Four Futures: the Economic Impact of Immigration in Ottawa–Gatineau

The Conference Board of Canada, 33 pages, October 28, 2020
Impact paper by ,
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How important is immigration to the economic and demographic fortunes of the National Capital Region? This research assesses the impacts of immigration to Ottawa–Gatineau over the past decade and forecasts the impacts of four immigration scenarios.

Document Highlights

Canada’s aging population means more workers are exiting the labour force and fewer younger workers are entering the job market, limiting the economy’s ability to grow. Immigrants to Canada help the economy by filling these voids. By working and paying taxes, immigrants also support to the country’s social safety net and health care system.
This impact paper assesses the demographic and economic impacts of immigration to Ottawa–Gatineau over the past decade and forecasts the impacts of four different immigration scenarios:

  • a benchmark scenario, where immigration levels remain how they are today;
  • a zero-immigration scenario, where we assume no new permanent residents arrive;
  • a high-immigration scenario, where we assume immigration levels rise;
  • a high-immigration scenario with improved labour outcomes, where immigration levels rise as under the high-immigration scenario, but we assume wages and employment rates also rise.

Table of Contents


Immigration in Ottawa-Gatineau

  • Ottawa–Gatineau’s immigrant intake
  • Past economic contribution
  • Why does it matter?

Immigration in Ottawa-Gatineau

  • Results of our four immigration scenarios
  • Scenario one: benchmark scenario
  • Scenario two: no immigration
  • Scenario three: higher immigration
  • Scenario four: higher immigration with improved labour market outcomes

Additional policy considerations

  • Immigration will be crucial to economic competitiveness and growth
  • Tighter labour market likely to improve immigrant outcomes
  • International student transitions to permanent residence also likely to improve outcomes
  • Beyond 2036: second-generation immigrants


Appendix A—Assumptions

Appendix B—Bibliography

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