It is inarguable that the coronavirus pandemic has presented numerous challenges to Canada’s immigration arrangements. It has led to the imposition of strict travel bans and, consequently, a significant reduction in the number of new permanent residents. However, Canada is still resilient to attaining higher immigration levels in 2020 amid the pandemic.
Marco Mendicino affirmed that he had no intention of reducing the government’s immigration targets for the coming three-year levels proposal. Three days before Canada’s lockdown, the immigration minister presented the public with Canada’s plan of welcoming more than one million immigrants by 2022. However, August came with the closure of the Canadian borders, and travel was restricted for non-essential purposes. This led to a significant surge in the number of new immigrants entering the country by approximately sixty-four percent from 2019 levels.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Mendicino’s team held extensive deliberations with numerous business, labor, and settlement organizations to scale Canada’s present immigration demands.
There is a large number of the senior population and low birth rates in Canada. This combination translates to a low population, which poses a significant challenge to the labor market and the country’s economic condition. As a result, Canada, among other Western countries, including Quebec, settles on immigration as a way of facilitating the labor market and enhancing population growth. Mendicino categorically states that the immigration level will not scale down and will remain an enduring value, even post corona. Therefore, the meeting was a clear sign of the government’s dedication to welcoming more new permanent immigrants into the country for the coming years.
High Targets, Fewer Newcomers
Initially, Canada had aimed at welcoming a total of 341,000 new immigrants in 2020. However, only 126,186 new permanent residents successfully arrived in the host country from January through August. This is due to the strict travel restrictions which pose a challenge to the arrival of prospective ‘new-comers’ to the country. Bloomberg’s report states that employment rates are relatively high, and the situation is bound to remain the same for quite some time. Furthermore, Trudeau’s minority government does not have the mandate to pass legislation without seeking the opposition political party’s approval and support.