues to grow, eventually Malthus wins. I still think there's room in Canada.

If population stays static we get the same problems as a decline, just less so. I also feel it's more sustainable but will require politicians to redo our growth at any cost policies.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidie ... 8a-eng.htm
Canada led the G7 in population growth from 2011 to 2016, rising on average 1.0% per year, a ranking also recorded over the two previous intercensal periods (2001 to 2006 and 2006 to 2011).

Chart 1: Average annual population growth rate among G20 and G7 countries, 2011 to 2016¹
As in Canada, migratory increase is the key driver of population growth in other G7 countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. In addition, three G7 countries—Germany, Italy and Japan—have recorded more deaths than births in recent years, meaning that the population growth in these countries depended entirely on migratory increase.

Canada's average annual population growth rate of 1.0% from 2011 to 2016 was the eighth highest among G20 countries, behind Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Indonesia and India.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by AltaRed » 10 Feb 2017 18:13

None of that should be a surprise. Many (most?) developed nations have a fertility rate below replacement and immigration is key to avoiding stagnation and even GDP decline. Some cultures, such as Canada, are more receptive to multi-culturalism, especially to non-Anglo Saxons. There just isn't enough 'whites' any more to go around. The key to success is 'meaningful' integration/assimilation of immigrants so that they are fully part of society. After all, we are going to need them everywhere to keep the goods and services machine well oiled.

Japan simply doesn't accept a dilution of their 'culture' and even some European nations, e.g. France, don't readily accept immigrants (the Paris slums and lack of job opportunities without a European surname). There is a heavy price to be paid to be non-inclusive.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 10 Feb 2017 18:21

Immigration is great but the quality of immigration is important. And it's not just the host country that is to blame for the problems. Yes, France is a good example. Also Britain - some integrate and prosper; others create an enclave of mother nation in places like Tower Hamlets or Bradford.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by gobsmack » 11 Feb 2017 06:20

I think Canadians by and large recognize the benefits of immigration. This is the reason why immigration is so successful in Canada. We cannot be complacent though. In order for immigration to continue to be a success story, I would like to see a bigger push towards integration. I am also not a big fan of the grandparent/parent sponsorship program that was reopened by the Liberals. The "super visa" is, in my opinion, a much better solution for these folks. It gives them the ability to stay in Canada long-term without giving them full immigrant status (e.g., they still have to pay for their own healthcare).

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by hamor » 11 Feb 2017 17:49

right you are.
It's stunning how the system can be abused, while the taxpayers foot the bill
Here are some examples (first hand experiences):

People used to 'land', leave, come back and get the passport/citizenship, now looks like this loophole is finally closed
Refuges get more money and better healthcare, than my disabled neighbour who was born here and actually contributed to Canada
Perfectly straight young woman claimed she's been discriminated as lesbian and voila she's a refugee (how gullible do we have to be..?)
"newcomers" live in macmansion, drive Mercedes, run their own business, file 5K income, pay no income taxes and their 'sponsored' grandma lives in socially subsidized apt and receives welfare.
Gov lets in enormous number of foreign workers who take jobs from the local population (including immigrants) - fast food and live-in caregivers

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by AltaRed » 11 Feb 2017 17:56

hamor wrote:Gov lets in enormous number of foreign workers who take jobs from the local population (including immigrants) - fast food and live-in caregivers
Maybe. My anecdotal experience via friends and relatives is that not enough people in Canada wants these jobs, or can walk and chew gum at the same time, to actually do these jobs. I have no qualms about allowing hard working TFWs, some of the nicest, most competent and principled people I've ever met, fill these positions.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by hamor » 11 Feb 2017 20:38

AltaRed wrote:
hamor wrote:Gov lets in enormous number of foreign workers who take jobs from the local population (including immigrants) - fast food and live-in caregivers
Maybe. My anecdotal experience via friends and relatives is that not enough people in Canada wants these jobs, or can walk and chew gum at the same time, to actually do these jobs. I have no qualms about allowing hard working TFWs, some of the nicest, most competent and principled people I've ever met, fill these positions.
We're friends with some of those people, so it's not that I don't like them on the personal level, quite the opposite, but the gov screws everyone by providing slaves as 'caregivers', it spoils the people who employ them and deprives locals (as I mentioned before). May be some people would learn to walk and chew gum if they had no choice :) JMO

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by max88 » 11 Feb 2017 23:10

Everyone, or everyone's ancestor, is immigrant. Same applies to even the natives/aboriginals. Generally those who have been here for generations are less enthusiastic towards immigration, while new immigrants want at least their immediate family and close relatives here, then may joint the former.

