Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Cost of Immigration

According to "Immigration and the Canadian Welfare State 2011", new research from the Fraser Institute:  "The study concludes that in the fiscal year 2005/06 immigrants on average received an excess of $6,051 in benefits over taxes paid. Depending on assumptions about the number of recent immigrants in Canada, the fiscal burden in that year is estimated to be between $23.6 billion and $16.3 billion. These estimates are not changed by the consideration of other alleged benefits brought by immigrants."  To many of us this is the first time anyone has put a number on something we have suspected for a long time: Canadian immigration policy is a money-losing proposition.  Yes, Canada needs immigrants to grow our economy, and, yes, all of us emigrated here from somewhere at sometime.  The difference is that today people might arrive with very little but are soon given many of the accoutrements of the average Canadian by our government.  (Let's remember here that "government", after all, is just a euphemism for you and I, the Canadian taxpayer.)  I have family who arrived after WWII with nothing but the shirts on their backs.  They had to be sponsored by a relative, had to have a job to come to, and there was no such thing as "immigrant support services".  They worked multiple back-breaking jobs, learned the language on their own, and have contributed mightily to this country in many ways - including paying taxes from day one.  Hmmm, taxes paid minus zero immigrant support services equals (you guessed it!) a profit for Canada.  Immigrants only cost us $16.3 billion (assuming the lower number) and that was back in 2005/06, eh?  And notice that not a word has been said about the social costs of unfettered immigration by the FI, or yours truly.  OMG, look what popped up in the National Post today.