Why Migrate to Canada
As the world looks on in disbelief at America’s anti-immigration scandals and policies, some immigrants are looking for a new home elsewhere. As a result, Canada has gained international recognition as a viable alternative to the so-called American Dream. When Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in November 2016, the Canadian immigration website famously crashed. Though Canada has long welcomed immigrants, the United States’ recent immigration policies have prompted more people to see Canada as a feasible option for starting a new life.
To commemorate Canada Day, we thought we’d highlight what makes Canada such an attractive place to live for new immigrants (and current workers, for that matter). Here are 11 reasons why Canada is a fantastic home for newcomers.
1. Canada embraces multiculturalism and immigrants
Canada formally adopted a policy to encourage multiculturalism in the 1970s, under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s guidance, and it has been a fundamental component of the Canadian character ever since. Canada has one of the highest per capita immigration rates among developed countries. Over 310,000 immigrants are expected to arrive in Canada in 2018. 57 percent of those immigrants will be skilled workers when they arrive. The rest will be refugees or will join family members who have already settled in Canada. In all, 22.3 percent of Canadians identify as visible minorities, with 21.9 percent identifying as foreign-born.
Canada is also noted for its ‘mosaic’ approach to multiculturalism, in which individuals of various ethnicities coexist peacefully while preserving their cultural history and religious customs. There are approximately 30 ethnic communities in Canada with a population of 100,000 or more, and 11 with a population of one million or more. In contrast, immigrants in ‘melting pot’ societies are encouraged to blend in and assimilate to the standards of their new home. The major centers of Canada, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, are especially varied, with many neighbourhoods. More than half of the population in Toronto, which is frequently referred to as “the world’s most multicultural metropolis,” identifies as a visible minority.
2. Canada is one of the most inclusive countries in the world
Canada is noted for its diversity and inclusivity in numerous ways than just being multicultural. The LGBTQ community is well-supported throughout the country. In 2005, Canada became the world’s fourth and first country outside of Europe to legalize same-sex marriage. According to a 2017 study, the majority of Canadians support same-sex marriage, with 74% saying it’s “wonderful that two individuals of the same sex can get married in Canada.” In 2015, Canada declared June to be Pride Month, and it organizes the annual Toronto Pride Parade, which is one of the largest LGBTQ festivities in the world.
In Canada, women have a prominent voice as well. When Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister in 2015, he pledged to form a cabinet with a 50/50 gender split. Women’s fundamental rights, such as the ability to vote, access to birth control, and abortion, have long been established and safeguarded. Despite the fact that there is still room for growth in terms of getting more women into leadership positions in Canada, Canadian women enjoy a high rate of workforce involvement, with 82 percent of women aged 25 to 54 choosing to work outside the house.
3. Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world
When it comes to the global economy, Canada punches above its weight. Despite having the world’s 38th largest population, Canada boasts the world’s 10th largest economy, with a total production of 1.6 trillion dollars, or $48,100 per person. In 2015, Canada surpassed Russia to enter the top ten. Though Canada is famed for its natural riches, the country’s economy is mainly service-oriented, with Statistics Canada reporting that 78.9% of Canadians work in a service-related employment. Despite the fact that the goods-producing industry is minor in compared to the service sector, Canada’s manufacturing and oil and petroleum industries have seen small but consistent annual growth in recent years.
4. Canada’s education system is world-class
Canada spends more per capita on education than any other industrialized country and has been dubbed the world’s most educated country. The K-12 public education system in Canada is considered one of the greatest in the world. McGill University, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia are among the top 100 universities in the world. According to Statistics Canada, 54 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 64 hold a post-secondary degree, with another 10.8% having finished an apprenticeship or crafts diploma. Tuition is entirely or partially funded for low-income students in various jurisdictions.
5. Canada’s tech industry is growing rapidly
The tech sector is Canada’s fastest-growing industry, which bodes well for the country’s future as demand for tech experts grows. Government support and investment in Canada’s tech sector is also strong, with grants and other resources available to assist Canadian entrepreneurs. Employers seeking competent tech personnel are increasingly choosing Canada as a location. With huge names like Google’s Sidewalk labs, Shopify, Salesforce, and Facebook setting up shop in the city, Toronto is leading the pace. While Toronto is well-known for its abundance of IT talent, it is not alone. Other Canadian cities are also attracting tech talent. Montreal has quietly established itself as a hotbed of AI and game development innovation. Meanwhile, Vancouver and Calgary are famed for their clean-tech innovation, among other things.
