In order to address the acute labour shortage, Canada plans to welcome a record 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025, the government said while announcing the Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025. In an exclusive interview with Y Media’s Group Editor and CEO, Yudhvir Jaswal, Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, discussed Canada’s ambitious immigration levels plan for 2023-2025 and what multi-culturalism means to him.
Canada has increased its 2023 immigration target to 465,000 and its 2024 target to 485,000, up 4 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.
Canada’s immigration goals include regional immigration, growing the economy, reuniting families, and offering asylum to refugees fleeing hardship abroad, Minister Fraser tells Y Media.
“We are taking focus on regional migration to make sure that we’re getting people to move through parts of Canada that have the capacity to ensure that they can succeed.”
Minister Fraser tells Y Media, “Canada wants to encourage more people to think about not just the largest cities in the country, but also smaller communities and rural communities. Ensuring every region of the country benefits from increased immigration is very important. But it’s not just a piece of regionalization. The new changes we’ve made to the Express Entry System will allow us to more effectively target the newcomers who can make the biggest contribution given the needs of the Canadian economy. The flexibility will allow us to choose who comes to Canada based on which profession that they work in, or which part of the country that they are destined for. We’ll be able to advance targeted solutions that bring the people that are needed to the communities where they’re needed as a result of these changes.”
In 2021, Canada broke its all-time immigration record by welcoming over 405,000 immigrants. Most new permanent residents immigrate through economic class programs such as those within the Express Entry system or through Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs).
According to the new plan, there will be 82,880 Express Entry landings in 2023, 109,020 in 2024 and 114,000 in 2025.
The PNP will remain Canada’s leading admissions program for economic class immigrants with 105,500 PNP landings in 2023, 110,000 in 2024 and 117,500 in 2025.
Canada will continue to look to welcome some 80,000 new immigrants per year under the Spouses, Partners and Children program.
Minister Fraser says that targets for the Parents and Grandparents Program will rise to 28,500 in 2023, 34,000 in 2024, and 36,000 in 2025. “I think sometimes we are guilty as a society of treating immigration, just like an economic issue. It’s also about ensuring people can be with their loved ones here in Canada.”
“In addition to the increase of parents and grandparents, there are two policy changes that we’ve made, or we’ll be making that will make it easier for people to be together while they wait for their permanent residency. The first involves changes to the Super Visa Program, where we’ve extended the potential for a person to remain in Canada for up to 10 years. In addition, we’re working right now to establish a temporary visa for spouses who are applying to become permanent residents of Canada. This will allow people to be alongside their loved ones in Canada with a valid legal status while they’re waiting to become permanent residents.”
The most recent job vacancy data showed there were 958,500 open roles in Canada in August and 1 million unemployed people.
To tackle this, international students in Canada can work more than 20 hours from November 15, 2022, till December 31, 2023.
The economy lost almost $13 billion over the past year due to a nationwide labour and skill shortage in the manufacturing sector, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters’ labour survey of 563 manufacturers in 17 industries across the country found. According to reports, labour shortages are further impacted by Canada’s low birth rate of 1.4 children per woman, one of the lowest globally.
According to a report, nine million people, or nearly a quarter of Canada’s population, will reach retirement age by 2030, creating an urgent shortage of workers throughout all sectors of the economy.
When asked by Yudhvir Jaswal what multiculturalism means to him, Minister Fraser says, “one of the great things about Canada, in my opinion, is that we have room for diversity of thought and a range of different opinions. Canada’s multiculturalism is actually one of our great strengths.”
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