Immigration Levels: Canada Maintains Same Objective for 1999

CIC News
Published: December 1, 1998

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and M.P. for Westmount-Ville Marie, Lucienne Robillard, today tabled in the House of Commons the 1999 Immigration Plan, in which she sets out the immigration levels forecast for the coming year and the anticipated results for the current year.

Canada is expected to receive between 180,000 and 200,000 immigrants and refugees this year, although the number forecast was 200,000 to 225,000.

"The main reason the desired levels for 1998 were not reached was the severe economic crisis in Asia," Minister Robillard stated. "Over 15,000 people in Asian countries to whom Canada had granted right of entry changed their minds at the last minute and decided not to emigrate."

This decline primarily affects the so-called "economic" immigrants, that is, workers recruited for their skills. The Minister said that she was "pleased to see that the number of immigrants sponsored by members of their immediate families is on the increase." The Minister also expressed pleasure at the fact that Canada will reach its objective of welcoming 7,300 refugees
from abroad.

Minister Robillard is keeping the same forecast for 1999. The desired levels remain the same: between 200,000 and 225,000 people.

"Canada wants to make it very clear to the international community that its doors are still just as wide open, despite a difficult economic situation," the Minister said."We are confident that we will see the Asian financial markets stabilize and the immigration numbers rise again in the coming year".

The Immigration Plan for 1999, entitled Canada - A Welcoming Land, sets out estimates by class. Canada expects to receive between 177,900 and 195,700 immigrants and between 22,100 and 29,300 refugees.

"A number of factors are taken into account in setting the immigration levels. Canada needs qualified workers, and we support family reunification. But at the same time we take into account Canada's capacity to integrate newcomers. And we are going to maintain our great humanitarian tradition by once again taking in many refugees," the Minister indicated.

"Canada will continue to welcome immigrants who will work together with other Canadians to build a more prosperous and more open society."

BACKGROUNDER

Immigration Plan, 1999

Immigrant Category                                                                     Range

Skilled Workers                                                                             100,200 - 111,200

Business                                                                                          17,700 - 19,700

Spouses, Fiance(e)s and Children                                                38,000 - 41,000

Parents and Grandparents                                                           15,500 - 17,300

Other

- Live-in Caregiver Program
- Special Categories                                                                         6,500
- Provincial/Territorial Nominees

Total Immigrant                                                                             177,900 - 195,700

------------------------------------------------------
Refugee Category                                                                        Range

Government                                                                                     7,300

Privately Sponsored                                                                        2,800 - 4,000

Refugees Landed In Canada and                                                   10,000 - 15,000

Dependants Abroad                                                                         2,000 - 3,000

Total Refugee                                                                                    22,100 - 29,300

------------------------------------------------------
Total Immigrant and Refugee                                                         200,000 - 225,000

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