Immigration levels to increase by 35% over five years.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Joe Volpe confirmed that he is preparing a proposal that will raise the current yearly immigration quota to over 300,000 within five years. Details of the proposal have yet to be released. The initiative would include recruiting more people to work outside of the major Canadian metropolitan areas of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. The plan is also expected to accommodate foreign nationals who were previously here on student visas. Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Pierre Pettigrew has stated that the country needs more immigrants to replace its aging workers who are headed for retirement.
Minister Volpe’s presentation outlines five key areas:
1. Increasing overall immigration numbers.
2. Providing better service both in bringing in immigrants and visa issuance.
3. Matching immigrants with Canadian jobs needed to fill the gaps in local markets. This also means allowing potential immigrants to receive commensurate credentials in Canada before they apply, or before they are accepted.
4. Regionalizing immigration to promote equitable settlement among Canada’s provinces and territories.
5. Regularizing foreign nationals already in Canada.