Recently, Canada’s position among the world’s top immigration destinations has been called into question due to the recent rise in news reports examining Canada’s latest socio-economic challenges.
Is the Canadian dream still alive and thriving, or has it become another mirage in the desert of global migration?
Canada has of late been subject to various critiques about perceived lapses of standards regarding its economy, housing market, healthcare, cost of living, and lack of freedom. Despite these critiques, there are still many reasons why it is a good idea to immigrate to Canada.
Join us as we delve deep into the critiques facing Canada and how they may or may not affect your life as an immigrant to answer the question on everyone's lips: Is it still a good idea to immigrate to Canada?
Why it is Still a Good Idea to Immigrate to Canada
Canada is Suffering an Economic Downturn
According to Reuters, there have been numerous reports detailing how their overall economic output is down 0.2 %.
This statistic indicates there was a 0.2 % drop in Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), plunging the country into a “modest recession,” as stated by an economist from Capital Economics.
The quarterly economic slowdown is due to natural disasters such as wildfires in June that decimated strategic industries like mining, lumber, quarry and logistical rail transportation.
A decline in housing investment, international exports, and household spending also didn’t help to improve Canada’s overall economic health in the second quarter.
Old Problem, New Solutions
Canada is not new to dealing with economic downturns due to natural disasters. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, St John, Toronto, and Ottawa have all been decimated by fires throughout Canadian history, each time impairing the nation's economic development.
However, each time the nation rose from the ashes, using the rebuilding process to spur economic recovery through various industries like lumber and construction. Therefore, it is likely that the current economic downturn will be dealt with similarly.
Canada’s Macroeconomic Outlook
Despite Canada’s recent economic downturn, its overall macroeconomic outlook remains positive. For example, foreign direct investment into Canada’s economy remains steady, totaling 1,708.5 billion CAD, a 6 % increase according to Statistics Canada.
The Bank of Canada has also maintained the current interest rate, bringing much-needed relief to the population who need to continue to access credit at an affordable rate.
Learn more about Canada’s economy.
Canada’s Housing Crisis
Canada is currently facing a housing crisis, especially in major cities like Vancouver and Toronto. The ratio of home prices to household incomes has increased to unforeseen levels, indicating just how far Canada’s living costs have outpaced the stagnating wage levels.
Lax lending standards and cheap money, propped up by Canada’s commodity boom in the early 2000s, are the two main causes of the steep rise in home prices. As a result, the dream of buying a home is out of reach for most new homebuyers, and current homeowners struggle with increasingly expensive mortgages.
Rising Home Prices - A Global Phenomenon
Rising home prices are not exclusive to Canada. Countries like the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) also struggle to provide adequate housing for their citizens amidst rising house prices.
Cities such as London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Glasgow feature prominently among cities whose residents increasingly can’t afford a roof over their heads due to rising housing prices.
Furthermore, Canada’s housing crisis is partly due to an asset price bubble in the housing market, a problem experienced by another G7 nation, Japan. Therefore, Canada is not the first nor will it be the last nation to contend with an appreciated housing asset crisis.
Canadian Exports and Immigration Solutions
There are a few variables that work in Canada’s favor in the face of a possible housing market bust. First, unlike the global recession in 2008, the world economy is stronger, so Canada’s depreciated money makes their exports cheaper, increasing the nation's current income and thereby helping offset the weak household demand as claimed by globeandmail.com.
Canada’s immigration projections, which remain one of the largest in the world, can also swell Canada’s housing demand to a significant degree that a ceiling to Canada’s housing prices will develop. In time this can help wage levels get back to some form of parity with rising housing prices.
Learn more about buying a house in Canada.
A Crisis in Canadian Healthcare
Canada's healthcare system is often touted as one of the world’s best. However, it is not without its challenges. The country has faced long wait times for medical procedures, a shortage of healthcare professionals leading to overworked staff, and a decrease in life-saving critical services and surgeries..
Emergency departments (EDs) in Canada are also struggling to stay afloat amidst rising demand for emergency services.
Similarities in the Healthcare Crisis in Canada and the UK
Across the Atlantic, the UK presents a comparable study to Canada due to its possession of a universally accessible, subsidized healthcare system called the National Healthcare Service (NHS). Yet, like Canada, the UK healthcare system has had to shoulder its fair share of crises related to labor shortages, lack of beds, deficient critical care services, and overworked yet underpaid staff. So what separates Canada and makes it more worthy of moving to than the UK when considering healthcare services?
Cash Injection into Canada’s Healthcare System
Investments that expand access are essential to deliver better care for patients and better work environments for providers. The boost in federal healthcare spending to address key equipment shortages in beds and hiring more healthcare workers decreases waiting times and demand for services.
Find out more about Canada’s Healthcare system.
Canada’s Cost of Living Crisis
The cost of living in Canada has seen a steady rise in recent years, leading to various crises such as the housing crisis mentioned above. Stagnating wage levels and soaring rent and housing prices has made living in one of Canada’s major cities, where most significant employment is, almost impossible for most of Canada’s workers.
Western Nations Inability to Deal With Rising Inflation
A lot of Western nations such as France, the UK, Italy, the US, and Australia are dealing with the cost of living crisis. Most of them, like Canada, have found it difficult to match their wage levels to inflation.
