Canada, a nation of not quite 37 million people, wants to add more than 3 million immigrants through 2020.
“Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy,” Ahmed Hussen, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, wrote in an annual report to Parliament. “Immigrants and their descendants have made immeasurable contributions to Canada, and our future success depends on continuing to ensure they are welcomed and well-integrated.”
“Canada is a world leader in managed migration with an immigration program based on non-discriminatory principles, where foreign nationals are assessed without regard to race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or gender,” Hussen wrote in his report.
About 1 in 5 current Canadians are immigrants, according to the report, with more than 6 million arriving since 1990.
Historically, Canada has only welcomed more than 300,000 immigrants five times before, from 1911 to 1913 and in 2018. The twentieth-century spike in immigration was a result of European Westward expansion; the more recent influx is part of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan.
Canada shattered the plan’s 2019 target by more than 10,000 immigrants.
The country hopes to welcome an additional 3 milion immigrants in 2020.
Director of Policy & Digital Strategy Kareem El-Assal attributes the impressive variety of countries to the fact that Canada does not have per-country quotas in place.
He says, “As long as applicants meet Canada’s economic class eligibility criteria, they are welcomed by the country with open arms.”
Fifty-eight per cent of newcomers entered Canada under the economic class of visa, while 27 per cent arrived through family sponsorship. The remaining 15 per cent were welcomed under the refugee class.
Ontario took in almost half of the new immigrants, with Toronto accounting for 35 per cent. British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba claimed the next top spots.