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Canada seeks to increase immigration levels

Thursday, March 12, 2020 @ 2:53 PM | By John Chunn

The federal government announced plans on March 12 to increase the number of permanent residents admitted to Canada.

According to a press release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the new plan will benefit all Canadians because immigration drives economic growth, spurs innovation and helps employers access the talent they need to thrive. Welcoming more newcomers will help to address the demographic challenges of an aging population and to compete and win in a competitive global marketplace.

The proposed plan is based on the solid economic foundation of the previous levels plan and continues to responsibly grow the number of permanent residents admitted to Canada each year, from 341,000 in 2020 to 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022.

With this plan, the government says it will implement a number of key commitments:

  • Responsibly grow Canada’s population;
  • Take the steps to make the Atlantic Immigration Pilot a permanent program to continue supporting economic growth in Atlantic Canada, with 5,000 admissions;
  • Create a new stream to provide a safe haven for human rights advocates, journalists and humanitarian workers at risk abroad;
  • Facilitate the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot, to address specific labour market shortages;
  • Support family reunification through sustained high admissions; and
  • Reduce application processing times and improve service delivery and client services at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The government said it will also continue to implement its plan to increase francophone immigration outside Quebec, while supporting the successful integration and retention of French-speaking newcomers and strengthening francophone communities.

With increased space for the Provincial Nominee Program, an Atlantic Immigration Program, and the Agri-Food and Rural and Northern Immigration Pilots, the levels plan directly addresses labour market needs across Canada to ensure businesses can get the talent they need, where they need it.

“Our immigration system benefits all Canadians by strengthening the middle class, keeping families together and building strong and inclusive communities. This increase in immigration levels supports a system that will help Canadian business create good middle class jobs and grow the economy while ensuring Canada continues to meet its humanitarian obligations around the world,” said Marco E. L. Mendicino, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.