Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is increasing its immigration targets to help with post-pandemic economic recovery. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement on Friday, October 30, 2020 that Canada will be welcoming more than 1 million new immigrants over the next three years.
The announcement came after the targets were first established before the start of the pandemic.
Previously, IRCC announced the following targets:
2021 – 351,000 new permanent residents
2022 – 361,000 new permanent residents
Mendicino announced revised targets over the next three years:
2021 – 401,000 (an increase of 11.4%)
2022 – 411,000 (an increase of 13.9%)
2023 – 421,000
More than 1 million new immigrants are expected to arrive in Canada over the next three years to help with the post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table,” Mendicino said during the announcement.
“As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage,” he continued.
The new 2021-2023 Immigration Plan was tabled in an atmosphere of economic uncertainty as the world remains in the midst of the global pandemic.
Canada’s unemployment rate has surged to 9% in September. Unemployment hit an all-time high in May at 13.4%.
Before the pandemic, Canada’s unemployment rate was at 5.6%.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s immigration strategy has followed previous governments approach of keeping immigration levels high to offset economic slowdowns since the 1980s, including Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, whose government was the first to use immigration to strengthen the Canadian economy in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Before the pandemic, Canada was on track to hit its immigration targets but the COVID-19 pandemic threw everything into chaos.
Drastically reduced operations at Canadian Visa Application Centres as well as travel restrictions around the world brought that all to a grinding halt, with IRCC only expecting to hit 60% of its original targets.
IRCC’s new plan hopes to make up for the missed targets by setting new targets for the next three years.
60% of new immigrants will be from economic class immigration programs, while 30% will come from family reunification immigration programs and the remaining 10% will come from refugee and compassionate grounds immigration programs.
Statistics Canada (StatsCan)‘s latest report indicated that Canada’s population has passed 38 million for the first time, but did take note that population growth was only 0.1% for the period of April to June.
During that period, Canada’s population grew by 25,384, the lowest since 1972. The drop in population growth is being attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Before the pandemic, Canada’s population growth rate was at 0.5% for every year for the past two years.
The arrival of new permanent residents accounted for 86.5% of Canada’s population growth in the second quarter of 2019. This dropped to 38.2% for the same period in 2020 due to pandemic related-travel restrictions.
Would you be interested in becoming part of Canada’s plan to welcome 1 million new immigrants?
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