A recent Huffington Post article written by the economist, Salman Sakir, highlights that Canada is one of the many advanced countries that is encountering a low population growth. They’re even putting advertisements/vehicle wraps on their public transportation(like in Calgary) acquired from http://www.calgarysignage.ca/vehicle-wraps/ that is asking canadians to vote for more immigration reform.
The OECD anticipates that Canada will experience a decline in it’s population growth percentage of its residents, who are less than 15 years of age to decline from 16.5 to just 15.6 percent from 2010-2050. Mr. Sakir states that this will spur many both social and economic implications that could put a permanent stop to the country’s growth.
To view a window into the future, take a look at Japan, where their population, who is advancing in age has brought the country’s once amazing economy to a standstill to the point where it will likely never truly recover.
Nicholas Eberstadt, political economist notes that by 2040, the population of Japan residents over 100 will equal the amount of births there, a piece of data that truly reflects the already dire circumstances that Japan’s demographics have forced upon the country.
Eberstadt states that, “Thanks partially to it’s method of financing programs for the elderly, Japan already possesses the most elevated ratio of gross public debt compared with gross domestic product, which is at more than 200 percent, among developed nations. Researchers’ projections at the Bank for International Settlements makes implications that the current ratio could climb to a staggering 600 percent by 2040.”
By contrast, Greece’s public debt is valued at about 130 percent of it’s GDP at the beginning of it’s present default misfortunes. While Japan may well be able to service this substantial debt without the risk of sovereign default, making the assumption that it’s low-interest-rate climate is maintained, it’s difficult to see how conditions for fast or even moderate economic growth could be generated with these circumstances ingredients.
Eberstadt, who is a writer for the Wilson Quarterly, states that one of the key factors for Japan’s conundrum is “unusually strong aversion to immigration”. I argue that this is solely the most vital matter that Canada can affect to curb it’s low population growth issues. At a time when we’re up against a transparent threat to our long-term growth, we shouldn’t be complicating the process of an immigrant becoming a Canadian citizen, as matters, such as Bill C-24 (the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”) would appear to do. With certain caveats, we should be making this process simpler.
“Immigration is the best anti-poverty program ever created,” says Alex Taborrock, a Canadian-born economist and co-author of the highly-esteemed economics blog, Marginal Revolution. Tabarrok was the co-author of the “Open Letter on Immigration”, penned in 2006, which was addressed to the current president at that time, George W. Bush and every American Congress member. The letter, which was co-signed by over 500 economists, presented the case that immigration wasn’t a burden, but was actually to American benefit.
“Immigrants don’t take American jobs. The American economy can generate as many job opportunities as workers, who are willing to work exist, provided that labor markets remain equally open, flexible, and free to all job seekers,” the letter explained..
In 2013, Tabarrok addressed the country’s views that are growing about immigration restriction in a CBC interview.
“It’s truly a shame that Canada, which has been quite open to immigration, historically, is thinking about restricting, ” he said. “Immigration is among the great possibilities one can offer to the world. It’s incredibly beneficial for both Canadians and for immigrants.”
But, what about the notion that opening the Canadian border to anyone and everyone creates conditions for a free-for-all that would excessively flood our social programs? Tabarrok believes there isn’t an easy fix to this issue.
“If people fear the burden on our systems, with immigrants collecting welfare, the solution isn’t to bar them from moving around. The solution is to inform immigrants that they are not permitted to go on welfare.”
From my point of view, as a person who covers global technology, it’s difficult to grasp any indication of xenophobia here when a vast amount of Canada’s most excellent contributions has been made by immigrants. Keep in mind also that I’m not just speaking about the era of Alexander Graham Bell.
Terry Matthews immigrated to Canada in the 60’s from Wales and is almost solely responsible for creating conditions to make Ottawa a hub of technology. Mike Lazaridis immigrated from Istanbul to Canada when he was just 5 and the result is Canada is the birthplace of the smartphone. Prem Watsa departed from India with only $8 to his name and has since become a renowned global investor and one of Canada’s greatest philanthropists. It’s difficult to imagine a Canada void of these three men and so many others, who continue to shape our modern economy.