February 27, 2018 – Canada’s federal government will detail how it plans to spend an expected $440 million on an ambitious drive to fuel economic growth by boosting immigration to 340,000 per year by 2020.
In its latest budget to be presented to parliament, the government is expected to break down how it will spend the money, including how it plans to quickly integrate such an increased number of newcomers.
The spending plan comes after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada move to publish a three-year immigration levels plan in November, in a break from the normal year-by-year planning period.
Under the plan, nearly one million immigrants are expected to become new permanent residents of Canada over the course of 2018, 2019 and 2020.
In 2018, the immigration target will rise to 310,000, from the current 300,000 set for 2017. This target could rise to as much as 330,000 under the latest announcement. In 2019, the target will be 330,000, with an upper limit of 350,000 new immigrants. In 2020, the target figure will be 340,000, and the upper limit 360,000.
The latest plan will drive up immigration numbers to historic levels as the government pushes the annual number of newcomers towards 1 per cent of Canada’s population, a target first used by the Liberals in the early 1990’s. The current levels of 300,000 correspond into an immigration rate near 0.82 per cent.
The managed increases are designed to allow Canada’s integration capacity to grow with the number of new immigrants being welcomed.
Canada’s Three-Year Immigration Plan
|Immigration category||Category||2018 – Target||2019 – Target||2020 – Target|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||74,900||81,400||85,800|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||1,000||2,000||4,000|
|Provincial Nominee Program||55,000||61,000||67,800|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||28,900||32,500||32,500|
|Family||Spouses, Partners, and Children||66,000||68,000||70,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||20,000||20,500||21,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||16,000||16,500||17,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||7,500||29,150||10,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||1,500||1,650||1,700|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||18,000||19,000||20,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||43,000||45,650||48,700|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||3,500||4,250||4,500|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||310,000||330,000||340,000|
When the Liberal government came to power in 2015, annual immigration levels were in the region of 260,000. In 2016, they increased the annual level to 300,000, including an influx of Syrian refugees as part of a campaign promise. In 2017, the government established 300,000 as the new normal for annual immigration numbers, a figure they now plan to build upon over the next three years.
Canada’s plan to welcome 980,000 new immigrants over the next three years, is groundbreaking. In doing so, by the end of his first term, the Liberals will cement themselves as the first in modernity to implement annual immigration levels near 350,000, representing one per cent of our population.
The Winner: Economic Immigration
Economic immigrants will make up the vast majority of newcomers under the government’s plan. These include Federal High Skilled immigrants accepted under the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class.
Other categories include the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, Caregivers, the Federal Business class, Provincial Nominees and Quebec Skilled Worker and Business classes.
The government plan will see a target of 177,500 new immigrants arriving in 2018, with an upper limit of 188,500. In 2019, the target will rise to 191,500, but numbers could go as high as 201,000. The government’s target for 2020 is 195,800 new economic immigrants, with an upper limit of 202,500.
Considering the overall target was 260,000 in 2015, the significance of the proposed increase is clear.
The Liberals promised to increase family reunification through immigration, and the new immigration plan could see up to 96,000 spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents admitted by 2020.
The target for 2018 is 86,000, with an upper limit of 89,000. In 2019, the government plans to welcome 88,500 family class immigrants, with an upper limit of 91,000. In 2020, meanwhile, the target will rise to 91,000, and the upper limit 96,000. For comparison purposes, the target under the family category was 60,000 in 2015.
Canada prides itself on helping those most in needs, as it has done so recently with Syrians affected by the country’s civil war and Yazidis from Iraq who faced persecution at the hands of extremists.
The new immigration plan features room for a possible 56,500 refugees under all categories by 2020. This includes a possible 23,000 privately-sponsored refugees, under a program Canada has exported all over the world.
The 2018 refugee target is 43,000, with an upper limit of 48,000. In 2019, the plan is to welcome 45,650 new refugees, with an upper target of 53,000. In 2020, the target number rises to 48,700, with an upper limit of 56,500.
While there were calls from certain interest groups for the immigration target to rise to an much as 450,000, the government has been wise to keep the increases manageable and targeted.
The minister emphasized the need to expand efforts to integrate increased numbers of new immigrants, and said there was a critical need to ensure the Canadian economy was able to absorb the number of immigrants welcomed.
Canada stands out among all welcoming countries that invest in robust immigration programs by allocating significant amounts of expenditure on settlement services. The numbers are being increased to record modern-era levels that allows Canada’s integration capacity to grow alongside the numbers of new immigrants.
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