Maximizing the benefits of immigration for the Canadian economy
May 22, 2015
Meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of immigration focused on economic immigration
Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments reiterated their shared commitment to maximizing the economic benefits of immigration at today’s meeting of FPT Ministers responsible for immigration. The selection of economic immigrants and the improvement of settlement and labour market outcomes for newcomers were a key focus of the meeting, which was co-chaired by Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Ontario’s Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Minister Michael Chan.
Economic immigration and ensuring Canada remains a destination of choice continue to be top priorities for all participants around the table. Ministers present at the meeting discussed the launch of the new Express Entry immigration system and the ongoing importance of the Provincial Nominee Programs that allow provinces and territories to find prospective immigrants to meet their labour market needs.
Immigration levels planning was discussed by the ministers. Provincial and territorial representatives will continue to provide advice based on labour-market data. This advice will inform the decisions of the federal government, along with input from third parties including private-sector employers in a series of cross-Canada consultations in the coming months.
Ministers also reviewed the ongoing work on Helping Immigrants Succeed: An FPT Action Plan that aims to improve Employment Fit/Foreign Qualification Recognition, Social Connections, and Language for those outside of the labour market.
Ministers discussed progress on the three-year action plan FPT Vision for Immigration to Canada (2012-2015), that is intended to adapt to immigration changes and to build a fast, fair and flexible economic immigration system. Efforts remain focused on meeting labour market needs, increasing Francophone immigration and improving settlement outcomes for all newcomers.
Under the Canada-Québec Accord relating to immigration and temporary admission of aliens, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards.
- Express Entry is a new way for employers and provinces and territories to access skilled immigrants and quickly fill regional labour-market gaps.
- A number of provinces and territories have already taken advantage of the Express Entry system by nominating provincial candidates; the first of these are already permanent residents.
- More than 47,000 provincial and territorial nominees, including their spouses and dependants, were admitted to Canada in 2014. This represents a 42 per cent increase between 2013 and 2015.
- In 2014, 63 per cent of immigrants were in the economic stream. Governments aim to increase that percentage to 70 per cent in the years ahead.
- FPT governments are committed to maximizing the benefits of immigration for the Canadian economy by ensuring that newcomers integrate and contribute fully as soon as possible.
- The Government of Canada will invest almost $1 billion in 2015-2016, in addition to provincial and territorial contributions, to support newcomers’ settlement needs across Canada.
“Our government is working to welcome the best and the brightest more quickly, and to get these skilled newcomers integrated more fully into Canada’s economy and Canadian society. Working with provincial and territorial partners, we can maximize the benefits that immigration brings to the Canadian economy and support our top priority: creating jobs and economic growth.”
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister
“The attraction of skilled newcomers is critical to provincial and territorial economic growth. A stronger immigration partnership between provinces, territories and the federal government can deliver the flexibility required to use immigration to build an innovative and prosperous economy, and create jobs.”
Michael Chan, Ontario’s Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Minister