Immigration is the process by which individuals from a certain geographical location move to another part and become nationals. Immigration to Canada is therefore the process by which individuals from other countries over the world, move to Canada and hence become nationals. This process has existed since time immemorial with people migrating having various reasons. After 1947, when the domestic immigration law was passed, various changes that include: immigration act in 1976, immigration and the refugee protection act in the year 2002 have come to existence. The immigrants in Canada are grouped in three categories which include those ones who have close relationships with the Canadian citizens commonly referred to as the family class; those ones admitted on the basis of resources, job related skills, can be termed as professionals and lastly the refugees who for one reason or the other have been forced to flee out of their countries of origin.
Immigration policies in Canada
At this point in time, Canada is recognized for its wide immigration policy which is clearly reflected in the ethnic multiplicity and diversity. Canada has around thirty four ethnic groups with each having one hundred thousands members on the lower level, of which ten have an estimated one million and above. That is according to a report by statistics Canada released in the year two thousand and one. Apart from the classification done in Canada, this population is drawn from all over the world with various reasons that are either pull or push. i.e. pull to Canada with factors which include better working conditions, better living standards and the mature democracy as well as political stability, or the push factors which include politically unstable countries, poverty and uncontrolled drive to search for greener pastures (Hansen 2005). As a matter of fact, there are various influences caused by immigration to Canada that can be discussed from both the positive to negative angle. These influences carry with them effects to the political, social, economical and the environmental setting of Canada as a country.
Effect of the immigrants on the economy
It is believed that immigration has a direct influence on economics more specifically on trade creation. Immigrants enlarge business with their countries of origin due to the knowledge or access to the business opportunities. With the aim of developing their business potentials in the environment, other than the original nations, immigrants found themselves in situations that would allow them to explore some of the opportunities that were initially not available. It has been noticed that an increase in the immigrants leads to a significant increase in the exports from Canada to their respective home countries and so does the import to Canada from that country. This however has an impact on job creation to both the immigrants and Canada as a nation as well as an increase in the revenue collection.
Through these business endeavors, Canada as a nation is able to access commodities that are not locally or readily accessible and therefore this has a greater influence in the market commodity composition (Foster 2000:112).. Immigrants are diversely talented in various fields to beef up the Canada’s gross manpower demands. They also come from different cultural orientation and therefore bring with them a broader approach to matters of economy in general. They readily mix with the people and hence share some experiences that can be used to shape policy making in terms of borrowing ideas and ideals that are objective and development oriented. The immigrants from more industrialized countries for instance the North American region and larger part of Western Europe are notable from other immigrants for their stronger capability in getting well paying jobs and socioeconomic status as well as the influence they have on the Canada’s economy. The discrimination is based on the difficulty in transforming or translating human investments and human capital experiences from lowly developed countries economically.
As at now, the demographic trends suggest an aging population as well as a decline in the expansion and growth of the household. This is caused by the fall in the demand for housing and declining if not stable prices of the houses. The arriving of a large numbers of the immigrants has influenced the demand of the houses and the prices to an increasing level in the recent years. The need has arose to build houses to accommodate the large numbers and therefore stimulated or influenced the need to invest in real estate as a business venture. This effect is highly felt in major cities, which are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver which are the main destinations to seventy six percent of the immigrant’s population.
As a result of the immigration policy, these immigrants arrive with substantial wealth that influences at large the neighborhoods in terms of new architectural designs and other changes. In this respect, other towns are competitively coming up and the country enjoying the positive effect of urbanization that includes proper housing and other related services (Wilson 1990:240). However not all the immigrants are fortunate to come with health and therefore end up in poor quality houses and even to the worst end some end up in the streets. Some of the immigrants who come from the developing countries happen to have less qualification in terms of employment and therefore find themselves in less consequential jobs with lesser income. This is to some extend advantageous to the Canada’s economy since these jobs must be done to create some balance in day to day activities and yet they are ignored by the indigenous Canadian due to their little income as well as their status. These jobs may include grave digging, cleaners and undertakers.
Negative impact of immigration in Canada
On the other hand, as much as the immigration process has positive influence and effects on both the economical and social welfare of Canada as a country, it also has the side that is not admirable and can be considered as unfortunate. The immigrants come from different places with different cultural orientation. In situations of social mixing as human beings there is the aspect of borrowing some little bits of their culture which can lead to erosion of culture or have some other negative impacts on the way of life. It happens in such a way that individuals come from different races, different languages, different religions and therefore in the event that there is no clear lines drawn in terms of what should be embraced in Canada as nation there situations of mixed languages which has a negative impact just as it has a positive impact. Similarly some of the immigrants may leave their country of origin with reasons other than the ones clearly known to the state (Simmons & Kieran 1992). This may include drug trafficking, crimes and other related immoral behaviors which may lead to the unwanted experiences that will obviously have a negative effect on the economy as well as the environment.
