Immigrants who send money home worried about sinking loonie
World Bank says more than $23 billion sent from Canada to other countries in 2014
Mel Vincent Tejero, who came to Canada from the Philippines in 2004, said he sends $300 back to his wife and daughter every two weeks. The low Canadian dollar has forced him find another job to continue with the regular transfers, he said.
"I work two jobs at the moment to be able to keep up and support them," he said.
Christine Straehle, a migration expert at the University of Ottawa, said the low dollar could also be difficult for temporary foreign workers.
"Most of these people work in low- to middle-income jobs. Most people will send $500, maybe $800 per month. And every exchange rate, every worsening of the Canadian dollar in relation to the American dollar will affect the rate of return for the people back home," she said.
Families in Philippines, Somalia, Jamaica could be affected
Dilip Ratha, the World Bank's lead economist on remittances, said that while the impact of Canada's weakening dollar won't be felt right away, it has the potential to be significant.
"A fall of, let's say, 25 per cent in the currency could translate to maybe a 10-per-cent impact on the remittance flows from Canada to the Philippines. So, we're talking about an impact of about $200 million," Ratha said.
Ratha said people in many other countries that rely on remittance money, such as Somalia and Jamaica, could also be affected by the sinking loonie.