WATCH: CBC panellist urges Canada to welcome more immigrants, refugees

'I would like to see a high level of immigration, a high level of intake of refugees,' said Andrew Coyne, a columnist for The Globe and Mail. 'I think we can afford to be a generous country, and it's always proven to be to our benefit in the long run.'

WATCH: CBC panellist urges Canada to welcome more immigrants, refugees
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A panellist with Canada’s state broadcaster appeared to endorse 'mass immigration' on Thursday by urging Canada to take in more foreigners after surpassing annual immigration quotas in consecutive years.

"Can we take more people in? And if they're coming without us planning, how do we prepare for that?" CBC News host Rosemary Barton posed to her panel.

"Well, we can take more, and I would support taking more," said Andrew Coyne, a columnist for The Globe and Mail.

"I would like to see a high level of immigration, a high level of intake of refugees," he added. "I think we can afford to be a generous country, and it's always proven to be to our benefit in the long run."

Contrary to popular belief, more and more immigrants believe the Canadian dream has died, and are returning to their homeland or gone elsewhere.

According to Emigration of Immigrants: Results from the Longitudinal Immigration Database, 5.1% of immigrants who became permanent residents between 1982 and 2017 emigrated from Canada within five years of their admission. That jumps to 16% of newcomers 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.

At least one in three (30%) of immigrants from the investor and entrepreneur categories emigrate within 20 years of admission. The departure of highly skilled labour negatively impacts the country's economic growth, StatsCan explained.

Conversely, less-educated immigrants, refugees and those admitted through caregiver streams are more likely to stay.

Meanwhile nearly half of Canada’s taxpayer-funded refugees, who have resided here as long as six years, remain dependent on welfare cheques and other social services to get by, says StatsCan. And the federal government has no intention of rolling them back amid a growing refugee population.

They allocated roughly $800.9 million in 2020/21 and $848.2 million in 2021/22 for settlement services outside Québec. A national Call for Proposals 2024 funding process seeks to keep the gravy train rolling. 

However, a recent study by StatsCan uncovered issues with Ottawa’s refugee resettlement program, despite the increased funding.

Only 56% of government-assisted refugees are actively participating in the Canadian labour market, including those who are working, looking for work or are starting work soon. It found abysmal labour market outcomes for the population, compared to other immigration classes.

An Immigration Canada resettlement outcomes report confirmed that government-assisted refugees have the lowest labour market participation rate among all immigrants.

During their first year in Canada, 82% of government-assisted refugees accessed resettlement services — far greater than any other immigration class (19%).

Immigration Canada provided income assistance to them for up to 12 months to help cover costs associated with starting their lives anew in Canada, including the costs for temporary accommodation.

But government-assisted refugees continue to have high uptakes for Settlement services over time, said the outcomes report. In their fourth year since admission, 68% still accessed services, compared to 14% from all immigration classes.

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