Immigration impact on the educational sector in Canada
The issue of immigration with increasing population more so in the recent years has lead to pressure on educational facilities hence straining or showing the prospects of straining the government’s expenditure more so the refugees. This setback in budgeting, has led to the government’s reluctance in properly funding public schools especially those with the highest population of immigrants which in some situations arises the cases of illegal ones. Due to the strenuous budget the health related issues for the unfortunate cum illegal immigrants is of less priority to the government. They are therefore left vulnerable to diseases. The fact that some come from countries with endemic health problems, they are always held with great suspicion hence subjected to intensive medical scrutiny. They are not allowed to access public medical facilities.
Generally, there health is overlooked with no medical cover or protection over health risks. There population control is not taken with close interest, and therefore making them to be in a situation whereby poverty, insecurity as the major effects rapid population growth, the order of the day. They have no sufficient access to the job market, if they access, they only have less income opportunity and thus putting them in a financially unstable state as well as low living standards. They also lack the freedom of movement for they operate in styles to avoid coming into contact with the relevant authorities. This to a great deal influences the operations of the government in terms of planning, budgetary allocation as well as statistics. Government expenditure is expanded with some problems that are not original in Canadian context having to be taken care of.
Overpopulation and its impact on Canada’s socioeconomic facilities
Population increase as a result of increased inflow of immigrants has an impact on the socio economic facilities other than hospitals and schools. First the general population count increases, and then among other things, the major roads which are not in ideal conditions are subjected to intense pressure, they are congested and as a result more funds are being channeled to its repair and maintenance (Foster 2000:112). There is disappearing of open air space, loss in the farmland, crowded housing as well as lack of cheap or affordable housing, increase in poverty levels in regions that are relatively lowly developed, health care problems, water shortages and air pollution. This, basically cause a major impact of the environment which is very essential on the quality of life. In instances where urgent and accurate measures are not taken, environmental degradation intensifies leading to diverse changes in the weather patterns.
Immigrants play a major role of globalizing Canada as a nation for them, other than the commodities they bring in their ways of life that reflect the world at large. They also help in improving the international relations with the maintenance of connections from their countries of origin. They can act as ambassadors of good will and provide a feedback to the whole world that Canada is a better if not good place to live. The trade they engage in with their former countries also assigns them the role of direct business link to the outside world.
They provide a significant support to the labor market giving a variety of professions that in one way or the other is are not deeply rooted in Canada (David & Green 1995:34). They also play the role of setting the international standards especially those that come from the industrialized countries like the United States of America and most of the European countries. Through immigration there is the transfer of scientific technology and development of partnerships with their countries of origin that is geared towards improvement of science.
The immigrants can therefore with all the respect be considered as stakeholders in national building and therefore their existence should be of great concern. Policy makers should operate in a way to give enough space for the immigrants to have work, trade as well as maneuver under legal means (Morton 2001). The government should work closely and if need be come up with more laws that will attract a more significant number of immigrants that would help the country to move to greater height in terms of technology, environmental conservation and promoting peace unity and stability. However strict measures should be put in place to out do the negative influences of the immigrants and ensure that maximum benefits are achieved from their existence and minimize to the smallest level their negativity. Similarly the laws should be stiffened to reduced or restrict any numbers through illegal immigration and in that connection boundaries should be tightened in terms of security. The government should also take a further step in promoting peace and democracy with other partners around the world in order to reduce the number of refugees that arise from situations of war or crimes against humanity. By this it should channel some extra resources to the developing nations in order to reduce poverty and promote the provision of education and other millennium development goals.
Green, David and Alan G. Green. 1995. Goals and policies on Canada’s immigration. A Historical Perspective, in Canadian Journal of Urban Research Pp. 33-35
Jacob, Foster .2000. Countering illegal immigration at the borders. Mexico on the rise: a review of the standard measures taken. Universal publication, 3:112-114
Hansen, K. 2005. Impact and life after immigration. A global view of illegal imigrants. Longman publishers..
Morton, D .2001.Need, Fear and History Shape. Immigration Attitude Magazine: Canadian Speeches, Vol. 14
Simmons, A and Kieran, K .1992. Policy based on the Canadian immigration: State Strategies and the pursuit for legality Journal article by; Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Vol. 29, 1992
Wilson. 1990 .A New charter on Life: Immigrants, tenants and landlords in Ireland and Canada. 215-256