The Conference Board of Canada is the country’s immigration research hub. Relying on in-house demographic, economic, and fiscal models, we have the unique ability to quantify the challenges associated with an aging demographic and evaluate policy assumptions around immigration and immigrants’ success in the labour market. Our work helps strengthen Canada’s immigration system.

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Recent releases

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Canada Should Expand Its Commitment to Welcoming Refugees

Canada’s immigration response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is both inspiring and unprecedented. Despite its reputation as a welcoming country, Canadian policy often makes it difficult for people needing protection to reach Canada. The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) tackles one of the biggest hurdles—visa requirements. Travel to seek asylum is a human right. But the Canadian government imposes visa requirements on countries that send a high number of refugee claimants.

Commentary  |  3-min read
June 15, 2022

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Making Rural Immigration Work: Settlement Services in Small and Rural Communities

Small and rural communities benefit from welcoming and retaining immigrants as new residents. Immigrants bring new ideas, join the workforce, start new businesses, and shop at existing businesses. To make a life in a new community, immigrants need job opportunities and infrastructure. Improving local infrastructure also benefits Canadian-born residents.

Online experience  |  8-min read
March 31, 2022

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Making Rural Immigration Work: Settlement Services in Small and Rural Communities

In Canada, immigrants disproportionately settle in urban areas. The three largest cities—Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver—are home to 35 per cent of Canada’s population but receive more than half of all arriving immigrants. Although settlement services improve retention of immigrant residents, many small and rural communities lack local settlement services. Canada needs a strategy to establish and fund settlement services in small and rural communities.

Impact paper  |  46-min read
March 31, 2022

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Futureproofing Essential Work

How vulnerable is Canada’s essential work—and workers—to automation, immigration, and worldwide health crises? The pandemic has put the spotlight on the importance of workforce planning. And insights and lessons learned from COVID-19 could help employers to better prepare for the next disruption.

Online experience  |  8-min read
November 29, 2021

Valued Workers, Valuable Work: The Current and Future Role of (Im)migrant Talent

Essential work is critical to Canada’s economy and the provision of basic goods and services. Canada relies on immigrants and temporary residents in many essential sectors and occupations. And the pandemic has put the spotlight once again on their contributions—and the vulnerabilities they face—in sectors like healthcare and agriculture.

Imapct paper  |  24-min read
October 29, 2021

Immigrant worker
Essential Work: The Current and Future Role of (Im)migrant Talent

To what extent are immigrants and temporary residents over-represented in essential occupations and sectors? How can government and employers ensure immigrant skills match essential jobs? Combining Statistics Canada data with The Conference Board of Canada’s economic modelling, we studied immigrant and temporary residents’ contributions to essential work—and the vulnerabilities they face—in four subsectors and associated occupations.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read
October 29, 2021

Building on COVID-Period Immigration Levels: The Economic Case

Immigration creates population and economic growth and is key to Canada’s future prosperity. Immigrants provide skilled labour and replace Canada’s retiring workers. They help companies innovate and access new markets, and they start or invest in businesses that generate employment for other Canadians. Immigrants also contribute to economic growth as consumers by increasing the demand for goods and services.

Impact paper | 20-min read
July 28, 2021

CANADA's response to COVID and the COVID immigration cohort going forward

In this episode Mark Holthe and Iain Reeve will discuss Canada's immigration response to COVID and what the future holds for the COVID immigration cohort. In particular, Mark and Iain will touch on Government focus on Canadian experience, Temporary residents and international students during and after COVID, as well as regionalization programs.

Canadian Immigration Institute  |  51-min listen
July 8, 2021

The COVID-19 cohort: A unique group of immigrants

COVID-19’s impact on immigration has been extraordinary. Immigrants who arrived or settled in Canada during the pandemic are distinct from previous groups of permanent residents. Understanding what makes this cohort unique is key to helping us identify their unique assets and tackle the integration challenges they may face. It also helps leaders across the immigration sector plan for the future and offset the negative impacts of the pandemic.

