The Immigration Minister of Canada Mr Marco Mendicino has emphasized the “vital importance” of immigrants for Canada and its economy during and after the coronavirus pandemic in two recent interviews with the Canadian media.
Immigration Minister told the Canadian Press, on Friday that COVID-19 shows the need for continued strong immigration into Canada and the significant contribution that immigrant workers make to the Canadian economy Mendicino made these comments in response to the concerns posed by analysts and critics about Canada's high immigration targets and its open immigration policies.
However, Mendicino remains optimistic and positive that Canada's approach to accept and support immigrants will not change.
Many sectors of the Canadian economy rely heavily on immigrant workers, and immigrants are being called upon to reinforce and sustain many essential services during the pandemic. In Canada, among others, front-line workers, food supply chains, hospitals, and long-term care facilities all rely on help from foreign workers.
Rising rates of immigration have been at the core of Canada's policies over the years as they help maintain its labour-power, promote economic development and encourage innovation.
Canada's 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan set targets for 341,000 permanent residents in 2020, 351,000 in 2021, and total immigration could rise to as many as 390,000 by 2022. This embodies an immigration level of approximately one per cent of the population of Canada. Mendicino does not rule out the possibility of updating these numbers when the government is expected to announce new immigration targets in November.
The immigration minister also told the Canadian Press that the government has been continuously monitoring the situation and finding ways for permanent residents as well as temporary foreign workers to improve the application process. Such a temporary policy in support of improving the application process was unveiled Tuesday that will allow foreign workers to work for an employer other than the one on their permit while awaiting the issuance of a new permit. These applications will be processed within 10 days of submitting them, instead of the usual 10 weeks.
Another new measure and policy that will allow international students to count online classes in Canada to be eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit. This will enable foreign students to enrol in an online course for the fall intake from their country and they still are eligible to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit after moving to Canada. This reform was to address the concern of International Students whose contribution is estimated at about $21.6 billion, would unable to attend the institutions for this fall intake while the borders remain closed because of Corona pandemic