Canada to boost immigration to 1M over 3 years

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First Jollibee in Canada opened last December 16, 2016. (Photo from Twitter account of the Embassy of Canada to the Philippines)

Canada is eyeing to boost immigration to one million over the next three years with a plan that “will guarantee” the country’s future prosperity, the country’s immigration minister announced on Wednesday.

The number of immigrants will be increased to at least 310,000 in 2018, and continue growing to 330,000 in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020, according to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who assumed office in January and is himself an immigrant.

“This plan will result in the most ambitious immigration levels in history and will guarantee Canada’s prosperity now and into the future,” Hussen said in a press conference.

The anticipated arrivals – in economic and family categories, as well as refugees – is seen to increase Canada’s population by about 0.9 percent each year, an increase from 0.8 percent in recent years.

Critics, however, said as many as 450,000 newcomers are needed annually to support businesses and labor needs as the population ages and birth rates fall.

According to the last census, the proportion of the Canadian population born abroad had risen to a near historical high of 21.9 percent in 2016, for a total of 7,540,830.

For the first time, Africa ranked second ahead of Europe as a source of recent immigrants from 2011 to 2016 while Asia, including the Middle East, remained the leading source, Statistics Canada showed.

Specifically, the top immigrants-source countries were Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Cameroon, Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and South Korea.    /kga

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