Last week Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced it would take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it plans to accept this year.
The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly one per cent of the country’s population.
This is part of government’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, which covers the next three years. The target rises annually from 310,000 this year, counting all classes of new arrivals.
The vast majority of these newcomers are coming under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.
“In certain regions the hunger for workers is huge,” he said. “This plan is making us very competitive in the global market. It enables us to continue to be competitive, it enables us to continue to present Canada as a welcoming country and to position us to continue to be (a leader) in skills attraction.”
Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s own economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016.
But given that there needs to be an infrastructure ready to help them settle in, the government is increasing the immigration numbers gradually.
In order to help these new immigrants, settle in the government has increased funding for settlement services by 30 per cent since taking office, but if the immigration levels plan were increased dramatically, this would require even further funding increases.
Canada does plan to gradually increase the number of refugees it will accept under its humanitarian, family reunification and sponsorship programs from 43,000 to reach 51,700 by 2021.
But a whopping 72 per cent of new admissions under Canada’s immigration levels plan will be allocated to economic programs in 2021. -CINEWS