Marco Mendicino is Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship of Canada. He assumed office in November 2019. It’s a custom in Canada for immigration ministers to give a ‘vision’ speech. Mendicino, in his speech, outlined the immigration plans Canada will work on in the future.
In his first major policy speech, he reiterated the importance of immigration for Canada. He pointed out that the future of Canada depends on immigration. He suggested a dialogue on the number of people the country needs to secure its economic prosperity.
It is a fact that Canada has a very aging population. This brings some crucial concerns that the country solves with immigration. With a low birth rate, Canadians are living longer. They are not having enough children to maintain the population size. This makes immigration essential. It brings more people in to compensate for the shortage of workers. Such a shortage has combined with the increase in expenses on elderly workers. This puts great pressure on the country’s economy.
Considering the demographic realities of Canada, the focus on immigration was fixed. Programs like Express Entry programs give more impetus to immigration. The Express Entry program was introduced in 2015. Its success has cemented immigration as the mainstay of Canada’s progress.
Mendicino stated that today, about 80% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration. He estimated that this will reach 100% by the 2030s. So, Canada is planning to invite more than one million immigrants in the next 3 years. Mendicino also said that he will formally present Canada’s 2020-22 Immigration Levels Plan in March 2020.
Mendicino affirmed that Express Entry would remain the flagship program for immigration to Canada. He noted that 95% of Express Entry arrivals via migration overseas have earned jobs in Canada. Around 80% of them are working in their chosen fields.
He remembered that programs like the Global Talent Stream and Atlantic Immigration Pilot have contributed as key programs to Canada’s economy.
The federal government initiative of the Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) will also keep contributing to Canada’s economy. Such programs will bring immigrants into the deepest levels of the Canadian population. This will help develop provinces and regional economies.
The Minister stated that the government is in pre-consultation on what the MNP will look like. It’s welcoming feedback from stakeholders on how to shape the MNP.
Mendicino urged attendees to support a national dialogue in favor of immigration as a net positive for Canada. He observed that Canada’s immigration system has been lauded by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It’s an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. It considers Canada’s immigration system as an international standard. Such a standard can be used to manage an immigration system.
He concluded his speech by stating that Canada is built on the strength of immigration.
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