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Economic Viewpoint

For Canada’s Newest Immigrants, The West Is Best - Assessing the Provincial Impacts of Ottawa’s Latest Immigration Target Increase

February 8, 2023
Marc Desormeaux
Principal Economist

We find that British Columbia, the Prairies, and Prince Edward Island could see some of the largest economic gains from higher immigration if recent trends hold. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba would experience even more significant GDP growth boosts if their stronger economic conditions and better affordability attract a higher share of newcomers in the next few years. But immigrants to all parts of Canada saw improved labour market outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuation of these trends would not only lift economic output but also contribute to small rises in GDP per working-age population. Although Immigration is not a panacea, our results highlight potential benefits of further efforts to align admissions to economic conditions, as well as the need to spur business investment and advance infrastructure and affordable housing objectives.