Immigration minister says he is dealing with backlog

Immigration Minister says he is dealing with backlog

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says he has his “full attention” set on tackling the backlogs. “It will take resources and will take a little bit of time, but we’re not sitting on our hands,” the Minister told a panel discussion by Canadian Club Toronto on Wednesday. During this event, Fraser also sat down with the president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, Goldy Hyder.

Earlier this week, the Canadian government revealed its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024. It plans to welcome more than 1.3 million new permanent residents to the country over the next three years. However, immigrants and professionals have raised doubts about the government’s ability to bring more people to Canada while struggling with an unprecedented backlog. The backlog stands at 1.8 million applications for permanent and temporary residence and citizenship.

Express Entry draws for skilled workers

“I can reassure you, we’re looking at resuming draws in the near term on the Canadian experience class and all skilled workers,” Minister Fraser said. He continued: “If you actually look at the immigration levels plan over the next couple of years the balance is shifting back… and by year three, there will be a record number of federal skilled workers”

Also, the Minister denies “that there has been any kind of an abandonment of what I would argue is one of the most successful immigration programs anywhere in the world.”

In addition, Fraser said he is looking to add more flexibility to the Express Entry system. He suggested that they can use Express Entry to respond to short-term needs. This includes welcoming people into smaller communities, and sectors in high demand.

“Building this flexibility in the express entry (management) system is something that I’m personally digging into right now. I think it’s going to enable us to respond in a more nimble way when we do see the pace of transformation is increasing,” he noted.

About Canada’s capacity, in terms of housing, health care and community services

“When I meet with the construction sector, they want more newcomers so they help build more houses. If we actually invest in our economy by having people fill those gaps in the labour force, the return on investment will give us the public resources that we need to invest”.

In addition, Hyder cautions that it’s important for Canada not to lose its historical public support for immigration. “We’ve engaged all of the political parties in the last three elections and said, ‘Do us one favour, please don’t politicize this issue,’” said Hyder. “Just don’t touch this issue because it is so core to the well-being of our society, to the economic and social prosperity of our country. To their credit, they’ve listened.”

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