Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a meeting with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen MP. This meeting, hosted by Ron McKinnon MP, was a roundtable Q&A and discussion about immigration here in Canada.
A shocking statistic: In 1972, the ratio of working Canadians to retirees was 6.6:1. Right now the ratio is 4:1. If we don’t increase rates of immigration, by the time we reach 2036 (less than 20 years from now!) the ratio will only be 2:1. That’s TWO working Canadians for every ONE retiree! This ratio won’t support the economy, the funding of health care etc. never mind GROW the economy.
We were told that it’s in our national interest to increase rates of immigration and to do whatever we can to help newcomers succeed faster. When we welcome them, assist them and get them set up to succeed, we all succeed. Immigration is not only the right thing to do, it’s the strong, smart, nation-building thing to do.
310,000 immigrants will enter Canada this year followed by 330,000 and 340,000 over the next two years. Of these individuals, 60% will be in the “economic” category, 20% will be family of people already living here and 20% will be refugees/protected persons.
I’m proud to be Canadian and to be part of the welcoming, diverse, inclusive community in which I work, live and play.