Governor General Reaffirms Canada’s Commitment to Immigration Despite Pandemic
In Canada’s recent televised Throne Speech, Governor General Julie Payette announced that immigration would be a critical “driver of economic growth” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and reinforced Canada’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number of permanent residents.
The speech, which took place in front of Parliament on September 23, was the government’s first official announcement that Canada would prioritize immigration in its economic recovery plan since the pandemic began earlier this year.
“As part of both the short-term economic recovery and a long-term plan for growth, the government will leverage the advantage we have on immigration to keep Canada competitive on the world stage,” Governor General Payette stated.
How Canada plans to put this into action will be determined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, which will outline the Liberal government’s action plan for the coming months.
This could potentially include the new Municipal Nominee Program and abolished Canadian citizenship fee that the liberal government had announced prior to the pandemic. However, we won’t know for sure whether they become delayed any further until the immigration plan is officially announced in the coming months.
Immigration Targets Pre-Pandemic
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino must also deliver a new immigration levels plan to Parliament in late October or early November.
Before the global pandemic, Canada had planned to welcome 342,000 new immigrants in 2020, but so far, only welcomed 117,000 by the end of July. The reason for the low figures is the ongoing travel restrictions that bar most non-essential travel to Canada.
The travel restrictions first put in place back in March have since been extended until October 31 but are expected to remain in place indefinitely as COVID-19 case numbers continue to increase across Canada.
In spite of everything that has unfolded over the past several months, Payette remains optimistic, describing the current global climate as ‘an opportunity.’
“With other countries rejecting global talent that could help their economy, Canada has an opportunity as we recover to become the world’s top destination for talent, capital, and jobs,” she told Parliament.
“When people choose Canada, help build Canada, and make sacrifices in support of Canada, we should make it easier for them to formally become Canadian.”