Canadian Immigration: The Real Newcomer Numbers

Canadian Immigration: The Real Newcomer Numbers
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser arrives for question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Oct. 3, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
Bill Tufts

The federal government has been touting the record numbers of immigrants arriving in Canada, but the over 431,000 it cites is in fact less than half the number of newcomers who came to the country last year.

Once combined with non-permanent residents, the number of newcomers in 2022 amounted to an estimated 955,000, which represents “an unprecedented swing in housing demand in a single year that is currently not fully reflected in official figures,” according to a Jan. 25 CIBC report.

The number of new international arrivals in 2023 could reach a million, the report said.

This huge number acts like a wrecking ball on the Canadian economy.

Selective information-sharing is skewing the reality—that is, the federal government has broken these arrivals into several categories to reduce the visible impact of the total migration into the country and help avoid blowback when the real costs become apparent.

Going by Statistics Canada data, this mass migration into Canada is the largest movement of people outside of war, famine, or societal collapse in history.

Of the huge numbers that have arrived in the country, the main category of newcomers is noted via traditional immigration, where individuals arrive with their families. This number was at a historic high of 431,645 in 2022 and is the figure selectively quoted and distributed by the government, with the actual grand total from other avenues not included.

Statistics Canada publishes population estimates quarterly, and the grand total of people entering the country is substantially higher than what is reported as “immigrants,” showing that the population increased 866,000 through new arrivals in 2021/2022.
The CIBC reports that even these astronomical numbers did not include Ukrainian arrivals, which is currently at over 145,000. So far Canada has approved 514,020 applications, and the total submission of Ukrainian applications was 805,626.
Other categories include temporary foreign workers, refugees, illegal immigrants, and foreign students, all of whom access our resources and infrastructure. Government records for 2022 count over 92,700 arriving under the category of Total Asylum Claimants. Quebec’s Roxham Road alone saw just shy of 40,000 people crossing illegally in 2022, triple the number from 2021.

The implications and costs of this volume coming into the country on our infrastructure and social programs is staggering.

A recent interview with Immigration Minister Sean Fraser included mention of a plan by the government to hire 1,200 new government employees to process and bring in 1.2 million newcomers in 2023.
Quebec, which is aware of the threat to its province from huge numbers of newcomers, created a moratorium of 50,000 a year. This equates to 1.2 million fewer people arriving in Quebec to an increase of 4 percent of our current population arriving in English provinces in 2023. Fraser pointed out that 80 percent arrive into the big cities of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Mississauga, plus Brampton, which is the fastest-growing city.

Part of the unspoken fear in Quebec concerns how newcomers will no doubt dilute the highly valued French culture. Unlike the U.S. melting-pot concept where everyone becomes an American, in Canada the elder Trudeau created the concept of division of cultures. However, a multicultural mosaic, where each ethnic group keeps their own cultural identity, creates challenges where some communities become mini-nations unto themselves.

The government has tried to justify all this as being a way to solve the “labour shortage” and “aging worker crisis.” Despite the constant linking of arrivals to labour needs, Ottawa has never produced a definitive report on what the real requirements are from either scenario, making this perspective appear to be a weak explanation. Statistics Canada’s 2022 labour force survey shows a population increase of 32,000, despite the population report showing 866,000, giving the appearance that Statistics Canada is manipulating the numbers for political purposes.
Further, the labour force survey shows that as of December 2022, over the past year, the 55-plus workforce created 86,000 jobs. This does not sound like a senior exodus from the workforce, never mind factoring in that because of high cost of living, many seniors cannot afford to retire. With average rent in Canada having risen to $2,024 a month, half of seniors today, with an income of less than $32,200 in inflation-adjusted dollars (median), cannot afford to live in any of Canada’s large top 10 cities unless they own a home.

The truth is, the major portion of the workforce exodus has occurred, starting with baby boomers in 1946 and ending with people born in 1964. We are already two-thirds of the way through the baby boomer generation, with only six more years to go. The justification for the need of mass migration to cover an aging workforce is overplayed.

Relative to the 866,000 people migrating to Canada, there was a total employment increase of 494,000. What happened to the other 500,000 who arrived?

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Bill Tufts is a political commentator. He is the founder of Fair Pensions For All, an advocacy group focusing on public-sector pension and compensation issues, and author of the book "Pension Ponzi."
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