Don’t make election about immigration, corporate Canada tells political leaders

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OTTAWA — Big business leaders worried about Canada’s aging demographics have been urging political parties to avoid inflaming the immigration debate ahead of this fall’s federal election.

Goldy Hyder of the Business Council of Canada says he’s promoted the economic case in favour of opening the country’s doors to more people.

The head of the lobby group representing chief executives of Canada’s largest corporations says he’s already raised the issue with political leaders who are shifting into campaign mode for the October vote.

Hyder says Canada is 10 years away from a “demographic pressure point,” when the country will desperately need immigrants to fill jobs and keep the economy humming.

Rising public concerns about immigration, refugees and the security of the Canadian border have his members worried that politicians will put that aside as they fight for votes.

The Immigration Department has a target of bringing in nearly 331,000 newcomers this year and increasing that to 350,000 in 2021.

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