OTTAWA – The Canadian government has announced to raise legal immigration to one million over next three years in order to bridge a gap in its workforce.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen unveiled the plan in the House of Commons on Wednesday under which the government will welcome additional immigrants, including skilled workers and families, annually.
Hussen, who is himself an immigrant from Somalia, called the plan need of the hour due to declining rate of birth and growing number of retirees in coming decades. According to an estimate, around five million more Canadian will be retiring over the next two decades.
He added the government will increase immigration to at least 310,000 next year (2018), 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020.
Talking to media in a press conference, the minister said: “This plan will result in the most ambitious immigration levels in history and will guarantee Canada’s prosperity now and into the future”.
“The increase is to meet Canada’s ever-growing demand for skilled labour. We will continue to wisely use immigration as a tool to power our economy,” Hussen said, adding, “The multi-year planning will ensure predictability and stability for provinces and cities to plan ahead and do their parts.”
With the increasing inflow, the population of the country will grow by 0.9 percent every year which is stood at 0.8 percent in recent years. Canada’s population of 36.5 million people.
Meanwhile, the experts are of the view that as many as 450,000 immigrants should be added to the country annually to meet labour needs and support business.
According to Canadian statistics for the years 2011 to 2016, Africa is at the second position ahead of Europe as a source of recent immigrants.
Asia, including the Middle East, is the leading source of immigration.
The top source countries in these two regions were Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Cameroon; and the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and South Korea, respectively.