Over nine million Baby Boomers are going into retirement soon. The birth rate is very low, so immigrants will be needed to strengthen the labour force.
Any economy is strengthened by the labour force growing or the labour force being more productive. This is why it is best for the country to welcome immigrants, even if they struggle to adapt at first.
The upside is that once the Baby Boomers start to retire, these immigrants will enjoy more labour market opportunities. Employers will seek them out, and they will benefit from better employment opportunities and higher incomes.
The immigration tap was turned on and off in the 1980s
The act of welcoming immigrants is new to Canadian history, especially in an economic downturn.
Before the late 1980s, the policy was to allow entry when the economy was doing well, and the opposite. This strategy changed at the end of the 1980s.
This decision was made to support economic growth when the Baby Boomers start to retire, which will be worsened by low population growth. This strategy was maintained, even during the major recession of 2008 and 2009.
The other reason for supporting continued immigration is that more people will boost demand for products and services. More buying power will help to lift some of the strain on the economy because of the coronavirus.
Telling the country about the new immigration plan at this time didn’t seem wise, but the timing probably won’t make any difference from a practical viewpoint.
This is because more immigrants will boost Canada’s economy in the long run as taxpayers, consumers and employees, even though the coronavirus is causing distress at the moment.