Four in 10 immigrants send money home to kin
Jul 24, 2008 04:30 AM
Despite their own financial woes, four in 10 immigrants in Canada sent money home to support families and friends abroad, says a new Statistics Canada report released yesterday.
The first national study of immigrants' remittances found those who came under the economic class as skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs topped the list by sending an average $3,000 abroad, compared with $2,700 for family-class immigrants and $1,900 for refugees.
Remittances accounted for 7.5 per cent of the remitter's annual personal income and 3.4 per cent of family income during a newcomer's first two years in the country. Canadians annually remitted anywhere between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in each of the last four years.
Data for the study, titled Remittances by Recent Immigrants, came from the statistics agency's longitudinal survey that followed a group of 12,000 newcomers who arrived here between 2000 and 2001, over a four-year period.
I don't blame them for sending money home to relatives. I'd do the same. But speaking in economic terms these remittances have to be counted as a cost or a loss to the country against any alleged economic benefits immigrants contribute to Canada. Also, these remittances are to be added to the pile of money Canadian tax payers already spend to service a bloated and chaotic immigration system.
When immigrants send money home they are removing capital from the Canadian economy that could be spent on goods and services here in the country, keeping businesses afloat and Canadians employed. The removal of $1.5 to $2 billion a year is not something that should be ignored and cause us to question if Canada's current immigration system is of any economic benefit to the country.
In light of this information coupled with the amount of tax dollars spent on immigration and refugee resettlement, with the attendant tax payer funded social services these "new Canadians" will undoubtedly use, Canada's immigration policy may be a losing investment and of little to no economic benefit to Canadians whatsoever.