In late October the Canadian government laid out its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.
While global travel restrictions and capacity constraints have cut down on the number of admissions of newcomers during the pandemic, the government has unveiled its strategy to make up for this shortfall.
This plan is particularly important as Canada looks for ways to recover from the economic toll that COVID-19 has taken on the country. It’s evident that introducing new talent to Canada is going to play a significant role in this recovery.
During 2020 it has become clear that newcomers to Canada are key contributors to every sector across the economy. This includes technology, farming and food production, and healthcare, in which 25% of all workers are newcomers to Canada. Newcomers also account for one third of all Canadian business owners with paid staff.
As the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino said when announcing the plan, “Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth. Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes, and helping us to keep food on the table.”
The plan includes welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of Canada’s population. This will include 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. This is a 50,000 increase per year for each of the next two years from the previous plan.
It stresses that there will be a focus on innovative and community-driven approaches across Canada to address both labour and demographic needs. One example is adding French-speaking candidates under the Express Entry category to promote the growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec. Another is putting targets to regional and economic pilots, such as an agri-food pilot, a rural and northern immigration pilot, and an Atlantic immigration pilot project.
Minister Mendicino went on to say, “As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves. Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.”
For more details on the 2021-2023 immigration level plans, read the full press release here and view supplementary information here.