Trudeau government to increase immigration levels by 117% despite economic uncertainty

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has reaffirmed the Trudeau government’s intention to hike immigration levels in 2021 by a record-high 117% despite the uncertainty of the economic recovery.

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Last year, Canada welcomed 184,370 immigrants. In 2021, the Trudeau government is set to welcome 401,000 immigrants, breaking the 1913 record of 400,900. 

The new target represents a 117% hike. The Immigration Minister’s budget is currently set at $3.25 billion. 

A recent study by the Department of Immigration found that a majority of Canadians disagreed with the steep immigration hike, with  57% of respondents saying Canada should limit the incoming number of immigrants. 

A study conducted in the summer of 2020 by True North showed that 76% of Canadians “strongly agree or moderately agree with the statement: Canada should temporarily pause immigration until a vaccine is developed for coronavirus and the unemployment rate drops down to pre-coronavirus levels.”

Canada’s economy shrank 5.4% last year, the largest annual decline since WWII and the third consecutive year of underperformance when compared to the United States. 

According to Bloomberg, total public and private debt rose by a staggering 50 percentage points to reach 353% of GDP at the end of the third quarter of 2020, a deeply worrisome figure. 

The economic recovery could be very slow and painful for many Canadian workers. Traditionally, immigration targets are lowered during times of economic hardship to limit the labour supply when demand is already scarce. 

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