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Canada Ottawa plans to welcome 500,000 immigrants by 2025

The Federal government of Canada plans to significantly increase the number of immigrants entering Canada, with the goal of attracting 500,000 people in 2025.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser unveiled the new targets on Tuesday, saying the move was necessary to ensure Canada's economic prosperity.
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This announcement signals a significant increase in the number of immigrants from 405,000 who arrived in Canada last year to 465,000 who are expected to arrive next year. 
Canadian industry is facing a significant labor shortage. About a million jobs are vacant across the country.
The new plan focuses on increasing the number of immigrants who will be accepted based on their work skills or experience over the next three years.
The news comes after new census data released last month showed that immigrants and permanent residents now make up 23 percent of the population — a record high. 

Statistics Canada said recent immigrants — those who arrived between 2017 and 2021 — are on average younger than the rest of the Canadian population and have played a crucial role in filling many jobs in the Canadian labor market.

From 2017 to 2021, immigrants accounted for four-fifths of Canada's workforce growth. A significant proportion of recent immigrants have been selected for their ability to contribute to Canada's economy.

More than half of recent immigrants — 748,120 of the 1.3 million admitted to Canada between 2017 and 2021 — entered Canada by economic category.

Labor shortage

The Business Council of Canada (BCC) welcomed the federal government's announcement, saying employers across the country are struggling to fill jobs. 

The BCC said in a statement to the media that it wants the number of immigrants admitted in the economic category to increase from just over half to 65 percent of the total.

"Every vacant vacancy means one less person contributing to Canada's economic growth and one less person paying taxes to support Canada's social infrastructure," BCC president and CEO Goldie Haider said in a statement to the media.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said they would not grant the BCC's request because it sets its target for economic immigrants at 60 percent of the total by 2025. 

The BCC reports that a recent survey of its members showed that 67 percent of its members canceled or postponed major projects because they could not find workers. The group also reported that 30 percent of members reported that they were forced to move work outside of Canada.

Family reunification and refugees

Ottawa plans a more moderate increase in the number of immigrants wishing to reunite with their families, from about 106,000 in 2023 to about 118,000 in 2025.

The federal government has also said it will moderately reduce the number of refugees arriving in Canada from more than 76,000 in 2023 to just under 73,000 in 2025. 

Despite this reduction, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed the federal government's announcement, saying it welcomed Canada's "leadership in refugee resettlement."

"The United Nations Refugee Agency welcomes Canada's continued commitment to refugee resettlement as part of its overall plan to increase immigration," UNHCR representative in Canada Rema Jamus Imseis said in a statement to the media.

"Refugees need life-saving solutions, such as resettlement, and they also make an important contribution to Canada's economy and the fabric of our communities."