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Canada charts plan to welcome more immigrants to help economic recovery

The Canadian government recently announced its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, setting out a path of increases in immigration targets to help the Canadian economy recover from COVID-19, drive future growth and create jobs for middle class Canadians.

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in making the announcement. 

“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,” he said. “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.”

While Canada continued to accept and process immigration applications throughout the pandemic, global travel restrictions and capacity constraints led to a shortfall in admissions over the last several months. 

To make up for it, and to ensure the country has the workers it needs to fill crucial labour market gaps and remain competitive on the world stage, the 2021-2023 plan aims to continue welcoming immigrants at a rate of about 1% of the population of Canada. This means 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023. 

According to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, immigrants account for 33% of all business owners with paid staff and 25% of workers in the health sector are immigrants.

“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,” Mendicino said.

Last month, the Canadian government announced changes to its COVID-19 travel restrictions, including amendments that will allow more international students into the country.

International students who are currently outside of Canada and who will be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) that has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place will be provided entry into Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada posted a list of DLIs with approved readiness plans on its website. UCW is one of several institutions in British Columbia on the list.

UCW’s COVID-19 readiness plan and Pre-Arrival Package for students are posted online at ucanwest.ca.


Published on Nov. 17, 2020.