Ottawa, November 1, 2010 â€” The Government of Canada will maintain high immigration levels to help sustain the economic recovery, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today upon tabling the annual immigration plan in Parliament.
It is estimated that Canada will welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2011. Sixty percent of these immigrants will come through economic streams.
â€œCanadaâ€™s post-recession economy demands a high level of legal immigration to keep our work force strong,â€ he said. â€œAt the same time, we are maintaining our commitment to family reunification and refugees.â€
Like many other countries with ageing populations and low birth rates, in the not too distant future Canada will not have enough people to keep our work force growing. While the majority of new entrants to our labor force will continue to come from within Canada, without immigration, the size of our work force will shrink. Within the next five years, all of our labour force growth will come from immigration.
Highlights of the 2011 immigration plan include a higher range of admissions for spouses and children in the family category. In keeping with recent reforms to Canadaâ€™s refugee system, the 2011 plan also includes an additional 1,125 refugees resettled in Canada as part of the commitment to increase total refugee resettlement by 2,500 over three years. In 2008, the last year for which figures are available, Canada resettled more bona fide refugees than any country but the United States. Canada resettles over one in 10 of the worldâ€™s refugees.
â€œThese refugees are selected and screened by Canada, and come here legally,â€ noted Minister Kenney. â€œWe look forward to giving them a safe, new beginning.â€
Within the economic category, the 2011 plan balances projected admissions between federally and provincially selected workers to meet Canadaâ€™s national and regional labour market needs. Provincial programs help distribute the benefits of immigrants across the entire country. Twenty-five percent of economic immigrants are now destined for provinces other than Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, compared to 11 percent in 1997.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program remains a significant portion of the economic category. The program admits a range of workers, including technicians, skilled tradespersons, managers and professionals, who help to supplement the Canadian-born work force.
The annual immigration plan is part of Citizenship and Immigration Canadaâ€™s annual report tabled in Parliament by November 1 each year.