OTTAWA — A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says chronic low income among family class immigrants is a concern that should be addressed not just for humanitarian reasons, but also to help sustain the economy.
The study measures how the three classes of immigrants contribute to the economy and shows that while Canada has prioritized economic-class immigrants since the mid-1990s, family class immigrants help to boost retention rates and improve the household incomes and home ownership levels of immigrant families.
But the prevalence of lower earnings among family class immigrants is a concern as the country becomes more dependent on newcomers to fill labour needs and to support economic growth, the report says.
The report also measures the impact on the economy if Canada were to shut its doors to immigrants completely, saying this would likely lead to a smaller workforce, higher taxes and dwindling social services.
But if government were to instead boost the country's immigration rate to one per cent of the population, the economy would see modest growth.
Increasing immigration rates would also help offset declining birth rates and ensure a stable workforce.