Vimal Sivakumar - 16 November, 2023
A recent report indicates that Canada must once again raise its immigration levels "to uphold the country’s population and meet domestic labour market demand."
This stance was presented by RBC following the November 1 release of Canada's Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, where the federal government indicated that it would be keeping immigration targets steady at 500,000 in both 2025 and 2026.
Why Canada needs immigration
Canada requires immigration as a means of addressing this country's aging population, the low national birth rate and the subsequent problems that these factors inflict on the labour market in this country.
Although these factors are not necessarily unique to Canada, as these material facts are true in many Western countries, Canada is unable to adequately replace its population (particularly among working-age people). Therefore, Canada relies on immigration as a way to secondarily supplement its natural population, particularly in the face of its growing economy (the ninth largest in the world as measured by Gross Domestic Product).
Why immigration may need to rise again
The primary concern established by the RBC report is that Canada's current immigration targets are not sufficient if Canada hopes to sustainably meet future labour demand.
According to the report, Canada requires an annual immigration rate equivalent to 2.1% of the current population to meet the requirements necessitated by the country's expanding labour market. More specifically, current immigration targets would mathematically need to increase by more than 300,000 (annually) to offset the factors that plague Canada's natural population growth.
In other words, the RBC report concludes that Canada must continue to significantly increase its current immigration levels because an inability to do so would compromise Canada's ability to meet labour demand, grow the economy, support the country’s healthcare system, infrastructure plans (including housing), and broader social institutions as well.