Canada Immigrant Exodus: In the pursuit of making it big in Canada, many immigrants find themselves entangled in a survival battle, grappling with the high cost of living and rental shortages. The dream of a better life is facing a stark reality, with rising emigration numbers indicating that newcomers are reconsidering their adopted home.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recognizing immigration as a potent tool to counteract Canada’s demographic challenges, has fueled economic growth and led to a rapid population increase. However, a subtle shift is underway. In the first half of 2023, 42,000 individuals bid farewell to Canada, adding to the 93,818 departures in 2022 and the 85,927 in 2021.
Despite being a fraction of the 263,000 newcomers during the same period, the steady rise in emigration is causing concern. For a nation built on the contributions of immigrants, this trend risks undermining one of Trudeau’s flagship policies granting permanent residency to a record 2.5 million people in eight years.
High costs of living, particularly skyrocketing housing expenses, emerge as the primary driver behind the decision to leave. The housing crisis is reshaping the immigrant experience, with individuals like Cara, a 25-year-old refugee from Hong Kong, finding it challenging to afford basic accommodations.
Cara, working three part-time jobs at Ontario’s minimum wage, pays a substantial portion of her salary for a single-room basement apartment. The financial strain prompts her to consider leaving, a sentiment echoed by others facing similar challenges.
Emigration, currently at 0.09% of Canada’s overall population, poses a risk to the country’s appeal as a preferred destination for newcomers. Experts emphasize the importance of creating positive experiences in the early years to encourage immigrants to stay.
Skyrocketing housing costs, with households needing 60% of income for ownership expenses on average, are cited as the primary reason for considering a new country. Myo Maung, a successful immigrant from Myanmar, plans to retire in a more affordable country, citing difficulty maintaining his living standard in Canada.
Trudeau’s recent move to cap new residents at half a million per year from 2025 aims to ease pressure on the housing market. However, for some, it may be too late. Justinas Stankus, a doctoral student paying high living expenses in Canada, contemplates relocating to Southeast Asia for a more affordable lifestyle. The sentiment of feeling trapped and seeking opportunities elsewhere is shared by many immigrants, questioning whether Canada’s allure as a land of opportunity is fading.
Our Reader’s Queries
Why are migrants leaving Canada?
Although the study did not provide a specific reason for the departure of newcomers, Daniel Bernhard, the CEO of ICC, suggested that the increasing prices and lack of housing may have played a role.
How many immigrants have left Canada 2023?
A shift in the trend is slowly emerging as more and more individuals are leaving Canada. In the first half of 2023, around 42,000 people have departed, adding to the 93,818 who left in 2022 and 85,927 in 2021, according to official data.
Are immigrants leaving Canada at faster pace?
According to a recent report, immigrants are departing Canada at a quicker rate in recent years. The study indicates that, on average, 0.9% of individuals who were granted permanent residency in or after 1982 have been leaving Canada annually.
What were early immigrants to Canada fleeing?
In the 1770s, Quakers who were fleeing from the American Revolution found a new home in southern Ontario. These individuals had been persecuted in England due to their religious beliefs, which led them to migrate to North America. William Penn’s establishment of Pennsylvania also attracted many Quakers to the region. By the 1820s, Quakers from England and Ireland began arriving in British North America.