Canada plans to add 500,000 immigrants in 2025 to ensure the economic prosperity of the country, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Tuesday.
That is on top of the 465,000 immigrants Canada expects to welcome next year and up from the 400,000 that arrived last year.
Fraser said the numbers are necessary to fill job vacancies. Right now, officials said there are about one million job vacancies in Canada, where the population is aging.
A significant number of those immigrants will need to have the skills or experience to perform those vacant jobs.
The Business Council of Canada (BCC) agreed that the immigration levels in the economic category are necessary to maintain a good standard of living for Canadians.
“Every job that is not filled represents one less person contributing to Canada’s economic growth and one less person paying taxes to support Canada’s social infrastructure,” said BCC president and CEO Goldy Hyder in a statement.
The BCC said two-thirds of its members had put projects on hold because of a lack of workers. In addition, 30% of the members said they relocated work outside Canada for the same reason.
But other forms of immigration will be included as well. Those coming to reunite with family members already in Canada will increase to 118,000 in 2025 from 106,000 in 2023.
The number of refugees admitted will drop moderately to just under 73,000 in 2025 from 76,000 in 2023.
Despite the slight decrease, the UN lauded Canada for its refugee numbers.
“The United Nations Refugee Agency welcomes Canada’s continued commitment to refugee resettlement as part of its overall immigration growth plan,” Rema Jamous Imseis, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Representative in Canada, said in a media statement.
Immigrants now represent about 23% of Canada’s population of 38 million, the Canadian Press reported.
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