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.