OTTAWA – BUSINESS – The pandemic has disproportionately affected low-wage workers, young people, women and racialized Canadians.
“Canada’s immigration system is critical to supporting our economic recovery and building a stronger Canada for all. We want to make it easier for newcomers to come to Canada, and our immigration system needs to reflect that. Budget 2021 investments will help create a new online platform that is secure, user-friendly, and makes it easier than ever for the best and brightest from around the world to choose Canada. They will also support newcomers’ access to resources that will help them adjust to their lives in Canada and integrate more quickly. As such, Canada can better compete with its international partners and take advantage of the growth in global travel, when it is safe to do so,” states Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Last month, the government released a plan to support them in Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. This plan will ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians and that finishes the fight against COVID-19.
Immigrants create jobs, help to drive economic growth and will play an important part in Canada’s recovery. Today, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, met with the Canadian Club of Ottawa to highlight immigration investments from Budget 2021.
Through these investments, Canada will draw even more talented, highly skilled people to Canada, including international students. The investments will support an immigration system that is easier to navigate, and more efficient in welcoming the dynamic new Canadians who add to Canada’s strength.
That is why Budget 2021 is promising improvements to immigration that
· deliver a modern immigration processing platform
· support racialized newcomer women
· enhance the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
· accelerate pathways to permanent residence
· streamline Express Entry, and
· enhance capacity and service standards within the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Client Support Centre
IRCC has already made strides in improving our technology, by digitizing more of our operations and increasing the amount of processing happening virtually. Building on this progress, Budget 2021 gives us the means to further modernize our digital infrastructure to create a secure, stable and flexible enterprise-wide digital platform to accelerate application processing and help Canada remain a destination of choice.
Altogether, the investments in Budget 2021 will support an immigration system that is more client-focused, streamlined and geared towards making it simpler for talented individuals to establish themselves in Canada.
· Key measures to support immigration in Budget 2021 include:
o $428.9 million over 5 years, with $398.5 million in remaining amortization, starting in 2021‒2022, to develop and deliver an enterprise-wide digital platform that would gradually replace the legacy Global Case Management System. This will enable improved application processing and support for applicants, beginning in 2023.
o $49.5 million over 3 years, starting in 2021‒2022, to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), to support community-based organizations in the provision of migrant worker-centric programs and services, such as on-arrival orientation services and assistance in emergency and at-risk situations, through the new Migrant Worker Support Program.
o $54.9 million over 3 years, starting in 2021‒2022, to ESDC and IRCC, to increase inspections of employers and ensure temporary foreign workers have appropriate working conditions and wages.
o $6.3 million over 3 years, starting in 2021‒2022, to IRCC, to support faster processing and improved service delivery of open work permits for vulnerable workers, which helps migrant workers in situations of abuse find a new job.
o $15 million over 2 years, starting in 2021‒2022, to IRCC to extend the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot initiative, which will continue to improve their employment outcomes and career advancement.
o $74 million over 3 years, starting in 2021‒2022, to maintain enhanced capacity and service standards within the Client Support Center—ensuring timely support by phone and email for inquiries related to the suite of services offered by the department, particularly permanent resident applications.
· Furthermore, the Government of Canada intends to propose amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to better tap candidates that meet Canada’s labour market needs from among the pool of candidates who wish to become permanent residents through the Express Entry system.