October 30, 2020
By , CBC
The Liberal government plans to bring in more than 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years, despite hurdles created by the global pandemic.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino unveiled what he called an “ambitious” three-year immigration plan today that set targets for bringing skilled workers, family members and refugees into Canada.
Canada aims to bring 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023.
The numbers — which represent an increase of about 50,000 for each year — aim to compensate for the shortfall this year due to the pandemic and represent about one per cent of Canada’s population.
Last year’s plan promised to bring in more than one million immigrants over a three-year period, but the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting travel restrictions have slowed down the process. Mendicino said the government remains committed to welcoming newcomers as a means to keep Canada’s economy afloat.
At a news conference in Ottawa today, Mendicino said immigrants drive the population and economic growth that pays for vital programs such as health care.
“Put simply, we need more workers, and immigration is the way to get there,” he said.
Mendicino said he’s confident the government can meet the targets despite the global health crisis, by working around travel restrictions while adhering to safety measures such as mandatory quarantines.
He said the government will aim to attract workers to fill labour gaps in regions facing sector shortages.
“With nearly 60 per cent of all new admissions in the economic class, our plan will continue to focus on Canada’s economic growth,” he said.