Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has pledged to retain the high levels of annual immigration to Canada. Speaking in a pre-election debate with his two main challengers, Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau and New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair, Harper said that immigration was critical to maintaining Canada’s prosperity and growth, especially because of the country’s low levels of natural population growth.
Harper asserted that a large scale immigration program is in Canada’s best interests while confirming annual admissions of more than 250,000 immigrants per year under the government’s immigration programs since 2006.
However, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and New Democrat leader Tom Mulcair each attacked the Prime Minister for making it more difficult for immigrants in Canada to reunite with their families, undermining efforts to build strong communities.
The Prime Minister defended his policies, claiming that Canada’s conservatives have overseen the immigration of more than two and a half million immigrants into Canada during the past decade.