A controversial new report suggests that newcomers are costing taxpayers more than necessary and calls for significant immigration reform.
The report, conducted and released by the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, asserts that in all, immigrants are costing the government upwards of $20 billion annually and provides some provocative suggestions on how to reduce those costs, including limiting sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents – many of whom are often unable to work once they enter the country.
The report states that although many positive reforms have been made recently, more needs to be done to attract economic migrants. The Fraser Institute is known for its conservative views and one of the key authors on the study is Herb Grubel, a former Reform party colleague of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Grubel’s report analyzed the average income data for newcomers (including refugees) and Canadians over nearly two decades from 1986 to 2004. He concluded that there is a discrepancy between what immigrants are earning, on average, and what they are paying in taxes as well as what types of social benefits they are receiving.
Grubel’s work, as well as that of the Fraser Institute, has in the past come under fire, including his calculations on costs and earnings of new arrivals. For instance, in 2011 two economists with Simon Fraser University conducted their own analysis and found Grubel’s numbers to be “wildly exaggerated.”
However, Grubel stands by his analysis and praises the recent reform efforts made by the Canadian government under former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, including stronger financial commitments from those sponsoring parents and grandparents. He also says that more public debate would be beneficial to determine how to move forward on these issues.
Source: Ottawa Citizen