Canada’s Commitment to Cost of Living Support Services
The edge that Canada has over most nations is its commitment to keeping its citizens out of poverty. This commitment is served by social security benefits disbursed by Employment and Social Development Canada, the Canadian government Affordability Plan, and the Canada Workers Benefits.
Provincial and territorial plans also help offset the living costs of their resident. Some provinces, like Ontario, have even tabled plans to raise the minimum hourly wage to 54,13 CAD, the wage rate required for workers to afford a two-bedroom apartment with money to spare.
Learn more about the cost of living in Canada.
Lack of Freedom in Canada
Canada has been subject to concerns regarding the nation's abuse of certain political freedoms that are enshrined and protected by the country’s constitution. The wave of strikes in Canada’s trucking industry is often cited as an example of how Canada’s government crushed the political right to protest.
Violation of Canadian Truckers Right to Protest
Truckers, with COVID-19 regulations shutting down US-Canada border crossings, curtailing their transportation routes and limiting their ability to work, had their political protests abruptly put to a stop by an order from the Prime Minister. Those who disobeyed the order and persisted in their protests were arrested, much to the uproar of many Canadian citizens.
Canada’s Commitment to the Rule of Law
However, the disbandment of the protest was in line with Canada’s Emergencies Act of 1988, which confers emergency powers on the Canadian Prime Minister in case of natural, man-made or civil society disasters. Therefore, there was no unlawful breach of political rights from the government.
Furthermore, Canada has been consistently working towards accommodating its political system to cultures that are not Anglo-Saxon in origin. This is evidenced by incorporating aspects of indigenous customary law in legal proceedings concerning Native Americans and Quebec's usage of a French-inherited civil code.
Immigrants can feel safe and secure in Canada, knowing their rights and freedoms are protected. The country possesses a culture of inclusion that is world-renowned and exemplified in its approximately 200 distinct spoken languages.
Each ethnolinguistic community has access to safe and secure space for themselves in the many immigrant communities that can be found in Canadain cities and towns. Canada also has a significant number of expat communities, most of whom hail from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and India. The best cities for expats in Canada are Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Learn more about political and religious rights in Canada.
Why You Should Move to Canada
Despite the challenges mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why moving to Canada is still a good idea. The country offers a high standard of living, excellent healthcare, and a strong job market.
Canada is known for its natural beauty, stunning landscapes, and national parks, offering endless outdoor activities and exploration opportunities. The country also has a vibrant:
- Entertainment industry
- Numerous art festivals
- Cultural events
Find out more about why you should move to Canada with the following video breakdown:
Immigration Pathways to Immigrate to Canada
There are several immigration pathways available for those looking to immigrate to Canada. They include:
Canada’s Express Entry System
The Express Entry System is a popular pathway for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. There are three immigration visa pathways under the express system, which include:
Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is designed to attract and retain skilled foreign workers and professionals to Canada permanently.
Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) was created to provide a permanent residency immigration pathway to Canada for foreign skilled trades program.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The Canadian Experience Class was designed to create a permanent residency pathway for foreign skilled workers with prior working experience in Canada via a temporary work permit.
When candidates apply, they are assessed on their age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability via the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency. The Express Entry System is designed to be fast and efficient, with most applications being processed can be as fast as six months.
Learn more about how to get Express Entry to Canada in 2023.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) allows provinces and territories in Canada to nominate individuals who meet their specific labor market needs. Each province has its own set of eligibility criteria and immigration streams. The labor market needs in each territory or province are outlined through a compilation of in-demand occupations as outlined below:
The PNP is excellent for those with specific skills or work experience that aligns with a particular province’s needs.
Immigration Pilots in Canada
Canada has various immigration pilots to address specific labor market needs in Canada’s regional communities and key economic sectors. Canada’s immigration pilots include:
- Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP)
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP)
- Agri-Food Immigration Pilot (AFP)
- Home Care and Child Provider Pilots (HCCPP)
Find out more about Canada’s immigration pilots.
Business Immigration to Canada
Canada offers several business immigration programs for entrepreneurs and investors looking to start or expand their businesses there. These programs include the:
These programs provide opportunities for individuals to contribute to the Canadian economy and create jobs for Canadians.
Find out more about Canadian Business Immigration Streams.
Family Sponsorship Canada
Canada also allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for immigration. The Family Sponsorship Program allows eligible sponsors to bring their close family members to Canada. This program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor the following family members:
- Common-law Partners
- Children (biological or adopted)
- Close blood relatives such as siblings
This program enables families to reunite and build a new life together in Canada.
Learn about the five steps to apply for Canada Family Sponsorship.
What Should I Know Before Moving to Canada?
Before moving to Canada, it is essential to research and understand the country's culture, climate, job market, and cost of living. To prepare for the move, familiarize yourself with the immigration pathways and eligibility criteria.
Learn more about how to plan your move to Canada.
What is Canada’s Policy on Immigration?
Canada has a welcoming and inclusive immigration policy. The country values diversity and multiculturalism and actively promotes the integration of newcomers.
Learn more about Canada’s immigration policy and system in contrast to the UK.
How long does it take to immigrate to Canada?
The processing time for immigration to Canada varies depending on the immigration pathway chosen and the individual circumstances of the applicant. Consult the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information on processing times.
What are the Challenges of Moving to Canada?
Moving to a new country can come with its challenges. Some of the challenges immigrants face when moving to Canada include: