The Economic Impacts of Immigration Within Canada Essay

There has been an appeal in immigrating to Canada ever since the early 1800’s, but only in the past seventy years have we seen drastic changes in domestic immigration law and policy. Most notably Canada has received recognition for its Immigration Act of 1976 as well as our current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act from 2002. Canadian immigration is still evolving today and currently Canada is known as a country with a broad immigration policy that is reflected in the countries ethnic diversity. Policy goals, selectivity and trade are three prominent aspects of Canadian immigration that I have found compelling journal articles written on. Although every aspect of immigration has its differences, they all similarly share a united end common goal of further benefiting Canada.

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Economics is a similarity that plays a large role in each aspect and article, from strategically selecting immigrants that will quickly economically assimilate to using immigration to increase trade flow from foreign countries. Although in contrast – the article that I have found to obtain the most compelling argument on Canadian immigration policy is the one that disagrees with using immigration solely for economic means, it implicitly states that immigration policy should not solely be seen in economic benefits but that it should be seen as primarily a cultural, social and humanitarian policy opposed to an economic one. In the first article I examined ‘Selectivity and Immigration in Canada’ it discusses the importance of Canada carefully selecting the types of immigrants that should be admitted to the country. The research places a large focus on sketching the earning outcomes of immigrants associated with different admission categories. Specifically they examine two databases,

The Immigration Data Base (IMDB) which provides information on admission categories by linking immigration administrative records with tax files and The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), which is a longitudinal sample that provides a comprehensive profile of immigrants and native-born Canadians. The article examines which sorts of immigrants would most benefit Canada and looks at those with the best prospects of fast economic assimilation in the workplace. However the article does looks at all view points, including family reunification and humanitarian aims and ultimately necessitates its judgments on what is best for Canada. The purpose of the research is to contribute to the understanding of immigration outcomes as consequences of various types of immigrants being admitted to the country.

This article unlike the two other articles I have examined discusses not only the economics involved in immigration but also other factors including but not limited to language fluency, education and work history. It does an exemplary job of looking at both sides of the immigration spectrum and what would most benefit Canada while the other two articles simply take one side or the other which is what they use as the grounds and basis of their arguments. The investigation in this article revolves around examining the differences between male and female immigrants and the interrelationship between labour market performances on the one hand and individual personal characteristics of the immigrant on the other. The article uses education attainment as an example and explains that the SLID implies that immigrant men are more educated than native-born men and statistics show that immigrant men on average have 16.5 years of schooling compared to the 15.8 years for the native born. This raises the question of what the appropriate benchmark is to measure successful integration of immigrants if the immigrant population is more educated than the native born population.

The second article I have chosen “Immigration Wave Effects on Canada’s Trade Flow,” examines how immigration impacts trade within Canada. It displays how immigrants have increased both import and export trade flows. The research within the article also found that new immigrants affect imports almost immediately, whereas for exports, the immigrant effect is not significant for at least five years and may take as long as 20 years to reach full impact. It discusses how provinces have begun placing greater importance on immigration policy as a result of the desire to increase trade from the countries that most immigrants originate from. The article argues that there is room for provincial policy-makers to influence provincial international trade through provincial immigration policies such as the federal-provincial agreements on immigration. The article discusses how when new immigrants arrive they bring with them an array of social, business and political contacts from their own country as well as preferences for consumer products. This article differs from the other two I have chosen by solely focusing on the economic impact of immigration.

Instead of looking at all aspects of immigration it looks only at how immigrants can contribute to economic prosperity in Canada and how they will affect trade flows between their new and old countries. The article states that ultimately Canada as a country, as well as individual provinces should continue to promote immigration since it has been proven that provincial exports and imports are positively influenced by immigration. The article looks at no other benefits or negative impacts that could effect immigration and truly provides limited information in comparison to the other two articles I have chosen which do a good job of looking at all aspects and benefits of immigration. In the third and final article I have chosen “The Economic Goals of Canada’s Immigration Policy: Past and Present” it examines Canada’s immigration policy from 1870 to present day and looks at how our countries view on immigration has drastically changed over the past 140 years.

