The Canadian immigration minister, Sean Fraser has his work cut out!
Even though 46,000 immigrants landed in October Canada is still
experiencing significant job shortages. The Immigration Minister is
prepared to increase Canada’s immigration levels to combat this
situation. Fraser knows there are a lot of challenges ahead which need a
lot of hard work, but sees an opportunity.
Sean Fraser in his first major interview with Shelly Hagan of Bloomberg
and Nicholas Keung of the Toronto Star, discussed the opportunities and
challenges of his new role.
The minister said he is prepared to increase Canada’s immigration levels
if it is essential to address labour shortages caused by fewer immigrants
arriving from overseas due to the pandemic.
At present, Canada is pursuing its most ambitious Immigration Levels
Plan in its history as it aims to welcome 401,000 immigrants in 2021,
another 411,000 in 2022, and an additional 421,000 in 2023. The
Minister said he is very much ready to set even higher levels if
businesses and communities in Canada wished to have more workers.
In October 46,000 immigrants mostly from within Canada landed, which
as the Minister pointed out is on track to achieve the immigrant goals of
Canada in 2021.
A landing is the official conversion of the immigration status of an
existing temporary resident of Canada, or a person from overseas to a
permanent resident of Canada. In the midst of the pandemic the vast
majority of those who have landed are only temporary residents of
Canada. This has made the population and labour force growth of
Canada to remain weak. In fact, Statistics shows Canada’s population
growth was only 0.5 per cent last year, the weakest growth since the
First World War and as per normal scenario, most new permanent
resident landings come to Canada from abroad.
Between January and October 2021, Canada has welcomed 313,838
immigrants & needs to land about 87,000 more immigrants (an average
of 43,500 per month) by the end of this year to achieve its newcomer
goals for 2021. The Immigrations Levels Plan 2022-2024 is hoped to be
announced by February 10, 2022 at the latest.
Opportunities and challenges facing immigration system
Minister Fraser conceded that there was no shortage of challenges
ahead of him in his candid interview with the Toronto Star. He was
discussing Canada’s backlog of some 1.8 million immigration
applications. Fraser agreed that in a short period of time, all of these
problems cannot be fixed as they weren’t made overnight but wants to
accelerate the work to help clear some of these backlogs. He wanted to
make the process of immigration to Canada less painful for families
trying to pursue a new life in Canada or reunite with their loved ones. He
also wanted to make the process less difficult for job aspirants so that
they can contribute to the Canadian economy.
The Immigration Minister observed that citizenship applications are
being digitized and IRCC seeks to address other issues slowing down
the immigration system. He expressed that it does not make sense to
deny the temporary entry of family members currently awaiting the
processing of a sponsorship application.
The minister also disclosed that most of his focus after becoming
minister in October was on resettling Afghan refugees. Even though the
federal government has committed to resettling 40,000 Afghans only
3,500 people have been resettled so far. Fraser affirmed that despite the
frustration of Canadians about what’s happening in Afghanistan they
don’t have access in Syria as before to make things better.
However, Fraser still sees immense opportunities ahead of him to help
improve the immigration to Canada. He said things are at such a
strained point due to COVID-19 but he has hopes to make an
extraordinary difference coming from this particular starting point.
Contact us at M & G Immigration consultants to know more
developments in immigration policies of Canada.