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'Is immigration good for Canada?'

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wei-ching | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 16, 2013 at 3:53 AM via web

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'Is immigration good for Canada?'

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 16, 2013 at 5:20 AM (Answer #1)

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This is, of course, a matter of personal opinion.  There is no objective way to determine whether immigration is, on balance, good for Canada.  My own view is that immigration is good for Canada, though it may not be as good for the country as it once was.

Canada has long been a country that has encouraged immigration.  This is, in part, because immigration has been very good for Canada.  One reason why immigration has been good for Canada is because it has been a very large country with many areas that are very sparsely populated.  Some of these areas have experienced economic booms such as the boom that is going on with the oil sands in Alberta.  Because of the lack of population, immigration has been needed to fill jobs that have contributed to Canada’s economic growth.  A second reason is that native Canadians have generally had very low birth rates.  Without immigration, Canada might well find itself in a position like that of Japan, where an aging population is likely to cause all sorts of economic difficulties in the near future.  Immigration gives Canada a way to renew its working age population and keep its economy viable. 

However, it may be true that immigration is starting to have declining benefits for Canada.  There are those who argue that immigrants today are not as valuable as immigrants in the past.  In this view, immigrants today are taking jobs that native Canadians could have had.  This is, in part, because immigrants today are (some studies say) less educated than immigrants in the past.  From this point of view, Canada is now allowing more and more immigration by people who really do not bring anything special to Canada’s economy.

My own view is that immigration is still a good thing for Canada.  Because Canada attracts a lot of immigrants, it is a country with a vibrant and attractive society.  The immigration helps Canada’s image in the world as a whole.  These things must be taken into account when we try to decide if immigration is a good thing.  Overall, I would say that immigration’s benefits for Canada’s economy and society outweigh its potential costs.

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