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Don’t count on future immigrants for economic growth

posted Mar 18, 2012, 10:45 AM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Mar 18, 2012, 10:55 AM ]
Tim Shufelt  Feb 11, 2012 – 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Feb 10, 2012 5:48 PM ET Financial Post

Canadians have long taken for granted that a constant stream of skilled foreign workers dream of the opportunity to immigrate here. The country’s growth model is essentially built on that assumption.
But as the world economic order shuffles, so do the opportunities for mobile talent.
“They are not lining up,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets. “We’ve got to wake up to this realization.”
The Canadian population is growing faster than any other G8 country, according to 2011 census data released this week. New Canadians account for two-thirds of the growth. Within the next 20 years, immigration will become Canada’s only source of net population growth.
Much sooner, labour force advances will become completely reliant on newcomers.
Growing in this way has its risks — principally, that the supply of human capital will dry up.

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