Canada grapples with rising departures as costs soar

STORY: For a nation built on immigrants, a rising trend of people leaving Canada risks undermining one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s signature policies, which granted permanent residency to a record 2.5 million people in just eight years.

Trudeau has made immigration his main weapon to blunt Canada’s big challenge of an ageing and slowing population, and it has also helped fuel economic growth. That drove Canada’s population up at its fastest clip in more than six decades this year, Statistics Canada said.

But now a reversal of that trend is gradually taking hold, according to the Institute of Canadian Citizenship. The rate of immigrants leaving Canada surged by 31% above the national average between 2017 and 2019, when 67,000 immigrants left, according to a recent report from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), an immigration advocacy group.

In the first six months of 2023, some 42,000 individuals departed Canada, official data show, up almost 8,000 compared with the first half of 2021.

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