Canada wants to dramatically increase its immigration thresholds for the next three years to offset the drop in the number of immigrants welcomed in 2020 due to the pandemic, the immigration minister announced on Friday.
The country plans to welcome more than 1.2 million immigrants between 2021 and 2023, almost 200,000 more than the thresholds set before the pandemic, said Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship from Canada.
In 2020, Canada will finally have welcomed only a fraction of the 341,000 immigrants initially planned, due to the pandemic that has led to the closure of borders and a long suspension of international flights, he said in a statement. press conference.
The situation should return to normal in 2021, according to this immigration plenum focused primarily on economic growth, but also family reunification and the reception of refugees.
To offset the drop in the number of immigrants in 2020, the government plans in particular to grant permanent residence to temporary workers, asylum seekers and foreign students already in Canada.
“The new arrivals have played a disproportionate role in our response to covid-19,” said mr. Mendicino by paying tribute to asylum seekers who worked on the front lines in nursing homes affected by the pandemic in the spring.
“Immigrants are vital to our health system and represent one in four workers in our hospitals and retirement homes,” he said.
One-third of business owners in Canada are immigrants, he also noted.
In 2019, immigration accounted for 80% of Canada’s population growth, a country of 38 million people.