Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that immigration will remain a top priority and a central component of Canada’s COVID-19 recovery plan. In a new mandate letter presented to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Trudeau outlines the priorities for the department and fleshes out what the future of Canadian immigration looks like over the next few years.
The new letter is supplementary to the one Trudeau presented to Mendicino in 2019. It addresses new goals for the country in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and sets the tone for the new session of parliament that began in September.
The letter touches on the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan which was released back in October 2020. The plan states that Canada will allow entry to more than 400,000 newcomers each year for the next three years.
The mandate letter further stresses the importance of admitting newcomers to Canada to aid with economic growth and recovery. The main ways that Trudeau suggests this be done is:
- Expanding Canada’s pilot programs to welcome skilled refugees through economic immigration streams;
- Continuing to support and prioritize family reunification
- Continuing to develop regional pilot programs
The mandate letter also states that Canadian immigration should work towards implementing pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers, health care workers, and other essential workers who have lent their services and expertise during the recent health crisis.
Trudeau states that Mendicino should be working with provinces and territories to help newcomers settle and ease their transition to life in Canada.
The letter also stresses the importance of continuing to protect the health and safety of all Canadians by managing the border with the United States and other ports of entry to Canada.
The new mandate letter essentially backs up what the Canadian government has been saying for months now. It formally states that Canada will continue to prioritize immigration in order to support the needs of the country, all while continuing to safeguard the health and safety of Canadians.