In the context of economic future, business generally want more immigration to provide cheap labour, and don't care about those struggling to get a job. The labour side generally don't want more immigration, so that they can get a salary that's otherwise only available in highway robbery, and don't care whether businesses are struggling. Then there is everyone in between, depending on the financial situation, if one has enough savings, then will generally side with business as that means lower prices; if one is barely getting by, then will generally side with labour that means higher wages.

For those business pushing more immigration saying they "cannot" find enough people to do the job, that's because they don't want to offer enough to the locals. For those labours opposing more immigration saying they "cannot" find a job, that's because they don't want to accept less.

I am on the labour side, thus generally oppose more immigration. Even if I do support, I will ensure my support is only for those don't have the same skills as mine. :wink:

Politicians generally support immigration, at least don't oppose, otherwise they don't have any ground to stand on, and will lose positive publicity. Social workers support immigration, because that's why many of them have a job. They are very eager to help.
I am cautiously optimistic. When it goes up, I claim I have been optimistic; when it goes down, I claim I have been cautious.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by max88 » 11 Feb 2017 23:18

AltaRed wrote:Maybe. My anecdotal experience via friends and relatives is that not enough people in Canada wants these jobs, or can walk and chew gum at the same time, to actually do these jobs. I have no qualms about allowing hard working TFWs, some of the nicest, most competent and principled people I've ever met, fill these positions.
If they cannot find enough workers, that's because they are not paying enough.
If they cannot find a job, that's because they are asking for too much.
I am cautiously optimistic. When it goes up, I claim I have been optimistic; when it goes down, I claim I have been cautious.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by ghariton » 11 Feb 2017 23:31

Historically, immigrants to Canada have created more jobs than they have taken up. Not in the first years maybe, but in the medium term (say five years) and longer.

Many immigrants do work that Canadians won't do. The clearest example is farm labour, working in the fields in conditions that are very difficult and for very low wages. I suppose that, if the farmers offered high enough wAges, Canadians would do the work. But then we would be paying $5 a tomato. Or rather we would be eating only imported produce. That way, not only would there be no more field workers, the farmers would also disappear, along with the people from whom the farmers buy. So, a net loss of jobs in Canada.

At the high end of the labour market, you get another phenomenon. There really aren't enough Canadians with the skills and training and experience to do some of the work. Yes, you could get them to train for these jobs -- maybe -- if you offered high enough salaries. Even then, you would have to wait for two to five years until these people started to show up. And if you offered those high compensation levels, then that work might also be replaced by imports and, to some extent, by automation. Again, a lose-lose-lose situation.

More generally, we are starting to run short of workers. Or so says the current government's economic advisory council. That's why they are recommending a series of measures to try to increase labour force participation rates. A smart immigration policy could be one of Canada's strategic advantages over competing countries.

All that doesn't mean that I support open borders. Well, I do in theory. But in practice we need a more homogeneous society of people who can integrate and collaborate. That means we have to continue selecting with care and limiting the numbers in any given year.

It's too early to evaluate the current crop of immigrants. After all, they just got here. But in my opinion, previous cohorts have been a great success and have contributed strongly to Canada.

(Full disclosure: My family came here as refugees in 1951, so I may be biased.)

George
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by max88 » 11 Feb 2017 23:37

newguy wrote: -population decline
-population growth.
-population static.
For any species to survive, it must be above its critical mass, the more the better. The problem is, there is only so much land on earth, the so much resources to support a certain size. Once the population has out grown the resources, what's next?
I am cautiously optimistic. When it goes up, I claim I have been optimistic; when it goes down, I claim I have been cautious.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by max88 » 11 Feb 2017 23:52

ghariton wrote:Historically, immigrants to Canada
.
.
.
George
Very good points. All of those are because the business and labour spend too much time arguing, and not enough consequence, because: 1) business can get cheap labour/imports, 2) labour can live off social safety supported by profits from business and other labour. When the food bank runs out, people will grow their own in the farm.

