New Canadian Immigration Report is flawed: The Province

Canadian Immigration Report said immigration costs Canada too much

By now many people have read the news story about the Fraser Institute’s latest immigration report, which says that immigration costs Canada $16.3 billion every year.

The report’s math broke down like this:

Using information from 2006, the report found Canadians earned an average of $35,057 while immigrants who came to Canada between 1987 and 2004 earned an average of $26,253. This works out to Canadians paying an average of $16,501 in taxes and immigrants paying $10,340 while consuming benefits in the amount of $15,900 annually, costing an average of $6,000 per year times 2.7 million immigrants over those 15 years.

However according to a recent article in The Province disputing the study’s findings, immigrants who had been in Canada for more than 15 years before 2006 earned more income than Canadians, thus actually paying more taxes. More people paying income taxes in Canada also means less cost for everyone for things like national defense and maintaining cities.

The study also doesn’t consider skills that immigrants bring to the workplace or immigrant entrepreneurs that end up employing hundreds of Canadians. The Province article suspects that what’s bringing the immigrant income numbers down is that the small amount of refugees (20,000) admitted into Canada every year do not usually end up with higher paying jobs than Canadians.

The way the study’s math works can be applied to Canadians as well. The example provided by The Province suggests that parents of two school-age children receive $21,480 in education each year, because the total cost of education for primary or secondary students is $10,740. In other words, Canadians receive as many if not more benefits than the immigrants, as the study leads the public to believe the “benefits” the immigrants are getting is simply free money from the government. According to the article, “Education of our children is an investment in Canada’s future. And, equally so, immigration is an investment in Canada’s future.”

The full Province article is available here

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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