January 12, 2021
By Dan Rees, The Globe and Mail
The COVID-19 pandemic over the past 10 months has brought into sharp relief issues that have hindered Canada’s economic competitiveness and left some communities at a disadvantage in trying to achieve their full potential. For Canada to prosper in a rapidly changing world, we must ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute.
One important way to achieve that goal is by ensuring the seamless integration of new Canadians and creating conditions that allow them to participate fully in the economy. Governments at all levels have a role to play, and so do businesses, including Canada’s financial institutions.
When it comes to the importance of newcomers’ contributions to our economy, the facts are clear. Because of Canada’s low birth rate and aging population, it is only through immigration that Canada’s population has continued to see substantial increases, unlike its Group of Seven counterparts, where population growth is declining or even negative.
Make no mistake: Population is a fundamental building block for an economy. The more educated and productive people we attract, the more our quality of life improves and we can maintain the things that make Canada strong. Immigration is a form of economic stimulus. At a time when governments are doing their utmost to support the economy, we should use every engine of growth we can to carry us through the pandemic.