Canada: Why the country wants to bring in 1.5m immigrants by 2025 – BBC News

New citizens
About one in four Canadians came to the country as an immigrant

Earlier this month, the federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years.

This plan would see Canada welcome about eight-times the number of permanent residents each year – per population – than the UK, and four-times more than its southern neighbour, the United States.

But a recent poll shows that there is also anxiety about welcoming in so many newcomers.

Canada bets big

For many years, Canada has tried to attract permanent residents – landed immigrants who have the right to stay in the country indefinitely but who are not citizens – to keep the population and the economy growing. Last year, the country took in 405,000 permanent residents – the most in its entire history.

The reasons are in, some ways, about simple math. Like many western nations, Canada has an aging population with a lower birth rate. What that means is that if the country wants to grow, instead of shrink, it will have to bring in immigrants.

Immigration already accounts for practically all of the country’s labour force growth, and by 2032, it is expected to account for all of the country’s population growth too, according to a government news release.

Earlier this month, the government announced that by 2025, they hope to bring in 500,000 new immigrants a year, up about 25% from 2021 numbers.

A unique place in the world

Today, about one in four Canadians have come to the country as an immigrant, the highest among G7 nations. Compare that to the US, known colloquially as the world’s melting pot, where only 14% are an immigrant.

The UK also has an immigrant population of about 14%.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said these numbers do not mean the UK is behind in immigration, but rather than Canada is a bit of an “outlier”.

The UK, a small island with twice the population of Canada, already has high population density, while Canada, which has a population of just over 38 million and one of the largest land masses in the world, has room to grow.

“Generally the UK has not had an objective of increasing population in the same way that Canada (has) done,” she said.

Geoffrey Cameron, a political scientist at McMaster University, said that while many countries, like Canada, face lower birth rates and an aging population, the success of any immigration system relies on popular support.

“The limiting factor for most countries is public opinion,” he said.

In the US, where the number of migrants entering the country through the southern border has reached an all-time high, there is overall a concern about having more immigrants than there are jobs.

Pre-Brexit, a wave of European Union migrants from eastern Europe moving to the UK created a backlash against migration. But over the past several years, Ms Sumption said, popular opinion for immigration has risen, in part because people believe the country has better control over who comes in than they did before.

Canada, meanwhile, has historically had very high support for immigration.

“I think part of the reason for that is that there is a degree of public trust that immigration to Canada is well-managed by the government and also is managed in a way that serves Canada’s interests,” Mr Cameron said.

But that does not mean that there are no immigration concerns.

In recent years, an influx of migrants at the US border has caused some controversy, and the emergence of a new fringe right-wing party in 2018, the People’s Party of Canada, kept the topic in the national conversation in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election.


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  • Age  On 11/22/2022 at 7:51 pm

    Where will they live? It’s unaffordable to retire in Canada. From Vancouver to Halifax. It’s all expensive.

  • Linda  On 11/23/2022 at 10:06 am

    It’s nice to invite immigrants to your shores but does Canada have the infrastructre to accommodate this influx of people? From all reports, there are serious problems within the health care system, and affordable housing, to name a few. Both of which are extremely important.

    • Age  On 11/23/2022 at 11:22 am

      If you don’t own a home in Canada, you will be struggling with the extra 1.5 million newcomers for rent. Toronto is becoming a city with tents and people living under bridges.

  • Jim  On 11/24/2022 at 1:59 am

    Toronto police, city defend forcibly clearing homeless encampment

    • Age  On 11/24/2022 at 8:37 pm

      It’s easy to become homeless in Canada. That’s why I want to retire somewhere else. I’m not a property-owning White Canadian who benefits from this facade of mass immigration.
      They want more wage serfs and rent peasants.

  • Age  On 11/29/2022 at 7:20 am

    I’ve been getting messages from Guyanese in Guyana asking me to find Canadian employers who will hire them while they are in Canada.
    Is Canada opening the floodgates for Guyanese to come overstay in Canada like the Romanians?
    Guyanese didn’t want to help me find land in Guyana why they want to work illegally in Canada?

    • Jim  On 11/29/2022 at 5:47 pm

      The Canadian Embassy is thinking of giving visa-free travel to Guyanese.

      This might increase the population of Canada more and put a strain on the resources for Canadians who are entitled to live and work there.

      • Age  On 11/29/2022 at 7:17 pm

        I hope that Trudeau loses the elections. He is increasing immigration and driving down wages.

        Now,Canada wants to drive down wages more by encouraging Guyanese to live as illegal aliens and work undocumented.

      • Jim  On 11/30/2022 at 9:50 pm

        I too am concerned that this visa-free policy will encourage more illegal immigration into the United States of America and affect American citizens and Green card holders.

        Employers are increasing the use of third-party contractors to hire people for lower wages, and this means that foreign nationals with ties to their home country are more likely to overstay and work for a lower wage because their cost of living is not that of the United States. It robs us as Americans of our livelihoods and right to work in our own country.

    • Dennis Albert  On 11/29/2022 at 8:48 pm

      I think it was you or someone else who told me that you were sending vast amounts of money to a Guyanese who promised to sell land.

      Well guess what? All that money that you sent to Guyanese, they will use that to buy a plane ticket in Canada, take away your job and deprive you of a family physician and government benefits.

      Guyanese are on TikTok and asking Canadians how to apply for welfare so that the Guyanese can extend their property in Guyana.

      They are on Facebook asking the US Embassy to implement visa free travel and even the right to work in America while staying in America as a visitor or tourist.

      • Age  On 11/29/2022 at 10:41 pm

        Beg back?!

        Young chap, I’ve worked hard in Canada for decades, eligible for pension in a few years and have a large nest egg.

        I fear for the younger generations who have to live under the Trudeau government which want to bring in the entire world to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
        I’ve no reason to deal with Guyanese citizens who are in Canada illegally. I’ll let the border patrol deal with them if they try to get jobs with their visa exemptions.

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