During this election cycle, I am really troubled by a pretty persistent urban myth that I see online and in everyday conversation. It has been debunked a 1,000 times but I’m going to try yet another attempt. This myth is that somehow immigrants and refugees get *a free ride*.
This is just patently, empirically, plainly, fully, completely untrue.
First, immigrants have a significantly lower jobless rate than native born Cdns. It is just demonstrably true. “The unemployment rate for immigrant men who have been in the country for between five and 10 years was 4.8 per cent, lower than the Canadian-born male average of 5.6 per cent. And immigrants from the Philippines — the second-biggest source country in 2017 — had an overall unemployment rate of 3.6 per cent, 1.4 per cent below the Canadian-born rate.”
Second, refugee claimants are expected to *repay* the Cdn. government for their transportation to Canada as well as the cost of their medical examination undertaken as part of their processing. This is often in excess of $10,000 then interest is charged on this loan at a rate set by the Department of Finance each year. Those loans are then repaid at a rate of >90%. No free ride at all. None.
Immigration is absolutely essential to the Canadian economy and our competitiveness on the world stage. Immigrants are more likely to start businesses, innovate and create the conditions needed for our continued economic vitality. They work and pay taxes at a higher rate than other populations in Canada, and this benefits us all.
Canada needs immigration. This pesky urban myth just won’t die and I am not sure why it continues to persist. If you hear it, be sure to correct those who are keeping this myth alive.