2020-02-28 – Canada Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino will table his first immigration levels plan to parliament in March, featuring more than one million permanent residents between 2020 and 2022.
Mendicino made his first major policy speech in Toronto on Friday, outlaying his plan for Canada immigration over the next three years.
Although the speech, made at Toronto’s Canadian Club, featured no break down of the numbers, it is clear the man who took over from Ahmed Hussen after the October 2019 election plans to continue in the same vein as he predecessor.
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During the speech, entitled ‘Immigration: A Driver of Economic Growth In Canada’, Mendicino talked about how Canada needs immigration to grow its economy, and tackle a shrinking labour market and ageing population.
He covered how Canada is no longer naturally sustaining its population, with the average Canadian not having enough children.
As the population ages and more people retire, the country is relying on a smaller labour force to maintain government expenditure, Mendicino said. He pointed out that as people get older, they require more access to government services such as health care, which drives up costs.
Immigration, Mendicino said, is at least part of the solution. Canada has made it a central policy to attract young, well-educated and skilled immigrants to plug the gaps in the labour force.
Immigration currently accounts for 80 percent of Canada’s population growth, and that proportion is only likely to increase.
During his speech, Mendicino said Canada plans to welcome more that one million immigrants between now and the end of 2022, pushing annual levels up towards and over the 350,000 barrier.
The previous three-year immigration levels plan was tabled in October 2018, featuring targeted annual levels of 350,000.
That plan called for 330,800 immigrants to be welcomed in 2019, with the actual number welcomed a modern-era record of 341,000.
Canada’s 2020 to 2021 Immigration Levels Plan (Announced October 2018)
|Immigration category||Category||2020 – Target||2021 – Target|
|Economic||Federal High Skilled||85,800||88,800|
|Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program||4,000||TBD|
|Provincial Nominee Program||67,800||71,300|
|Quebec Skilled Workers and Business||TBD||TBD|
|Family||Spouses, Partners, and Children||70,000||70,000|
|Parents and Grandparents||21,000||21,000|
|Refugees and Protected Persons||Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||18,000||20,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||10,700||10,700|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||1,000||1,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||20,000||20,000|
|Total Refugees and Protected Persons||49,700||51,700|
|Humanitarian and Other||Total Humanitarian & Other||4,500||5,000|
|Overall Planned Permanent Admissions||341,000||350,000|
Canada’s highly successful Express Entry system is to continue as the most important way of welcoming skilled immigrants through the Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class and Federal Skilled Trades programs.
Mendicino was keen to point out that 95 percent of those welcome through Express Entry are employed, and 80 percent of those in their fields of specialism.
He also highlighted the role of other programs such as the hugely Global Talent Stream in welcoming new skilled workers, who can go on to become permanent residents through Express Entry.
Mendicino also made mention of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot in encouraging new immigrants to spread out around Canada and not concentrate themselves in major urban areas such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Perhaps the biggest job on Mendicino’s hands at the moment is the formation of a new Municipal Nominee Program, announced as part of the Liberal government campaign for election last year.
Consultations are underway, the minister said, on exactly how that program will work to complement the existing Provincial Nominee Program.
The major takeaway from Mendicino’s speech was that Canada can expect more of the same on the immigration file under his stewardship.
Canada’s immigration system has been lauded as one of the best in the world, and Mendicino clearly intends to keep it that way.