Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is planning to bring in more than 1.2 million new immigrants over the next three years.
The Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, disclosed this while unveiling what he called an “ambitious” three-year immigration plan that set targets for bringing skilled workers, family members and refugees into Canada.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa on Friday, October 30, 2020, Mendicino said the Canadian government aims to accept 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, another 411,000 in 2022 and then 421,000 in 2023.
Canada needs more workers, he said, “and immigration is the way to get there”.
“Before the pandemic, our government’s goal to drive the economy forward through immigration was ambitious. Now it’s simply vital,” said Mendicino, who noted that immigrants drive the population and economic growth that pays for vital programs such as health care.
Canada, one of the top destinations of Nigerians, had expected to bring in 341,000 skilled workers, family members of Canadians and refugees this year.
But because of the COVID-19 crisis including closed borders and visa offices, quarantines and few available international flights, only a fraction came.
To help make up the shortfall, Mendicino said the government would offer permanent resident status to temporary foreign workers, international students, and asylum claimants already in Canada.
He noted that immigrants have been “critical” to Canada’s pandemic response, representing one in four health care workers in hospitals and elderly care homes. They also account for one-third of business owners in Canada.
“Whether they’ve been taking care of our most vulnerable, or putting food on our tables, newcomers have played an outsized role in our response to Covid-19,” he said
Canadians understand that newcomers are playing an outsized role in stepping up to fill some of our most acute labour shortages and that growing our population is imperative if we want to leverage the advantages we have and keep 🇨🇦 competitive on the world stage. pic.twitter.com/YbHhyoONTL
— Marco Mendicino (@marcomendicino) October 30, 2020
KanyiDaily had also reported that Italy is offering new immigrants, including Nigerians €700 (N276,635) per month for three years, just to live in one of its villages.