Canadian government urged to increase immigration

An advisory council on economic growth has called on the Canadian government to significantly increase its immigrant intake next year.

The high-powered group of external advisers has advised the Canadian government to increase next year’s intake target by 50-per-cent, to 450,000 people a year. The increase, the group says, would target skilled, entrepreneurial newcomers in an attempt to stimulate economic growth.

“For immigration to fully offset the impact of Canada’s impending demographic squeeze, annual permanent economic immigration would need to nearly double from the current level of about 300,000 per year – a much more dramatic increase than the 50 percent increase recommended here,” the report notes.

The Liberal government has recently suggested that increasing immigration levels and opening the doors further to foreign students and investment would be a priority over the next year.

However, in interviews with the Canadian Press on Tuesday, Immigration Minister John McCallum seemed to express reservations about such a large an increase as 450,000 immigrants per year.

McCallum said that meeting the target suggested by the advisory group would be costly and might not find broad national support. “The figure he gives is a huge figure,” he said. “But this is not a universal view across the country.”

By Thursday, though, Minister McCallum’s office seemed to be striking a more positive tone.

“The minister certainly appreciates the work done by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth and will be reviewing its recommendations together with feedback received from over 500 stakeholders throughout the summer during 43 cross-Canada roundtable discussions,” said a senior immigration department official in an email.

The Canadian government is due to release its immigration intake targets for 2017 next month.

Article published 24th October 2016