Economic Challenges and Migration Trends

Insights from the Economic Club of Canada Panel

By Khrystyna Banakh – Reporter The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

Marek J. GOLDYN FOTO – The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

A breakfast at early morning on Tuesday June 18th, I had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto. Moderated by Vassy Kapelos, the panel featured Dawn Desjardins, Brendon Bernard, and Benjamin Tal. The discussion covered several important economic issues facing Canada today.

Panel discussion at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto. Moderated by Vassy Kapelos
Marek J. GOLDYN FOTO – The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

Current Economic Landscape

The panelists talked about the rise in Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases, comparing it to the 1990s. Currently, multiple CPI hikes indicate we are in a recession. While prices in other areas have fallen, housing costs remain high, putting pressure on the market. Inflation is another key issue, but despite these inflation pressures, the labor market is stabilizing, with workers quickly moving between industries, showing adaptability. However, the main challenge is productivity. Unlike typical recessions where job losses are followed by job creation, we now face structural economic issues. Bank rates are unfavorable for businesses, further worsening productivity concerns.

Marek J. GOLDYN FOTO – The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

Broader Economic Implications

 The economic gap between Canada and the United States is growing, raising questions about long-term competitiveness. The panelists highlighted COVID-19’s lasting impact, framing it as a condition rather than a one-time event. The pandemic changed the economic landscape, making profitability harder to achieve. However, the AI revolution offers hope for future productivity growth, signaling potential positive changes ahead.

Marek J. GOLDYN FOTO – The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

Housing and Immigration Policies

The panel also discussed the need for better housing policies and immigration reforms. Despite long-standing affordability problems since 2015, the government has been slow to address the housing crisis. Only 2% of immigrants work in construction, highlighting the need for immigration policies that can fill labor shortages and boost economic productivity.

Personal Observations on Migration Trends

 In addition to the panel discussion, I want to share some personal observations on migration trends. In the first six months of this year, 42,000 people left Canada. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to 400,000 people leaving the United States—a significant number for Canada. From 2021 to 2022, the number was 96,000. Despite Canada accepting roughly half a million immigrants annually, not all of them stay. Recently, for every five people coming in, one leaves. Canadians face a demographic challenge, unable to replace themselves for the rest of the century. The cracks in the system are starting to show in a big way.

Khrystyna Banakh – Reporter
Marek J. GOLDYN FOTO – The Canadian National News / The EUROPEAN Club of Canada

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