To replenish its aging workforce, the Liberal government in Canada, will from next year, increase the intake of immigrants to 300,000. The move, according to investigation, was to help drive economic growth.
The previous target from 2011 to 2015 was 260,000 and the increase followed what Minister of Immigration, McCallum, called the “special circumstances” of the Syrian refugee crisis. That number will now be the permanent base.
The government’s economic growth council had recommended raising immigration levels to 450,000 over the next five years, but McCallum rejected the target.
There has been much debate over the targeted immigration level at a time when Canada struggles with high unemployment. There have also been questions about the country’s ability to smoothly integrate newcomers into communities.
The minister said other measures would be announced at a later date to streamline the process for economic applicants and to improve the process for permanent residency for international students. He further reinstated that students were among the best candidates to become Canadians, yet they had been “shortchanged” by the system in the past.
Kevin Lamoureux, the parliamentary secretary to the House Leader, said immigrants not only fill jobs that would otherwise remain vacant and help to develop provincial economies, but they also contribute to the character and social fabric of communities. If not for immigration, population of his province of Manitoba would have declined in the last decade.