Immigration levels will remain the same for 2011 as Canada continues to recover from the economic slowdown, according to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
In presenting the annual immigration plan to Parliament, Kenney said Canada will welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents in 2011 — the same levels predicted for 2010 — with 60 per cent coming through economic streams.
“Canada’s post-recession economy demands a high level of legal immigration to keep our workforce strong,” he said. “At the same time, we are maintaining our commitment to family reunification and refugees.”
Canada will not have enough people to keep its workforce growing in the near future due to aging populations and low birth rates so all of the country’s labour force growth will come from immigration within the next five years, according to the ministry.
Within the economic category, the 2011 plan balances projected admissions among federally and provincially selected workers to meet Canada’s national and regional labour market needs. Provincial programs help distribute the benefits of immigrants across the entire country. Twenty-five per cent of economic immigrants are now destined for provinces other than Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, compared to 11 per cent in 1997.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program remains a significant portion of the economic category. The program admits a range of workers, including technicians, skilled tradespersons, managers and professionals, who help to supplement the Canadian-born work force.
The 2011 plan will also see a higher range of admissions for spouses and children in the family category and an additional 1,125 refugees will be resettled in Canada as part of a commitment to increase total refugee resettlement by 2,500 over three years.
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