The article discusses how all throughout history the main focus of immigration has always been the economic impacts of it. Canada has in most ways always tried to use immigration as a policy for meeting specific economic goals. Yet Canada as a whole has entered into an era where there is no clear economic policy for which immigration is best suited. The article argues that instead of placing such a huge priority on the economic aspects of immigration, Canada instead should use immigration policy as a primarily cultural, social and humanitarian policy rather than an economic one. It argues that the benefits from social and cultural aspects of immigration outweigh any benefits that can be achieved through using immigration as solely an economic policy. Canada should not abandon immigration but simply look at it in a different light. A defining feature of immigration in Canada is that it constantly rejuvenates the population: bringing in people with new perspectives and customs.

This allows Canada to have a potentially rich culture that is constantly being reinvented. Instead of focusing solely on the possible economic benefits of immigration it should be used as a way to attempt to create a definition of what it truly means to be Canadian. The basis of the article is that people come to Canada in hopes to find a better place, which provides Canada with the ongoing energy it needs to become a stronger and more unified country. In conclusion, while all three of the articles presented arguments that were backed with strong evidence and clear thought flow the article that I found to be most compelling was my third article which took the stand that Canada as a country should not use immigration solely for economic means and rather for cultural and humanitarian aspects of society. I found this article interesting because it spent the majority of it’s pages discussing the history of the economic impacts of immigration within Canada but instead of agreeing with it in the end, chose an entirely new standpoint and argued why looking at immigration only in an economic perspective is not beneficial and how there’s much more good to come from other aspects of it.

In reading these articles I have found a new perspective on immigration, before reading these articles I always used to looked upon immigrants as people who came to Canada just to thrive off of our economic prosperity but after reading all three of these articles and looking at immigration on such a large scale I’ve come to the realization that immigrants truly benefit Canada and provides the country with ethnic diversity which is a huge component in being Canadian. All three of my articles on immigration relate to the course because immigrants have a huge political aspect and say within the country. Throughout history immigrants in Canada have created a large ethnic footprint, which has helped Canada in becoming the ethnically diverse and accepting country that we are today.


Green, Alan and Green, David, “The Economic Goals of Canada’s Immigration Policy: Past and Present,” Department of Economics: Queen’s University, no. 4 (1999): 447-448, accessed November 4 2013, url: Hum, Derek and Wayne, Simpson, “Selectivity and Immigration in Canada,” University of Manitoba, no. 1 (Winter2002): 107, accessed October 29 2013, url:

Patridge, Jaime and Furtan, Harley, “Immigration Wave Effects on Canada’s Trade Flow,” Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics: University of Saskatchewan, no. 2 (2008): 193, accessed November 5 2013, url:


1. The Economic Goals of Canada’s Immigration Policy: Past and Present “We examine the economic goals of current immigration policy and what role immigration should play in overall economic policy. We proceed by describing the economic goals of immigration policy throughout this century. We then describe current economically targeted elements of immigration policy and relate them to historical trends. Finally, we examine a set of potential economic goals for immigration suggested by Canada’s policy history. We conclude that economic goals should not form the defining orientation of immigration policy in the near future since other policies are better situated to meet these goals. Immigration should continue as a defining element in our social fabric.”

2. Immigration Wave Effects On Canada’s Trade Flow
“We utilize an enhanced gravity model to estimate the effect of lagged immigration waves on Canadian imports and exports by province. Empirically, this model was tested using Canadian data on import and export flows to the top 40 countries of origin for Canadian immigrants based upon the composition of the most recent immigrant wave. The results are consistent with previous studies, where immigrants increased both import and export trade flows. By adding the provincial immigrant wave variable, it was also found that new immigrants affect imports almost immediately, whereas for exports, the immigrant effect is not significant for at least five years and may take as long as 20 years to reach full impact.” 3. Selectivity and Immigration In Canada

One perennial policy question in Canada concerns the kind of immigrants Canada should admit. Should it be those with the best prospects of fast economic assimilation in the labour market? This research note sketches the earnings outcomes of immigrants associated with different admission categories. Specifically, we examine two databases. The Immigration Data

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