- choice of words
- BBC News World
“Look, this is simple: we need more people.”
With these words, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser revealed plans to welcome nearly 1.4 million migrants over the next three years.
According to Fraser’s announcement, Canada expects 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and up to 500,000 by 2025.
This means an increase of about 13% compared to the initial targets which the Canadian government had.
For them, the main goal of the measure is to reduce the labor gap that now exists in the country, where tens of thousands of available jobs are not filled.
And it runs counter to what other governments are pushing, such as Britain, which has been heavily criticized for its immigration policies, or the United States, where recent moves have sought to tighten immigration controls.
“The immigration plan will help businesses find the workers they needFraser said.
One of the main reasons for the new opening is that vacancies created during the covid-19 pandemic have not been filled again.
The figures in this sense are paradoxical in Canada: while they record a total of 950,000 vacancies in various sectors, there are also one million unemployed.
The gap is created because most of them do not have the tools or skills to fill these vacancies or, as is the case in some regions, they do not live in areas where workers are needed in time.
In addition to this phenomenon, according to what the government has indicated, there is also the fact that more and more Canadian citizens are retiring from their jobs, which created a void that could not be filled.
In addition, this program also seeks to increase the resettlement of refugees who are currently dependent on government assistance.
But who are the people the Canadian government is looking for?
Health sector, software and restaurants
It is not the first time Canada has opened its borders to attract more immigrants, but it is the first time it has been done on this scale.
“Canadians understand the need to grow our population if we are to meet workforce needs, if we are to balance troubling demographic trends and continue to bring families together,” Fraser said during the launch of the new plan.
Although the government has noted that the skilled labor shortage affects all sectors of the Canadian economy, las figures from government analyses they point out that one of the most affected is the provision of medical services.
This sector is also monitored construction, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, which includes restaurants.
According to Fraser, Canada has about three workers for every retiree, so so-called “economic migration” goals are a priority.
“We need more workers in all sectors in all regions of the country, whether they are frontline health workers, truck drivers, handymen or software engineers,” he said.
Such is the need that although the Conservative Party of Canada, which is in opposition to Justin Trudeau’s government, criticized the decision announced this week, accepted the need to open up immigration.
However, some experts point out that this will not be an easy process due to the financial crisis that not only Canada is going through but also the major world economies, characterized by rising interest rates and high inflation.
Economist Mikal Skuterud from the University of Waterloo points out that, although there are many reasons for the increase in the number of immigrants in Canada, the current situation is not very favorable for the opening that the North American country wants to achieve.
“The rise in interest rates could make it difficult for these people to integrate into the country once they arrive,” Skuterud told the Reuters news agency.
“We’re kind of at a real tipping point. There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” he added.
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