New permanent residents: here are the targets
TORONTO – 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, 500,000 in 2025 and 500,000 in 2026: these are the immigration quotas announced in Parliament on Wednesday by federal minister Marc Miller who spoke of “levels that allow us to introduce the skills and talents we need to fill job gaps and ensure Canada’s economic prosperity, help families reunite and remain a leader in refugee resettlement”.
The new targets come as a growing number of Canadians appear to believe immigration to Canada is too high — a judgment driven by concern about the cost of living, according to a new poll from the Environics Institute that echoes polling done for Global News earlier this year. The survey suggests that 44% of Canadians agree with the statement that “overall, there is too much immigration in Canada” compared to 51% who disagree. This view of immigration marked a significant change from last year’s results, when only 27% said there was too much immigration and a full 69% disagreed.
Miller sought to assuage this increasingly widespread concern, saying that stabilizing immigration levels will allow governments to “take stock” and ensure that labor shortages – particularly in the construction sector – are addressed, along with housing needs and healthcare for new arrivals.
“What Canadians have been telling us, essentially, is to get our act together – whether it’s the federal government, provincial governments or municipal governments – and be a little bit more coordinated in how we accommodate immigration across various categories” he said.
“Canadians’ eyes are more intensely focused on immigration. They are not xenophobic, but they ask us to organize ourselves a little more” And in any case, according to the minister, the increase in the number of new permanent residents does not create a directly proportional demand for housing.
On Tuesday, Miller released the Strategic Immigration Review report in Ottawa, which said Canada’s immigration strategy in the coming years will be to focus on aligning immigration policy with the country’s workforce needs. The strategic review, which outlines a roadmap for Canada’s immigration strategy, says Canada needs to attract global talent in all fields to fill labor shortages. And he outlined the need to “create the new role of Chief International Talent Officer (CITO) to align Canada’s immigration policies with a long-term skills and jobs strategy”. The CITO will be tasked with assessing what skills the Canadian economy will need in the future and ensuring that the immigration strategy is aligned with these needs. It says Canada must focus on bringing into the country “workers who can help alleviate social pressures in key sectors such as housing and healthcare, using dedicated category-based selection draws in Express Entry”.
As for international students, Miller told Global News last week that he has no plans to restrict their entry into Canada, saying it would be like “doing surgery with a hammer”. Instead, he announced several reforms to the international student program to stop cases of fraud and announced that he will give himself a year to work with the provinces on the issue and that the idea of placing a limit could be something to consider if these efforts were not enough.
In the pic above, Marc Miller (from Twitter X – @CitImmCanFR)