Across Canada, communities are increasingly reliant on new immigrants to ensure an adequate supply of employees. Here are a few reasons why immigration is needed by, and beneficial to communities and organizations in Northwestern Ontario.
Importance of Immigration in NWO
Stagnant Population Growth
Within Northwestern Ontario, the population growth rate is estimated to be stable over the next 25 years, with a growth rate of 0.2% (Ministry of Finance Ontario, 2018). This is largely due to a low birth rate and an increasing aging population. By 2035, it is expected that immigration will account for almost 100% of population growth in the province (The Conference Board of Canada, 2019).
Population Growth Fuels the Economy
Increasing the size of the labour force promotes economic growth, which is key to upholding a high quality of life for those who reside in the province (The Conference Board of Canada, 2019).
Lack of Regionalization
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) welcomed 77% of Ontario's new immigrants in 2018 (The Conference Board of Canada, 2019). Of the remaining 23%, 0.15% land in Northwestern Ontario (Northern Ontario Immigration Profile, 2015).
Increasing Dependency Ratio
The dependency ratio is expected to rise from 62 to 79 dependants per 100 workers by 2040. This means that more responsibility will fall on Ontario's workers to pay taxes for social services (which will increase due to the aging population) and to move the economy forward (The Conference Board of Canada, 2019).
Filling Employment Gaps
Northwestern Ontario offers a wide range of employment opportunities and openings, but the current and predicted labour supply is/will be inadequate (Ministry of Finance Ontario, 2018). Immigration offers a new supply of qualified labour to ensure future sustainability.
Redirection of Fiscal Resources
If immigration landing trends continue to favour the GTA, other communities in Ontario may see fiscal resources being redirected to support the GTA's increased need for services and infrastructure (The Conference Board of Ontario, 2019).