Canada is accepting 310,000 new arrivals this year. In 2021, that number will grow to 350,000 – or roughly 1% of the country’s population.
The new target was announced yesterday as part of the federal government’s immigration policy over the next three years. In 2016, the Liberal government called for the number to be increased to 450,000 annually in order for Canada to reach a population of 100 million by the year 2100.
“In certain regions the hunger for workers is huge,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen. “This plan is making us very competitive in the global market. It enables us to continue to be competitive, it enables us to continue to present Canada as a welcoming country and to position us to continue to be (a leader) in skills attraction.”
There are of course many different classes within which new arrivals are categorized. The majority of immigrants – around 72% – will be beneficiaries of economic programs to address skill or labour shortages. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has increased funding for immigrant settlement services by 30 per cent since taking office. Further funding is likely given the new immigration target.
The government will also increase the number of refugees it plans to welcome, from 43,000 now to 51,700 in 2021. This includes additional funding to welcome 1,000 at-risk women and girl refugees in the next two years.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, there are currently almost 70 million displaced persons around the world.