Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, played up the positive impact of immigrants and refugees on the country and its economy in an address this week to international immigration experts gathered in the nation’s capital city, Ottawa.
Hussen said the theme for this year’s International Metropolis Conference, “The Promise of Migration,” was “exactly the kind of conversation we should be having.”
The annual conference is attended by more than 1,000 immigration officials and experts from around the world.
“We here in Canada understand that we need to keep talking to each other on this subject, to learn from each other the proven benefits of migration and the importance of working together to tackle the challenges of irregular migration,” Hussen said.
He told his audience that his experience as Canada’s Immigration Minister has helped him see just how essential immigration is to Canada and other industrialized nations that are struggling with labour shortages due to their ageing populations and declining birth rates.
“In Canada, I always knew intellectually and from reading reports just how crucial the injection of new immigrants and workers is to our economy. But it wasn’t until I became a minister and I travelled from coast to coast in Canada that I realized just how severe those shortages were and how small and medium and large businesses relied on workers to grow their businesses and contribute to the local economy. They’re one of the biggest champions of increasing immigration numbers into Canada.”