The federal immigration minister said on Friday that Canada plans to bring more than 1.2 million new migrants into the country as it attempts to address the labour market gaps and to boost the economy, which was severely affected by the pandemic. Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters in Ottawa that the federal government is going to accept 401,000 new permanent residents by 2021, 411,000 more by 2022, and 421,000 in the year 2023.
While speaking to the reporters, the minister further said, “Canada needs more workers, and immigration is the only practical way to get there. Before the pandemic, our government’s goal to drive the economy forward through immigration was ambitious. Now it’s simply vital.”
Robert Falconer, a refugee and immigration policy researcher at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, tweeted that “if the government meets its goals, the next three years will be the highest years on record since 1911”. Ottawa stated that it aims to welcome 232,500 immigrants from the economic class of immigrants, 103,500 family members of people living in Canada, 59,500 refugees and other protected people for the year 2021, respectively.
In reference to Refugees, Minster further said that “Immigrants are critical to our healthcare sector and represent one in four working in our hospitals and long-term care homes. Whether they have been taking care of our most vulnerable, or putting food on our tables, newcomers have played an outsized role in our response to COVID-19.”
COVID-19 has hit Canada hard, with over 232,000 reported cases and 10,000 deaths attributed since the beginning of the pandemic. The country’s top public health officer urged Canadians to reduce their contacts with others in order to curtail the second wave of the pandemic. The health officer Dr Theresa Tam said, “To bend the epidemic curve and reduce transmission to lower levels … we must really reduce our number of contacts as much as possible,”
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