Canada has already revealed plans of increasing the number of immigrants it’s going to allow in the country over the next three years.
However, the government, wary of the prevailing anti-immigrant sentiments across the nation, has decided to take the process forward at a gradual pace.
The integration of newcomers into the country remains one of the biggest concerns for the liberal government as of now. The new immigration plan for the next three years will increase immigration intake into the country by 13% to fill in the gap left by Canada’s aging population.
This planned increase, however, is far less than the one recommended by the government’s advisory council. The initial recommendation was to increase immigration figures by 50% in the next five years.
Ahmed Hussen – the Immigration and Refugee Minister says, “It’s easy to bring somebody in, it’s another thing to make sure they succeed in Canada.”
Currently, the immigration system in Canada focuses on importing skilled workers into the country.
However, the same system has struggled to help these individuals find job opportunities that align with their credentials and skills.
According to the immigration minister, who himself is a former Somalian refugee in Canada, says that allowing immigrants into Canada constitutes only “half of the job,” the other half – and the difficult one – is to support and help them integrate well into the society.
Since 2015, Canada has undertaken the resettlement of over 40,000 Syrian refugees. In addition, there have been 15,000 asylum seekers that crossed borders into Canada fearing a US immigration crackdown.
Many of these asylum seekers have made their way to Quebec, where they have been housed in military set camps while their applications are processed. The onset of asylum seekers have stirred up anti-immigrant backlash in the province – something both the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister aren’t happy about.
“I think, in Canada we’re lucky that, broadly speaking, we have support (but) it’s not consensus, there are people who oppose immigration,” says Hussen.