TRENTON: Canada will introduce an immigration program to allow communities to pick based on labor needs, and in a separate plan will bring in 1 million newcomers over three years, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced Thursday.
But the government also said this week that an immigration plan that allowed Canadians to sponsor parents and grandparents has been suspended.
The new program is designed to “make it easier for communities to welcome the workers they need most,” according to a statement on the Liberal government’s website.
In all, 10,000 immigrants can be brought to Canada through the program.
Mendicino said the plan will allow communities “to draw on local experiences, expertise, capacities to understand where are the labour shortages, where are the economic opportunities and how that information can help us select individuals who wish to come to Canada to ply their trade, to fulfill their opportunity.”
A target date for implementing the plan was not given but it is likely to be in place this year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also instructed Mendicino to draw up a plan that would bring 1 million newcomers to Canada over three years. Immigrants are needed to fill the vacancies created by an aging population and low birth rate.
The Conference Board of Canada predicted that by 2030 more than 9 million Canadians will reach retirement age in a country with a population of 38 million.
However, the government suspended the highly popular program where people could bring parents and grandparents to Canada.
The system has been tinkered with before. A first-come, first-served program was scrapped, then a lottery system set up and discontinued in favour of an online application program in 2019 but all had drawbacks and were considered fair for everyone.
Mendicino said the suspension, “will allow the (immigration) department sufficient time to complete the development of a new application intake management process for the parents and grandparents sponsorship program, to be implemented in 2020.”
About 20,000 immigrants a year were brought in through the parent-grandparent program. (AA)