Half of newcomers dissatisfied with their Canadian experience, high taxes

Forty three percent of ‘recent immigrants’ are dissatisfied with their quality of life, according to a new Statistics Canada survey.

Half of newcomers dissatisfied with their Canadian experience, high taxes
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A significant minority of newcomers have trouble making ends meet and are growing increasingly dissatisfied with their Canadian experience.

Almost half (43%) of “recent immigrants,” who emigrated as early as 2005, are dissatisfied with their quality of life, according to a new Statistics Canada survey.

More established immigrants and those born in Canada experience less financial hardship (29%) overall, reported True North.

Nearly half (46%) of Asian immigrants compared to Europeans (34%) and Americans (24%) had ongoing financial difficulties. 

Although StatsCan did not account for the immigration admission category in the survey, another report said 5.1% of newcomers and established immigrants, who arrived between 1982 and 2017, left Canada within five years. 

That jumps to one in six within 20 years of residency.

“While some immigrants may have planned to leave Canada at some point, emigration may also attest to the difficulties many immigrants encounter in integrating into the Canadian labour market or society,” the study reads.

Those permitted entry through investor and entrepreneur categories are more likely to emigrate, it said, with relatively few becoming citizens after living in Canada for more than a decade. 

As a result, more and more immigrants believe the Canadian dream has died, returning to their homeland or going elsewhere.

Conversely, less-educated immigrants, refugees and those admitted through caregiver streams are more likely to stay. They typically include immigrants from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.

The trend of ‘onward migration’ has been steadily climbing since the 1980s, according to the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Conference Board of Canada.

The House of Commons on February 13 supported a non-binding Bloc Québécois motion urging a federal review of immigration planning “based on the integration capacity.”

Permanent residency quotas are capped at 500,000 people in addition to 227,000 annual permits for temporary foreign workers and 983,000 study permits for foreign students. 

The number of permanent residents who pursued citizenship within 10 years of their arrival dropped by 40% between 2001 and 2021.

Census 2021 figures showed only 46% of recent immigrants became Canadians compared to 75% a generation ago in 1996. The federal agency could not explain the 30-point drop in citizenship rates.

Immigrant retention has worsened in recent years with the benefits of staying far and few between.

According to in-house research by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Chinese, Filipinos, and Indians believe Canadians pay too many taxes.

Among those interviewed by CRA researchers, newcomers believe “taxes in Canada are expensive,” reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Canadians pay a lot of taxes,” said one immigrant. “It’s scary,” said another. “They add up,” said a third.

They emphasized the need to keep as much of their income as possible, the report noted.

Last year, the average Canadian family of two or more people paid $64,610 in taxes, representing 46.1% of their annual gross income ($140,106). In 2022, the average family paid 45.2% of its income to the government.

An earlier Leger poll confirmed over half (52%) of Canadians believe the average family should pay 25% or less of their income to the government. Four in every five support paying the government less than 40% of their income.

A study published by McGill University found that a staggering number of Canadians are also leaving the country as well for better opportunities and a more manageable cost of living. 

A separate StatsCan study estimated 4 million Canadian citizens were living abroad in 2016, which would amount to around 11% of the population or one Canadian citizen out of nine.

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