Canadian immigration ministers meet to discuss future

Federal, provincial and territorial ministers of immigration met in Ottawa yesterday to talk about the future of immigration in Canada and to review the recently tabled immigration levels.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, John McCallum, spoke to the group about the higher levels of immigration in the 2016 levels plan, announced last week. All ministers present committed to working together on multi-year levels planning going forward to ensure that future immigration levels reflect the importance of immigration to meet labour market and other needs.

Ministers discussed a new Vision Action Plan, which will guide the improvement of immigration and settlement outcomes over the next three years.

Ministers also discussed the importance of integrating immigrants in the labour market including the need to recognize foreign credentials. Ministers agreed to meet in the coming months to share best practices on the credential issue.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of aliens, Quebec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Quebec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards.

The ministers also shared ideas and experiences regarding resettling and integrating Syrian refugees into their communities.

“The work to resettle and integrate Syrian refugees into our communities has just begun, and the provinces and territories are key partners in ensuring we do it successfully,” said Minister McCallum. “The opportunity to come together, hear about what is working and where the challenges are, will help us further improve services for refugees and all newcomers.”

“Our economies rely on immigration to stay strong and to grow. The initial phase of the Syrian refugee initiative shows what can be accomplished when governments work together. I look forward to continued collaboration as we develop a strategy to boost immigration and support economic growth,” said Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade and the co-chair of the meeting.

Article by David Fuller