Online experience  |  8-min read
May 20, 2021

Counting on Immigration: Assessing COVID-19’s Impact and Planning for the Future

Canada was set to break immigration records in 2020. But only days after releasing its 2020–22 immigration levels plan, the federal government announced travel restrictions to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has continued to process immigration applications, and processing capacity has improved over time.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read
May 20, 2021

Behind the numbers: Unpacking the economics of immigration

How can immigration fuel Canada’s post-pandemic recovery and long-term growth? We wanted to find out what would happen to Canada’s economy under four different immigration scenarios: maintaining current levels, lower levels, higher levels, and a different composition of incoming immigrants.

Online experience  |  8-min read
May 12, 2021

Counting on Immigration: Measuring the Pandemic’s Effect and Building Back Stronger

How has COVID-19 impacted Canada’s immigration admissions? What makes immigrants who arrived or settled in Canada during the pandemic distinct? We analyzed admissions data to find the answers. We also modelled economic impacts to understand how immigration could fuel Canada’s recovery and long-term growth.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read
May 12, 2021

Ottawa is right to want more immigrants in the wake of the pandemic

In the short term, spending by immigrants can help fuel economic recovery, while the availability of immigrant labour will be essential in restoring the restaurant and hospitality sectors. The federal government’s latest efforts to make it easier for immigrants with Canadian work experience to become permanent residents is another sign it’s committed to attracting more immigrants.

Op-ed  |  4-min read
March 5, 2021

Government of Canada raises immigration levels by 50,000 per year

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on immigration levels in 2020. Today, the federal government reaffirmed their commitment to immigration as essential for Canada’s future prosperity. Reaping the full benefits of immigration depends on effectively integrating immigrants and addressing the challenges they face.

Quick take  |  2-min read
October 30, 2020

Four Futures: The Economic Impact of Immigration in the Ottawa-Gatineau Region

Canada’s population is aging, and this has profound economic and social implications for the country. It means a rising number of workers are exiting the labour force and fewer younger workers are entering the job market, constraining the economy’s ability to grow. In fact, even the adoption of labour-saving technology and delayed retirements will not be enough to fully offset these effects.

Impact paper  |  50-min read
October 28, 2020

Why is immigration important to Canada?

Canada’s acceptance of immigrants demonstrates compassion and leadership, and enhances Canada’s global standing. See the stats that support this.

Online experience  |  8-min read
June 8, 2020

Expanding Our Horizons: 2019 Post Immigration Summit Report

On May 8 and 9, 2019, The Conference Board of Canada hosted its fifth annual Canadian Immigration Summit in Ottawa. The Summit explored how Canada can respond to emerging immigration issues in a rapidly changing world. We tend to dwell on the past to tackle today’s challenges and anticipate tomorrow’s.

Report  |  28-min read
October 25, 2019

Immigration Beyond the GTA: Toward an Ontario Immigration Strategy

In 2018, the GTA welcomed 106,000 immigrants, which enriches the region’s economy, but also creates economic challenges. This report identifies how stakeholders, such as the three levels of government, can promote regionalization across the province.

Report  |  50-min read
August 29, 2019

Can’t Go it Alone: Immigration Is Key to Canada’s Growth Strategy

By 2030, all 9.2 million of Canada’s most prominent worker cohort—the baby boomers—will be of retirement age. This reality, in combination with a low fertility rate, is placing increasing economic and fiscal pressure on Canada. As such, Canada needs to identify solutions to replenish those exiting the workforce in order to maintain its high living standards.

Briefing  |  15-min read
May 3, 2019

Turning the Corner: Improving Canadian Business Immigration

Given that more High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are on the move, Canada’s immigrant intake is rising, and HNWIs and other entrepreneur candidates are interested in moving to Canada, it is incumbent upon the federal and provincial governments to assess how they can better harness the qualities of such candidates to help grow the country’s economy.

Report  |  40-min read
March 12, 2019

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Iain Reeve

Iain Reeve

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