Friday March 06, 2015

Refugees pay more income tax to Canada than millionaire migrants

For decades, Canada has welcomed and encouraged millionaires to bring their money and themselves to invest in Canadian society.  Problem is ... once the arrive and become citizens, they don't stay.

For decades, Canada has welcomed and encouraged millionaires to bring their money and themselves to invest in Canadian society. Problem is ... once the arrive and become citizens, they don't stay. (Alan Levine, Flick cc)

Listen 24:58


If there's one thing Canada's well known for around the globe, it's being a country that welcomes many new immigrants, with open arms. That includes refugees, hoping to scrape together some loonies and start a new life. But it also includes many millionaires.

Yes, for the past three decades, Canada has courted the world's wealthy, offering citizenship to so-called millionaire immigrants... in the hopes they'd be a boon to our national economy.

But a new analysis shows that the program's been more bust than boon. In fact, when it comes to paying income tax here in the Great White North, the refugees have been outpacing the millionaires.

Ian Young is the South China Morning Post's Vancouver correspondent.

Chris Ho says, the data showing Canada's refugee immigrants are contributing more in terms of income tax than their millionaire counterparts, shouldn't be the only measure of a new Canadian's worth to their adopted country. He is an immigration lawyer in Richmond, B.C. 

Sharry Aiken teaches immigration and refugee law at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She was in Halifax.

We did request for an interview with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, but his office declined our request. 
 

Join us in this discussion. Do you have thoughts to add? 

Tweet us at @thecurrentcbc. Find us on Facebook or e-mail us through the website. And as always grab a podcast from our podcast page.

This segment was produced by The Current's Marc Apollonio and Ines Colabrese. 


RELATED LINKS

♦ Canada's millionaire migrants earn less than refugees, so why bother with wealth migration? - Ian Young, South China Morning Post

♦ Refugee immigrants reporting higher incomes to CRA than investor immigrants - Richmond News

 -