From September 8-17, Canada is celebrating #WelcomingWeek2023 to encourage Canadians to welcome newcomers and help them settle in their new home.
Embracing Diversity and Belonging
Welcoming Newcomers: Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says welcoming week is an annual event that presents an opportunity to recognize and celebrate newcomers (#WelcomingWeek2023) and help everyone feel like they belong in their community, regardless of where they come from.
The Growing Immigrant Population: According to the data from census 2021, there are approximately 8.3 million immigrants in Canada, making up almost a quarter of the total population. Statistics Canada predicts that the immigrant population will continue to rise to 34% of the population by 2041.
Integration and Contribution: IRCC says that the more welcome newcomers feel, the more successfully they will integrate and contribute to their communities.
Promoting Immigration: Welcoming Week is part of IRCC’s #ImmigrationMatters campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of immigration in Canada. It encourages everyone to get involved and offers several suggestions on how Canadians can help.
Connecting with Newcomers: One unique way to get involved is to contact an organization that provides settlement services and get matched with a newcomer. This can involve assisting the newcomer in navigating day-to-day life, sharing meals, attending cultural events, or simply engaging in conversation to help improve language skills.
Sense of Belonging
A Study’s Findings: A recent study by Statistics Canada shows that immigrants tend to have a better sense of belonging in Canada than those who are Canadian-born, especially in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. This sense of belonging leads newcomers to be more active in their communities, make connections, and ultimately choose to stay in Canada, contributing to the economy.
Factors Contributing to Belonging: The study attributes a sense of belonging to newcomers’ (#WelcomingWeek2023) feelings about Canada’s multicultural policies, the unique Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and their belief in the importance of Canada’s national symbols.
Immigration’s Economic Importance
Immigration Minister’s Perspective: Immigration Minister Marc Miller highlights the significant benefits of immigration, stating that it drives economic growth, addresses the aging population, and plays an essential role in the cultural and economic fabric of Canada.
Economic Contribution: Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labor force growth and roughly 75% of its population growth. Most newcomers arrive through economic class immigration programs, bringing valuable skills.
Business Impact: Canada relies on immigration to keep its economy strong, with data showing that businesses majority-owned by immigrants accounted for 24.4% of all private sector businesses in the third quarter of 2022.
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