Do Immigration Limits Hurt Growing Canadian Cities?

Since Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced Canada’s new immigration targets for 2013, there’s been a lot to talk about. Portrait of a boy with the flag of Canada painted on his face

On October 31st, Minister Kenney tweeted: “In 2013 we’ll keep immigration levels at ~250,000. The NDP says we should increase immigration by 40% to at least 350,000. What do you think?”

He also tweeted later on the same day, “even though 90% of CDNs oppose higher immigration levels.”

The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab published an excellent article on the subject, as if to speak to those 90% of Canadians and ask them if they get how immigrants help boost the population in mid-sized urban centres across Canada, bringing in more tax dollars, more jobs and more business.

Formerly desolate and empty urban suburbs in Canada are now growing because they have the population that demands better infrastructure and development: more stores, more parks, more services and more everything for everyone.

While Toronto and Vancouver (and their surrounding areas) are where the most immigrants make their home, their total share of all of the immigrants that come to Canada each and every year is decreasing as smaller cities across Canada are welcoming more immigrants – including Moncton, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Saskatoon and Trois-Rivieres. These cities are growing because they have jobs that need filling – and the local population is not filling them.

But according to the article, the Ontario government wants more immigrants than it’s getting, and with the current target in place it will be impossible to ensure Ontario’s share of newcomers to Canada is high enough while other cities still have enough people moving there to help them develop and grow. The article is great, and definitely worth a read if you’re one of the 90%.

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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