Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney:
“Canada’s post-recession economy demands a high level of legal immigration to keep our work force strong. At the same time, we are maintaining our commitment to family reunification and refugees.”
It is estimated that Canada will welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2011. Sixty per cent of these immigrants will come through economic streams.
The 2011 Immigration Plan tabled by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney shows that the government of Canada will maintain high immigration levels to help sustain the economic recovery.
“Canada’s post-recession economy demands a high level of legal immigration to keep our workforce strong,” he said. “At the same time, we are maintaining our commitment to family reunification and refugees.”
Like many other countries with ageing populations and low birth rates, in the not too distant future Canada will not have enough people to keep our work force growing. While the majority of new entrants to our labour force will continue to come from within Canada, without immigration, the size of our work force will shrink. Within the next five years, all of our labour force growth will come from immigration.
Highlights of the 2011 immigration plan include a higher range of admissions for spouses and children in the family category. In keeping with recent reforms to Canada’s refugee system, the 2011 plan also includes an additional 1,125 refugees resettled in Canada as part of the commitment to increase total refugee resettlement by 2,500 over three years. In 2008, the last year for which figures are available, Canada resettled more bona fide refugees than any country other than the United States. Canada resettles over one in 10 of the world’s refugees.
“These refugees are selected and screened by Canada, and come here legally,” noted Minister Kenney. “We look forward to giving them a safe, new beginning.”
Within the economic category, the 2011 plan balances projected admissions between federally and provincially selected workers to meet Canada’s national and regional labour market needs. Provincial programs help distribute the benefits of immigrants across the entire country.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program remains a significant portion of the economic category. The program admits a range of workers, including technicians, skilled tradespersons, managers and professionals, who help to supplement the Canadian-born work force.