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WES Weekly Roundup January 17, 2024

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

How Much Will Canada’s Population Grow? Nobody Knows, but We Can Predict Where It Goes (Desjardins)

This Desjardins report delves into the role of non-permanent residents (NPRs) in shaping Canada's population growth and economic landscape. It points out that NPRs, comprising temporary foreign workers and international students, have become a significant driver of Canada's recent population surge. This trend underscores a shift towards temporary immigration as a major factor in Canada's demographic evolution. The report explores how varying levels of NPR admissions could greatly affect Canada's economic future, impacting GDP growth and the dynamics of potential recessions. NPRs, while not permanent residents, contribute to population increases during their extended stays in Canada. This reflects the country's attractiveness as a centre for international education and a key player in the global labour market, influencing both demographic trends and economic development. The article debates the economic implications of altering NPR admissions. It suggests that reducing these admissions could exacerbate an expected recession in 2024 and hinder economic recovery, impacting potential GDP growth. On the other hand, increasing NPR admissions might help prevent an imminent recession and foster better long-term economic outcomes. Policymakers face a challenging balance: high NPR admissions can strain provincial finances and housing affordability yet reducing them might negatively impact economic growth. The article concludes by emphasizing the need for flexible and cautious policies in response to the uncertain future of population growth and its wide-ranging economic implications.

Most Canadians agree temporary foreign workers are important or somewhat important to Canada’s economy (Nanos Research)

The Nanos Research report, commissioned by the Globe and Mail, provides an in-depth analysis of Canadian attitudes towards temporary foreign workers. Conducted from 27th to 29th December 2023, the survey involved 1006 Canadians and employed a hybrid telephone and online methodology. The report reveals that a majority of Canadians understand the economic significance of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and show strong regional support for employing TFWs to fill job vacancies, notably in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. There is also a considerable consensus on policies favouring the transition of TFWs to permanent residency or citizenship, particularly among older age groups. Moreover, the report indicates that these results highlight a perceived growing recognition of the value of cultural diversity and the potential contributions of TFWs to the Canadian social fabric and labour market.

The tricky problem of banning Canadian work experience requirements (BBC)

In 2023, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 149, legislation banning employers from requiring Canadian work experience. While a welcome first step to facilitating economic integration and access to commensurate employment for immigrant talent, discriminatory barriers may still persist for many. As Canada's immigration system and economy at large relies heavily upon skills and qualifications-based immigration, many newcomers still find themselves barred from attaining jobs that align with their credentials. Nearly half of new arrivals to Canada within the next three years are projected to be economic immigrants. Researchers and advocates, however, argue that this still presents itself as a catch 22; while explicit bias and discrimination against 'non-Canadian' experience may be removed form a job description, it can still be prevalent throughout the hiring process and within workplace cultures. "Unless the motivation to want to discriminate against immigrants does not go away, then there will be other forms of discrimination" - Izumi Sakamoto, associate professor at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

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