Three Myths About Immigration In Canada
There is still, unfortunately, plenty of anti-immigration sentiment all across Canada. But the statistics don’t lie. In fact, the reality is often the exact opposite of some of the biggest and untrue myths about immigration in Canada. Only by truly examining statistics about everyday situations, we can really begin to understand
Myth #1 Most Immigrants Don’t Speak English
Assuming someone does not speak English (or French) very well based on how they look or a thick accent is simply incorrect. In fact, more than half of immigrants to Canada speak English well after only being in Canada for half a year, while their abilities only continue to grow. After spending up to four years in Canada, the majority of immigrants are able to speak English well, or very well. Their ability to speak one of the official languages also increases their likelihood of being hired for a decent job, which creates a desire and motivation to continue to develop and perfect their language skills.
Myth #2 Immigrants Take Jobs From Canadians
Many people question why immigrants are brought to Canada during times of economic uncertainty, job shortages or all-time unemployment highs. However, immigrants can be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to competing with Canadians for the same jobs because of their lack of experience living in Canada. In addition, extremely high work credentials earned in their home countries (such as medical or legal degrees) may not translate over to Canadian equivalents and these people may have to take lower-end jobs.
Myth #3 Immigrants Are a drain On Social Services
Even though immigrants may have a disadvantage when it comes to finding jobs, the majority of immigrants desperately want to contribute to Canadian society and feel like they are a part of the community. In fact, only 16 per cent of immigrant families in 2004 received social assistance, which is less than half the number of Canadian-born families. The same percentages are seen when it comes to being on disability, with less than half of immigrants being on disability compared to those who are Canadian-born.
What immigration myths have you personally experienced?
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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