The Canadian economy heavily relies on immigrants and their skills.
During the pandemic, immigrants played a key role in filling frontline occupations, including health care. Despite this, Canada still has an increased need for immigrants to fill labour shortages as we move forward into a post-pandemic world.
Labour shortages exist in the hundreds and thousands in every sector. Immigration currently accounts for 100% of our labour market growth, and at the end of this decade, 5 million Canadians are projected to retire, putting the worker to retiree ratio at 3:1.
Last year, Canada accepted 405,000 immigrants, the largest number ever accepted in a single year in our nation’s history. The new Immigration Levels Plan is even more ambitious.
On February 14, 2022, Minister Sean Fraser tabled the 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, which the Government of Canada has called “ambitious but responsible”. Though containing many goals, its overall aim is to aid in economic recovery from the pandemic and spurn on economic growth in a post-pandemic Canada.
Here are the major points of the Plan:
• A continued immigration intake at 1% of the Canadian population, which equals 431,645 permanent residents in 2022, 447,055 in 2023, and 451,000 in 2024, with intake at 1.14% by 2024.
• Nearly 60% of admissions will be in the Economic Class.
• Focus will be placed on immigrating people to areas in Canada with severe economic growth issues.
• The Francophone Immigration Strategy: this includes a goal of having 4.4% of French-speaking immigrants outside Quebec by 2023 as well as a focus on integration and strengthening French-speaking communities across Canada.
• Continued humanitarian aid, including aid for vulnerable peoples such as granting permanent residence status to refugees working in the health care sector.
• Retention of immigrants already in the country: granting permanent residency to temporary residents accepted through the time limited pathways for essential workers of spring 2021.
The IRCC has recently published plans to modernize the immigration system that will help with the acute backlog of immigration applications. Additionally, it will support the new Levels Plan. Canada will also continue with its promise to resettle 40,000 Afghan nationals within two years.
The 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan will not only strengthen our economy, but it is also an effective way to elevate Canada’s international immigration appeal, uphold our humanitarian reputation, and reunite families through sponsorship programs.