COVID-19 shows us the need for strong and continuous immigration to Canada and the important contribution of immigrant workers to the Canadian economy, Federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said on Friday in his interview with the Canadian press.
“It is vitally important that we continue to immigrate today in a safe and orderly fashion and to lead this future which, we all believe, will be based on immigration as it has been in the past. ” Immigration will remain, according to Mendicino, a “lasting value” for Canadians.
Mendicino made these comments in response to recent questions raised by analysts and critics about Canada’s high immigration goals and open immigration policies at a time when the current economic crisis threatens to loom long after the end of the health crisis.
For decades, promoting accessibility and inclusion had been the cornerstone of Canada, but the pandemic has put a stop to this open-minded approach. Federal measures to contain the spread of the virus, high unemployment rates and the reluctance of some international workers and students to travel in a time of social distancing and uncertainty are the main reasons.
Mendicino remains confident and hopeful that Canada’s comprehensive approach to welcoming and helping newcomers will not change.
“I trust Canadians believe in immigration,” he told columnist Susan Delacourt in a recent interview. “It’s because they relate to it. It’s part of who we are. Basically, immigration is about the people who come together to build a stronger country, which we have seen throughout our history, throughout this pandemic and, I am confident, what we will see in the future. ”
Many sectors of the Canadian economy are heavily dependent on immigrant workers and, during the pandemic, immigrants are called upon to strengthen and maintain many essential services. In Canada, front-line workers, food supply chains, hospitals and long-term care facilities, among others, all depend on the support of foreign workers.
Over the years, increasing levels of immigration have been at the heart of Canada’s policies, as they help sustain its workforce, support economic growth and stimulate innovation.
Canada’s 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan set targets for 341,000 permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021 and total immigration could reach up to 390,000 new permanent residents by 2022. This represents an immigration level of almost 1% of the Canadian population. population, which, according to the Conference Board of Canada, must be reached by 2030 to ensure modest population and economic growth.
Mendicino does not rule out the possibility of these figures being revised in November when the government is expected to announce new immigration targets.
The Minister of Immigration also told the Canadian Press that the government is continuously monitoring the situation and looking for ways to improve the application process for permanent residents and temporary foreign workers.
For example, a temporary policy unveiled last Tuesday by Ottawa will allow foreign workers to work for an employer other than their license pending the issuance of a new license. The Immigration Service promises to process applicants’ requests within 10 days of their submission instead of the usual 10 weeks.
There were also concerns that international students, who are estimated to contribute about $ 21.6 billion to the Canadian economy, may not be able to enroll and attend higher education institutions this fall while the borders remain closed.
The government has sought to address this issue and has recently introduced new measures and policies that will allow international students to count online courses in Canada for educational programs and for immigration purposes. One of the main program reforms announced this week will allow international students to enroll in online courses for the fall term while abroad and still be eligible for a work permit post-graduation after moving to Canada.
Reference is taken from CIC News
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