Business in Vancouver: Ottawa’s immigration push raises prosperity questions


But economist Jock Finlayson, senior policy adviser to the Business Council of British Columbia, cautioned that while the immigration plan might boost topline economic growth, he does not foresee it increasing prosperity.

“You’ll have a larger market of people living in Canada. They all consume goods and services; they all need housing; a substantial number of them will seek employment and obtain employment,” he said.

“But the real measure of well-being is what’s happening to individual prosperity. For that we look at GDP per person, we look at productivity and we look at what’s happening to average wages and incomes. And on those metrics … there’s really not much evidence that immigration has a significant impact on it one way or the other. It doesn’t hurt.”

Finlayson added it’s not enough to simply boost the country’s population if the goal is to improve the economy on a deeper level.

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