This is the reason that the government has been trying to attract immigrants to solve the aging population problem. Immigrants now constitute the main source of labor force growth which impacts Canada’s capacity to fund social benefits in addition to offsetting the demographic effect of low fertility (Hum and Simpson). According to Immigration Watch Canada (IWC), Canada takes in approximately 250,000 immigrants per year and this is the highest per capita intake in the world. IWC considers this destructive and senseless. The seniors make up the fastest growing age group in Canada. In 2003 approximately 4.6 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older and this is expected to double in the next 25 years (Walsh). With immigration being the solution to the labor force, it can be expected that by 2017 about one Canadian in five could be a member of some minority group. This paper argues that while the nation is open to immigrants it has not been able to utilize talent and skill that it needs. Integration into the labor market is poor and discrimination such as lower wages for the university educated immigrant workers and lower pension income for the older immigrants are responsible for poverty among the elder immigrants in Canada in addition to leading to abuse, neglect and exploitation. Literature Review Immigrants and Immigration Immigrants are defined as foreign born individuals who are not citizens of the host country by birth (Bonikowska, Hou and Picot). Immigration is the turning point in an individual’s life and has a long-term impact on the individual’s quality of life (Da and Garcia). The immigration policy in Canada was initially directed towards three objectives. First, they wanted to attract the most skilled workers where the skills could be matched to the job openings (Grant and Grant). Second, family class immigrants were accepted with the purpose of reunifying families. Third, as a part of Canada’s international commitment, the policy also aimed at protecting the refugees. The immigration policy is tailored to maximize the economic contribution of the immigrants which is less likely to be fulfilled by the elderly immigrants (Baker, Benjamin and Fan). It was observed over time that the elderly immigrants, especially those that arrived after the age 55, became dependent upon social assistance and this increased the costs to society. Immigrants in Canada represent a fairly large group among older adults in Canada. Walsh states that in 2001, some 29% of individuals between 65 and 74 years of age and 28% of those aged between 75 and 84 were immigrants in Canada. The proportion of older immigrants is even higher in major cities in Canada. Eighty-two percent of older immigrants in Canada are sponsored by family members compared to 30% of all immigrants (Walsh). Again, about 75.6% of the older immigrants that have arrived in Canada after 1970 belong to the radicalized community. Women represent a larger portion of the older immigrants than men. Lower wages for the immigrants Every year more than 200,000 immigrants move to Canada in search of better economic opportunity but despite being better educated, the immigrants earn much less than their Canadian-born counterparts (Martin Prosperity). Canada is moving into knowledge economy but there is “brain waste” of immigrant professionals (UofTMagazine) as Indian engineers can be found working as cab drivers (Martin Prosperity). The recent immigrants face challenges such as discrimination, complication such as accreditation of foreign degrees, and an isolation that leaves a lasting impression on their lives (Lupick). For instance, a Zimbabwean-born academic works as a guard for Paladin Security not by choice but out of compulsion (Lupick). He is a
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Immigration in Canada is often considered a way of countering the adverse effects of aging and low fertility. The government asserts for increased immigration to counter over the low birth rates as it has become necessary to maintain a viable work force (Ibbott, Kerr and Beaujot)…
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