Canada to welcome over one million new immigrants between 2020-2022

Marco Mendicino laid out his vision for Canada’s immigration system today in Toronto.

It was his first major policy speech since his November 2019 appointment as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Mendicino was appointed after the Liberal Party of Canada was re-elected to a second mandate in October and he is currently pursuing an immigration plan laid out in his mandate letter.

“Vision” speeches are a long-standing tradition among Canada’s immigration ministers. They outline the government’s aspirational goals and what policies and programs the government will pursue to achieve the goals.

Mendicino’s speech was no different.

Mendicino opened his speech by stating that Canada’s future depends on immigration. As such, it is critical to have a dialogue on how many people Canada needs to secure its economic prosperity.

This dialogue, Mendicino said, is necessary due to Canada’s demographic realities. As an aging country with a low birth rate, Canadians are living longer and not having enough children to maintain the size of its population.

This places greater pressure on Canada’s economy and fiscal standing. This is due to fewer workers being relied upon to fund rising government expenses, such as health care, which will become more expensive to deliver as the share of elderly Canadians continues to rise.

Mendicino said a major part of the solution is to welcome immigrants. Today, some 80 per cent of Canada’s population growth will come from immigration, and estimates suggest this will reach 100 per cent by the 2030s.

This is why Canada will welcome over one million immigrants over the next three years, said Mendicino, as he noted that he will formally table Canada’s 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan in March.

Express Entry will remain the flagship program for welcoming immigrants to Canada and has been successful since launching in January 2015. Mendicino noted that 95 per cent of Express Entry arrivals have jobs and some 80 per cent are working in their fields.

In addition, programs such as the Global Talent Stream and Atlantic Immigration Pilot have been key to supporting Canada’s economy.

Nonetheless, there remains a need to promote the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities across the country. This explains why the federal government launched the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in 2019.

The Municipal Nominee Program (MNP) is another initiative that the federal government will pursue to help economic growth across Canada. The Minister stated that the government is in pre-consultations on what the program will look like and welcomes feedback from stakeholders on how to shape the MNP.

Minister Mendicino urged attendees to support a national dialogue that immigration is a net positive for Canada. He observed that Canada’s immigration system has been lauded by the OECD as the international standard on how to effectively manage an immigration system.

He concluded by stating that Canada is built on the strength of immigration.

Welcoming immigrants will help to grow the labour market, support businesses, and ensure that “Canada remains the best country in the world.”

Quebec continues invitation rounds with second draw from Arrima

Since the launch of the Arrima system, Quebec has held two draws and invited 950 candidates to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ).

Information was updated on the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) webpage on August 19. New information includes the number of candidates drawn as well as the type of profiles selected.

The most recent draw, which took place on July 17, issued 259 invitations to candidates with an Expression of Interest profile and a valid job offer, as well as foreign nationals who had to carry out duties in Quebec working as diplomats, consular officers, or representatives of an intergovernmental organization such as the United Nations.

The first draw, which took place on July 4, yielded 691 invitations and was addressed to candidates who:

  • had their application for a Quebec Selection Certificate terminated on June 16, 2019, and were a temporary resident of Quebec when they had applied; or
  • had their application for a Quebec Selection Certificate terminated on June 16, 2019, and were working or studying in Quebec at that time;
  • had an Arrima profile and filed an Expression of Interest with the Ministère before Dec. 17, 2019.

Reforms to Quebec’s immigration laws which were passed on June 16, 2019, resulted in the cancellation of roughly 16,000 pending applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).

The cancelled applications had all been filed before Arrima was introduced in September 2018.

Candidates wishing to immigrate to Quebec under the Regular Skilled Worker Program must first submit an Expression of Interest through Arrima. The Ministère then reviews the bank of expressions of interest and issues invitations to candidates who meet specific criteria based on the labour market needs of the province.

The MIDI said there will be several invitation rounds between now and January 16, 2020.

“This is great news for skilled workers who want to settle in Quebec,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal. “The Arrima system appears to be picking up momentum and we hope that the Ministère will continue to issue invitations more regularly.”

Quebec reduces application deadline for Quebec Selection Certificate to 60 days

Quebec Skilled Worker Program candidates who receive an invitation to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate will now only have 60 calendar days to file a complete application, the province’s government announced June 26.  

The new deadline cuts 30 days from the previous deadline of 90 days.

A similar reduction was introduced exactly one year ago for the federal government’s Express Entry system.

The shortened application deadline was one of three measures announced by the Government of Quebec.

The government also announced that Expressions of Interest (EOIs) currently in the Quebec Skilled Worker Program‘s bank of candidates will remain valid for an extra six months.

The third measure will see the EOIs of candidates who decline an invitation to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Quebec, or CSQ) remain in the bank of candidates for their full validity period.

The Government of Quebec said all three measures announced June 26 take effect immediately.

Quebec reduces deadline for applications for Quebec Selection Certificate to 60 days

Applicants from the Quebec Skilled Worker Program who receive an invitation to apply for a Quebec Certificate of Selection will only have 60 days to submit a complete application, the provincial government announced on June 26. 

The new deadline reduces the previous 90-day period by 30 days.

A similar reduction was introduced last year for the Federal Express Entry System .

Reducing the deadline for submitting applications is one of three new measures that come into effect immediately.

Quebec has also announced that the declarations of interest currently in the Québec Skilled Worker applicants bank will remain valid for an additional six months.

The extension applies to all expressions of interest that are currently in the program’s applicant bank.

The third measure provides that the expression of interest profiles of candidates who refuse an invitation to submit an application for a Québec selection certificate (CSQ) will remain in the candidate bank for the entire period of validity.

More than 500,000 jobs went unfilled across Canada in first three months of 2019

The number of job vacancies in Canada rose again in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, with increases reported in six provinces and the territory of Nunavut. 

Job vacancies in the first quarter of 2019 hit 506,000, an increase of 44,000 over the same period in 2018, making it the tenth consecutive quarter to post a year-over-year increase in both the number of job vacancies and the job vacancy rate.

Statistics Canada said nearly 80 per cent of the openings were for permanent positions.

Employers across Canada are facing labour shortages linked to the country’s ageing population and the rising number of Canadians who are reaching retirement age.

A key component of the federal government’s response to this challenge is the decision to raise immigration levels over the next three years, with a majority of newcomers expected through economic-class immigration programs.

Vacancies up in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia

Quebec saw the greatest year-over-year increase in job vacancies in Canada in the first three months of 2019, which rose by 21,400 or 23 per cent.

Statistics Canada said nearly half of this increase was spread across three sectors: health care and social assistance, manufacturing and accommodation and food services.

Two Quebec economic regions — La Mauricie and Laurentides — placed first and third in Canada in terms of recorded increases in job vacancies compared to the first quarter of 2018.

La Mauricie experienced year-over-year growth in job vacancies of 89.4 per cent (+1,600) while the increase in Laurentides was 57.1 per cent (+2,100).

Ontario experienced the second-highest year-over-year increase at 12,400, with the greatest increases recorded in the health care and social assistance, retail trade, professional, scientific and technical services, and accommodation and food services sectors.

A year-over-year increase of 9,300 job vacancies was reported in British Columbia, led by growth in transportation and warehousing and professional, scientific and technical services.

British Columbia had a job vacancy rate of 4.4 per cent for the first quarter of 2019, which Statistics Canada said was the highest among Canada’s provinces and territories and made it the only province with a job vacancy rate above the national average of 3.1 per cent.