6. Canadians enjoy access to universal healthcare
In the 1960s, Canada developed a universal healthcare system. Every province and territory in Canada has a healthcare plan that ensures that all people have fair access to medical services without having to pay out of pocket for things like hospital visits or doctor visits. According to the OECD, Canada spent $6,323 per person on healthcare in 2017. Despite spending half as much per capita as the United States, Canada’s health-care quality has been ranked much higher. Canada has one of the greatest life expectancy rates in the world, at little under 82 years, thanks to solid healthcare programs provided to all citizens. Canada’s life expectancy is now ranked 18th in the world.
7. Canada has the best benefits, holidays and paid leave in North America
Canada is a progressive country with numerous legislation aimed at safeguarding employees. It is the only country in North America with mandatory vacation time, with all employees receiving two weeks of paid vacation plus six to ten statutory holidays, depending on the province. Employment Insurance (EI), old age security, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and a federal childcare benefit are among the financial safeguards available to Canadians.
Canada’s minimum wage is also one of the highest in the world, ranging from $11 to $14 per hour depending on where you live. The regulations on maternity and parental leave in Canada are also progressive. Workers in Canada are allowed to take up to 18 months of parental leave, which can be split between the mother and father in any way they see fit.
8. Canada is extremely safe
Various polls and indexes consistently place Canada among the top ten safest countries in the world. According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, Canada is the world’s 6th most peaceful country. Homicide rates, militarism, political stability, diplomatic relations, continuing conflicts, incarceration rates, and the impact of terrorism are among the elements considered by the index. Canada is well-known for its strict firearms laws and largely calm foreign policy. In general, crime rates in Canada are modest and have decreased dramatically from their 1980s peak.
9. Canada’s banks are extremely stable
The World Economic Forum has named Canada’s banks as the most stable in the world for years. If you deposit your money at a big bank in Canada, you can rest assured that it will be safe and secure. Since 1983, there hasn’t been a bank failure in Canada. In addition, unlike the United States, which still uses magstripe cards, Canada has shifted to PIN and chip technology, which is far more secure. When it comes to banking technology, Canadians are also quite forward-thinking, with 68 percent of people performing their daily banking online or through mobile apps.
10. Canada’s a beautiful place to live
There’s no doubting that Canada is home to some spectacular beauty. There’s no shortage of locations to explore and things to see in Canada, from BC’s mountains to PEI’s coastal views to Montreal’s ancient structures (the city just celebrated its 375th birthday and is looking pretty well for its age!) Hundreds of national parks, reserves, historical sites, and hiking routes may be found throughout the country.
There’s no shortage of natural beauties to enjoy from coast to coast, from world-renowned parks like Banff and Jasper in Alberta to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia and Georgian Bay in Ontario. When it comes to coasts, Canada has more than any other country in the world, with over 200,000 kilometers of shoreline, over four times that of the next closest competitor (Indonesia.) While Canada isn’t famed for its warm-season beaches, there is plenty of lovely coastline scenery to enjoy when the weather warms up. If you like the city, Canadian cities such as Calgary and Toronto are consistently ranked among the world’s cleanest.
11. Canada has a stable, democratic political system
Though Canadian governments alternate between liberal and conservative parties depending on the political climate, all of the country’s political parties take a relatively centrist stance on contentious issues like women’s and LGBT rights, environmental concerns, and immigration, which can be highly divisive in other democratic countries. Canadians believe in and respect the political system and government institutions. Though scandals do occur from time to time, they are usually minor, and there is little in the way of widespread corruption, fraud, or distrust of the government. In comparison to other democratic countries, Canada’s political campaigns are also short and cost-effective for taxpayers. Political campaigns, even at the national level, rarely endure more than a few months.
These are only a handful of the factors that contribute to Canada’s attractiveness as a place for immigrants to live and establish a life.