The federal government’s multi-year immigration plan includes welcoming more than 1 million new permanent residents to the country by 2021.
According to the Canadian government, the plan from 2019 to 2021 will benefit all Canadians because “immigrants contribute to Canada’s economic growth and help keep Canada competitive in a global economy.”
The plan, announced in 2018, builds on the foundation laid out in 2017, and adjusts previously announced targets, while adding a third year (2021).
It would see 330,800 immigrants arrive in 2019, 341,000 in 2020 and 350,000 — nearly 1 percent of Canada’s population — in 2021.
The government says that in addition to economic growth, immigration helps address the challenges Canada faces with an ageing population.
“Canada faces new challenges such as an ageing population and declining birth rate, and immigrants have helped address these by contributing to Canada’s labour force growth,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in a federal report.
“With this in mind, Canada welcomed more than 286,000 permanent residents in 2017. The number also included over 44,000 resettled refugees, protected persons and people admitted under humanitarian, compassionate and public policy considerations.”
Initial projected numbers for 2018 was for 310,000 new permanent residents.
Most eligible immigrants go on to obtain Canadian citizenship, which demonstrates a lasting commitment to the country, according to the feds.
“In 2016, more than 6.5 million immigrants were eligible to obtain Canadian citizenship. Of these, almost 86%, reported that they had acquired Canadian citizenship,” reads the 2018 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration.
In 2017, a total of 44,747 people were admitted to Canada as resettled refugees, as permanent residents in the Protected Persons in Canada category or as people admitted for humanitarian and compassionate considerations and under public policies.
Of all refugees resettled in Canada in 2017, a total of 62% were privately sponsored, 33% were government assisted and 5% were admitted under the Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugee Program, which enables sponsorship groups and government to provide joint support of resettled refugees.
As for the immigration population, Canada received immigrants from over 185 countries.
In January, more pre-arrival settlement services were added in Toronto as part of of Canada’s immigration program.
Providing newcomers, including refugees, with the information and settlement support they need to make informed decisions about their new life in Canada before they arrive, such as how to prepare for finding a job, the YMCA of Greater Toronto will be provided $5.6 M in funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada this year.
“Newcomers are at the heart of our Toronto community, contributing a great deal to our economy and our culture,” said Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance.
Canada has funded pre-arrival services since 1998, and while it initially only provided services to refugees, programs were expanded to include non-refugee immigrants in 2001.
After granting asylum to an 18-year-old Saudi teen fleeing abusive family, Canada made headlines over the past few days for its openness for refugees.