Pandemic Impacts Spur Immigration Changes.

AuthorCooper, John

Even as COVID-19 continues to pose challenges, the flow of immigrants into Canada will continue.

Among the proverbial game-changers in the life of the world, COVID-19 was a big one. The pandemic forced change to happen. We saw the vaccination of increasing numbers of people, the provision of long-term information (and disinformation) campaigns, the politicization of medicine, the impact of the pandemic on race and culture, the management of discord, and the need to explain a complex issue in clear, simple terms.

For many it allowed an opportunity to work from home and reconnect with themselves and others in ways they never considered pre-pandemic. But for others, the pandemic's human costs included lives lost, job losses and, for those seeking a new life in Canada, a barrier to realizing their dream.

Many people seeking to immigrate found their plans spoiled by COVID, a wrench tossed into a sometimes-slow-moving machine designed to allow people to shift from one place to another. Despite this, Canada's proactive immigration policy sees immigration numbers approaching one percent of Canada's total population, edging close to 400,000 per year. Currently, more than one in five Canadians (21.5%) is an immigrant, and it is a number that will grow. In 2020, the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) placed Canada in the top five countries for integration. According to MIPEX, these countries "adopt a comprehensive approach to integration, which fully guarantees equal rights, opportunities and security for immigrants and citizens." Along with Canada were Finland, New Zealand, Portugal and Sweden.

As geopolitical specialist Parag Khanna pointed out on the public affairs show The Agenda in November 2021, Canada needs immigrants. The latest generation, called Alpha (those born 2013 to 2025), comprises (mostly) the children of Millennials but represents a population decline. Generation Z (those born 1997 to 2012) is the biggest cohort in human history, Khanna said. But the subsequent numeric decrease with Alpha means that immigration is not only desirable but necessary. People have never stopped moving from one place to another, and COVID has done little to slow migration. As such, Canada will be a "role model" and key target for immigrants, "not just some kind of fanciful future dream but a place that's getting it right, right now," Khanna said.

Building economies

It is no secret that migrants take jobs others often do not want. They build economies...

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