Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced today that “Canada will stay the course on immigration in 2009, welcoming between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents.”
“While countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia are talking about taking fewer immigrants, our planned numbers for 2009 are on par with last year and are among the highest for this country over the past 15 years,” Minister Kenney said.
Updates to the Skilled-Worker program, coupled with a number of recent initiatives that include the introduction of the Canadian Experience Class, aim to bring Canada in line with two of its main competitors for highly skilled labour: Australia and New Zealand. Both of these countries have eliminated their backlogs and have systems that deliver final decisions for economic applicants within a year.
Along with funds set aside in the 2008 Budget to improve the immigration system, these new immigration initiatives intend to reduce the immigration backlog and “will help ensure that Canada remains competitive internationally and responsive to labour market needs domestically,” said Minister Kenney.