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Canada boosts immigration target for next two years

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OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada, one of the few countries in the world still accepting large number of immigrants, said on Thursday it would increase the number of people it wanted to attract over the next two years.

Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan said Canada would lift the upper target range of immigrants to 235,000 a year in 2002, from the present 225,000 a year.

“A successful immigration program like ours is not just about numbers on a page, but rather about hard-working people and their families who come here from the world over to help build our economy, our society and our culture,” she said in a statement.

Caplan said Ottawa remained committed to increasing immigration levels to approximately one percent of the population over the long term, but that Canada’s capability to absorb and integrate increased numbers would dictate
the pace. Canada has a population of around 30 million people.

Caplan also said that for the first time since 1997, Canada had exceeded its target in 2000. Last year the nation landed 226,837 immigrants and refugees, just over the target range of 200,000 to 225,000.