2021 Federal Budget Includes Ambitious Immigration Goals – Immigration


Canada:

2021 Federal Budget Includes Ambitious Immigration Goals


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The new federal budget for 2021 was released on April 19.
Ambitiously named “Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs,
Growth, and Resilience”, the plan clearly sets its sights on
post COVID-19 economic recovery. As was already signalled by the
Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Canadian Minister of Immigration,
in October of last year when he tabled an ambitious Immigration
plan at Parliament outlining goals for the coming three years, a
substantial part of the federal economic growth strategy relies on
economic immigration. 

For those who like cold hard numbers: Almost $430 million over 5
years will be spent on development and delivery of an
enterprise-wide digital platform that will gradually replace the
legacy Case Management System. This is Canada’s delivery on a
promise to revamp the system the Minister himself referred to as
“retro” so that it can position itself as a top
destination for global talent. Service Canada is to be a recipient
of nearly $50 million over 3 years in support of community-based
organizations in the provision of migrant worker-centric programs
and services (i.e., on-arrival orientation and assistance in
emergency and at-risk situations). IRCC will receive $55 million
over 3 years for employer audits, ensuring that temporary foreign
workers have appropriate wages and working conditions. Another $6
million will go to open work permit service delivery for vulnerable
workers; $15 million to support pilot programs for racialized
newcomer women and finally – welcome news to all who have had
to make this phone call – $74 million over 3 years to maintain
enhanced capacity and service standards within the Client Support
Center to ensure timely support by phone and email for inquiries
related to IRCC services.

In addition to this, we can expect proposed changes to the
governing Immigration legislation, the Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act
, which will aim to improve IRCC’s ability
to identify candidates who meet Canada’s labour market needs
and wish to become permanent residents through the Express Entry
system.

What these investments aim to do is rectify some of the damage
inflicted by COVID-19. Immigration creates jobs and continues to be
a key factor in Canada’s economic growth. However, the pandemic
has had a negative effect both on the economy, and the personal
circumstances of newcomers, particularly low wage workers, young
people, women, and racialized immigrants. The 2021 budget seems
aimed at the right points. On one hand, Canada is positioning
itself as the most desirable destination for immigration by
creating a modern and efficient immigration process. In many ways
however, that is the easiest part of the strategy. Ensuring that
the newcomers have the right circumstances in place to achieve
their best potential once they are here, is a much more challenging
objective. The current plan seems to be making moves in the right
direction on all counts.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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