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Immigration Levels In Canada Essay, Research Paper

Economic problems come with high levels of immigration. Canada accepts more immigrants, in proportion to its population, than any other nation. Welcoming new arrivals is complicated and expensive. In 1992-93, almost $900 million will be spent on processing applications, enforcement, language training programs, etc. Large cities where immigrants tend to settle face strains on social services, while smaller communities can’t attract the skilled immigrants they need. In 1988, 161, 929 immigrants entered Canada, and an estimated 484 were infected with the HIV virus. A total $18.5 million was spent on treating the resulting HIV-related illness. Also, there was 2, 558 with heart disease and this cost $21.6 million to treat. Less obvious are the additional burdens refugees place on health, education, and social welfare systems. For example, many refugee children have been physically or mentally traumatized by their experiences, speak neither English nor French, and have never attended school. For some, perhaps as many as a third, adjust to the Canadian education system is impossible. As a result, these children will never learn the skills needed to function above a marginal level in Canadian society and may be permanently dependent on social welfare. On the other hand, many well-educated immigrants arrive to find their qualifications are not accepted in Canada. They are forced to take jobs beneath their abilities. The main qualification immigrants don’t have is the ability to speak English or French. Although some provinces, such as British Columbia and Manitoba, contribute some money, the multimillion dollar cost of teaching English as a second language falls largely on local school boards. The federal government is putting an additional $200 million into a program to increase the number of adult immigrants getting language instructions. Ottawa already spends $100 million a year on adult language training aimed at helping newcomers function in the workplace. Overall, immigrants cost Canadians lots of money, and therefore there should not be high levels of immigration.

Immigrants can have a positive effect on Canadian society. To be an immigrant you must leave behind you everything that is familiar – your family, friends, culture, language, national identity – and journey to a strange and frozen land. This is not the kind of opportunity a useless immigrant will jump at. By nature, immigrants are motivated, dynamic, and vibrant people. For them, moving to a new country is a challenge. In their new homes, immigrants become consumers of goods and services; they are, in fact, net creators of work. People create markets, and markets create jobs. Expanding markets mean more efficient production of goods and services, which leads to higher standards of living. Declining markets mean lower standards of living. Among male immigrants, the labour force participation rate is 79.4% – one percent higher than Canadian-born males. And among women, the immigrant participation rate is 55.6% – more than three percentage points higher than Canadian-born women. Mr. Patel (a successful scientist) is an immigrant from Zimbabwe. He believes that it’s important to show that immigrants can and do succeed, and that they make contributions inside Canada as well as bringing world attention to our country. “No doubt there are handicaps for immigrants, but I guess there are handicaps all over the world,” says Mr. Patel. “You just can’t use them as an excuse.” Overall immigrants can be useful in Canadian society.


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