According to Statistics Canada’s tooth clock, by the end of June 10, the real time tooth has been higher than 39.98 million, in a few days will officially break through the 40 million barrier. In the past two years, the world’s second largest country has moved up two places to 36th, ahead of aging Poland and war-torn Ukraine.
Canada also ranked first among the 38 members of the OECD and the Group of Seven in terms of birth growth last year.
Statistics Canada previously issued a report showing that the number of new births last year was more than 1.05 million, the first time in the country’s history that the number of new births in an entire year exceeded the one million threshold, equivalent to the scope of the entire capital city of Ottawa. Economically developed Ontario, Alberta and Quebec added to the top three provinces. In terms of annual growth, last year’s 2.7% growth rate was second only to 1957’s 3.3%, which was boosted by the post-war baby boom and Hungary’s post-crisis exports.
Unlike the increase half a century ago, 95.9% of the new population is domestic immigrants. In its economic statement last fall, the Canadian authorities made it clear that immigration is the core of people’s identity and a key driver of Canada’s economic growth.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been welcoming migrants since 2015. Last November, the Trudeau administration announced an ambitious plan to bring in 500,000 immigrants (permanent residents) a year by 2025. This range is equivalent to 125% of Canada’s immigration in 2021, and the rate of new permanent residents is equivalent to eight times that of the United Kingdom and four times that of the United States.
In order to fulfill the goal of increasing the number of immigrants, the federal authorities will open a fast track for industries with severe labor shortages, including health care, repair and manufacturing, and science skills engineering and math (STEM amateur) industries will benefit. It is estimated that 59 per cent of new permanent residents in Canada by 2025 will be economic and skilled migrants, 25 per cent will be family reunions and 16 per cent will be disaster and humanitarian migrants.
In addition to the small population, the main reason for urging Canada to increase its immigration strategy is the unhealthy birth structure caused by the post-war baby boom entering retirement age.
According to the 2021 Census, 21.8 per cent of the workforce will be between 55 and 64 years old, meaning Canada will have one-fifth more of its workforce within the next decade. Over the past five years (2016 to 2021), the number of teeth over 65 years of age increased by 18.3%, six times the rate of growth of teeth under 15 years of age over the same period.
It is estimated that by 2035, the ratio of active workers to retired workers in Canada will increase from 7:1 50 years ago to 2:1. The authority’s literature shows that immigrants now account for nearly 100 per cent of the increase in Canada’s Labour force, and stopping the increase in immigration by 2032 would also contribute to the entire increase in the country’s total population.
Canada needs new immigrants not only to close the gap in the retention of retired workers, but also to close the Labour shortage caused by the sharp decline in immigration during the coronavirus pandemic. Only 185,000 new permanent residents were added to Canada in 2020, down from 406,000 in 2021 and 431,600 in 2022, the lowest number of new permanent residents since 1998.
Sean Strickland, executive director of the Repair Union of Canada, said: “The Repair Union is pleased to see the number of progressive immigrants. Historically, we have reduced the workforce through immigration. Increasing economic migration is an important step in addressing the world’s labor supply.”
CM&E, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, also issued a workforce inspection statement last year. According to the complaint, Canadian manufacturing operations incurred $7.2 billion in lost sales and early delivery penalties last year due to a lack of labor; Another 43 percent of manufacturing companies have been forced to postpone or cancel investment plans due to labor shortages. More than 80 percent of producers reported a lack of labor, down from 66 percent in 2020 and 39 percent in 2016.
The CM&E Association called for authorities to require at least 85,000 vacancies in a year’s time, and said 15 per cent of Canadian manufacturers were considering moving out of the country due to Labour shortages.
On the other hand, Statistics Canada noted in its statement that the increase in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants has created additional challenges in the areas of housing, infrastructure measures and transportation in some parts of the country. Especially in Ontario and British Columbia as the representative of the immigration hot areas, the housing conflict is particularly prominent.
Research by financial office Desjardins indicates that Canada needs to add 100,000 new homes in 2023 and 2024 to meet market demand. However, due to the shortage of Labour, the operating rate of new projects in Canada has remained low, and it is estimated that the operating rate can only be maintained between 33% and 50% after 2030.