True that immigrants have made great contributions, once they are here long enough, some will become part of the lazy and dumb locals, the cycle starts again.
I am cautiously optimistic. When it goes up, I claim I have been optimistic; when it goes down, I claim I have been cautious.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by gobsmack » 12 Feb 2017 09:00

ghariton wrote:But in practice we need a more homogeneous society of people who can integrate and collaborate. That means we have to continue selecting with care and limiting the numbers in any given year.
I agree. There is a concept in economics called "social capital". I was completely unaware of it until I listened to this excellent Freaknomics episode on the topic. It discusses the economic value of collaboration and how economists are trying to quantify it. The episode talks about immigration as well.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by izzy » 12 Feb 2017 09:01

So business needs an underclass who they can exploit? Canadians in general are not willing to work for crumbs so let us import immigrants who are desperate enough ? Refugees are ideal since by definition they have few other options-,Illegals as in the US? even better!
Not a pretty picture of Western "civilization" is it?
"Bread and circuses" will keep the Plebs happy!
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by AltaRed » 12 Feb 2017 11:42

The problem is as George describes. If business cannot control its costs to be competitive, they will go out of business and then all the jobs associated with that business are lost. It is a fine line as long as consumers have the choice of an alternative product. To use George's example of a tomato, if a Canadian farmer/hot house cannot find labour at a price he can afford to price his tomatoes competitively with US and Mexican imports, he will go out of business. Manufacturing jobs have disappeared from Ontario due to high costs, e.g. energy, wages, payroll benefits, taxes, etc.

I agree with George's observation that immigrants ultimately create more jobs than they take away, and that is partly because they are willing to work harder to succeed and at lower wages/returns than the average Canadian. They then employ others, who then all spend their money on goods and services that indirectly support/create other jobs, i.e. the economic multipliers used in economic impact / cost benefit studies. I found all this fascinating stuff in my younger years when preparing and filing development applications with the National Energy Board for O&G projects.

The government knows this and thus why both skilled (and unskilled) immigrant and TFW labour is critical to our economy. Provided such labour is not abused by employers, such labour is rather happy to have an opportunity to succeed. That is what has built this country (and the USA) in the first place and will allow it to sustain itself.

Added: I also agree with George that we do have to be careful what kind (and numbers) of immigrants and TFW that we bring in. There is a place for both unskilled and skilled labour and it needs to be regulated to provide a particular balance in our economy.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 12 Feb 2017 11:59

^ that is exactly right. Immigration is NOT a zero sum game. Everyone benefits when Canadian companies stay in business because they have engineers. Everyone benefits when raspberries are priced so that not just the 1% can buy them - and they wouldn't be if we didn't have cheap immigrant labour.

In practice, the quality of immigration is a problem and so is the ability to integrate immigrants. Most of immigrants come as family-class or refugees, not as economic immigrants. Many of these are unemployable. Some don't speak English and make no attempt to learn. Others used to do unqualified jobs (which in Canada require qualifications) or don't have any experience at all.

Yet more used to be doctors or engineers and now work driving taxes or sit on benefits. And part of the problem is good old protectionism; a doctor who graduated from Oxford (even with a Canadian passport) would have to spend many years before he can work as a doctor in Canada.

And the way our welfare state works is schizophrenic. I know a Canadian guy, with a good job, who has paid a lot of taxes over the years. His wife is English. Her father used to live with them in a "granny flat". He contracted cancer and was kicked out of Canada (even though they were prepared to pay for his healthcare). I also know a Ukrainian chap who operates a boiler. Nice guy but I doubt he has paid a lot of taxes over the years. His parents are in Ukraine. His mum needed an operation, he brought he to Canada as a visitor and then had her operated on OHIP (don't know how; sure he wasn't supposed to). Everything was done "for free".

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by gobsmack » 12 Feb 2017 13:30

Mordko wrote:Most of immigrants come as family-class or refugees, not as economic immigrants...
Small mistake there. For the past 9 years (and possibly more), the majority have been economic migrants (see: http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/2 ... 97d185fc93). It looks like most of them fall under skilled labour and provincial nominees.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by AltaRed » 12 Feb 2017 14:10

gobsmack wrote:
Mordko wrote:Most of immigrants come as family-class or refugees, not as economic immigrants...
Small mistake there. For the past 9 years (and possibly more), the majority have been economic migrants (see: http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/2 ... 97d185fc93). It looks like most of them fall under skilled labour and provincial nominees.
I agree. The Syrian refugee phenomenon has distorted what stlil is the primary goal of soliciting economic immigrants. It is just that they don't make the news (sell papers) as often as the sponsored and/or refugee stories. There is no media story about an immigrant bricklayer for example.
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 12 Feb 2017 16:13

The previous government did a good job. This government is turning it around: http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/2 ... 97d185fc93

Canada's plan for 2016 was as follows:

- 160,600 economic
- 80,000 family
- 55,000 refugee
- 3,600 humanitarian.

