OTTAWA — Canada will take in 40,000 more immigrants in 2021 than it plans to accept this year, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Wednesday.
The target for new arrivals in Canada will rise to 350,000, which is nearly one per cent of the country’s population.
The figures were announced Wednesday as part of government’s updated multi-year immigration levels plan, which covers the next three years. The target rises annually from 310,000 this year, counting all classes of new arrivals.
The vast majority of these newcomers are coming under economic programs designed to address skills shortages and gaps in the labour market.
Hussen says economic immigration is badly needed in areas across the country that are short on workers and long on older residents.
“In certain regions the hunger for workers is huge,” he said. “This plan is making us very competitive in the global market. It enables us to continue to be competitive, it enables us to continue to present Canada as a welcoming country and to position us to continue to be (a leader) in skills attraction.”
Many immigration advocates and economic groups had called for bigger increases to Canada’s immigration numbers. The government’s own economic advisory council suggested admitting 450,000 people in a report in 2016.
Hussen says the Liberal government is taking a measured approach, keeping in mind the need to ensure newcomers have access to suitable settlement services.
“You need to be able to house them, you need to be able to settle them, you need to be able to provide integration services,” he said.