Canada could see 170,000 fewer new immigrants this year — just when it needs a fresh boost to revive the economy

June 1, 2020

By Financial Post |

Canada could see 170,000 fewer new immigrants this year, serving another blow to the country that has relied on the influx of immigrants to drive housing and consumption sectors.

Royal Bank of Canada said travel restrictions and border closures due to the pandemic saw permanent-resident additions drop 30 per cent in March compared to the previous year.

“If these restrictions last all summer, we expect to see 170,000 fewer permanent residents entering the country in 2020 than planned — all in a year in which Canada was supposed to welcome a record number of newcomers,” RBC said.

Canada’s population grew around 580,000 people (or 1.6 per cent) last year, with immigrants driving 80 per cent of the increase.

“Indeed, almost two-thirds of immigrants are in the prime working ages between 25 and 54. Without immigration over the past 15 years, Canada would have aged on a similar trajectory as 1990s Japan. Instead, Canada is one of the younger countries in the G7,” wrote Andrew Agopsowicz, senior economist at RBC.

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