Total: 300,000.

Economic immigrants made up 53.5%, according to the plan. While the data for 2016 have not been published, it is my understanding that the numbers for the refugee category have been exceeded and the numbers for the economic category - not met.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by AltaRed » 12 Feb 2017 16:33

Economic targets work only if we can attract that kind of immigrant. Says something about us if we cannot do so. I also really don't have a problem with the family category recognizing there will be some welfare bums in that group.... but we have our own that we can't deport, so...what's the difference? A good reason why under the previous Administration there were lower refugee numbers. Think that will be the tone from now on too (2015/6 being an aberration).
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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 12 Feb 2017 17:55

Family members should have a right to join their relatives. There is just one snag - welfare. Given the way the system works (with "free" medicine, etc...) it's not fair that people who have not contributed a dime get large subsidies out of the taxpayer.

And the proportions are being changed back to the way it used to be before 2006, so I have major doubts last year was an aberration.

Worth noting that refugees are not actual refugees; most of them are coming to Canada from locations that are perfectly safe (with some noticeable exceptions).

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 12 Feb 2017 18:01

Another example... A Russian guy, living in Toronto. Lives on welfare and part-time postman's salary. He is going back to Russia while still collecting his welfare cheque. Planning to come back when he reaches pensionable age so that he can collect old age security, etc... Obviously he is fiddling the system and I do hope he will get caught but he seems to know what he is doing.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by 6miths » 12 Feb 2017 22:55

Mordko wrote: Yet more used to be doctors or engineers and now work driving taxes or sit on benefits. And part of the problem is good old protectionism; a doctor who graduated from Oxford (even with a Canadian passport) would have to spend many years before he can work as a doctor in Canada.
A doctor who graduated Oxford medical school would be able to get a residency position and work day 1 in Canada similar to a graduate of a Canadian medical school. A doctor who graduated Oxford and then did resident equivalent training at Oxford would also be able to work day 1 as an independent MD if recruited by a Canadian university. A doctor who graduated from a medical and residency programme in Eastern Europe, India or Africa would find the road more difficult. Trust me when I say that you would not want it to be otherwise.

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by Mordko » 12 Feb 2017 23:44

Nope, according to this article lower-ranking Canadian medical schools have a near-monopoly:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Opinio ... story.html

In practice graduates from Oxford are screwed (even though Oxford medical schools is a lot better). The only ones whose credentials are considered equivalent to Canadian medical schools are graduates from the Middle East (!)

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Re: Economic future of Canada and immigration

Post by hamor » 13 Feb 2017 08:48

I am for immigration, but the policy must be selective and smart and carefully applied and controlled.

I know of highly qualified IT pro who was trying to immigrate to Canada and had to go to Germany instead.
The application of the immigration policy is befuddling.

Canada is helping Ukraine, how many refuges/immigrants did we accept from there in the last 3 years..?

As I pointed out, and mordco provided more examples, the system is too easily exploited.
Canadians are very naive (forgive me, but it's true).
I recall another example - a couple immigrated to Canada, he's now getting nice disability cheque (for no good reason) and they're moving off to live in the US on a green card won in a lottery, so they won't even spend the money here.

Somewhat similar situation was created in the UK with huge influx from Poland (EU country, so no visa was required). When economy turned south in 2008 most of them went home and collected EI (and other?) benefits from the UK.

Canadian economy is highly inefficient in part due to labour laws and unions (someone mentioned closing businesses - we saw plenty of that...). I am not an economist, but I see what I see.
Unqualified worker getting paid $30-40/hour for something that an immigrant would happily do for half the amount. If it were corrected, it'd provide huge long term benefit (like Thatcher crushed unions in the UK).
Auto workes getting paid $100K to work on the assembly line..?!

Willingness to integrate is a huge factor. Many waves of immigration were successfully integrated in Canada, but IMO some of the more recent ones are very very different. In the last 20 years real ghettos were successfully ( :cry: ) created in GTA.

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