Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assigned the twin tasks to Marco Mendicino, the Immigration Minister. These are Management of a million new arrivals seeking permanent residents as well as creating a fresh Municipal Nominee Program.
Well Defined Responsibilities
The responsibilities were outlined in the Mandate Letter that was published by the federal government. Moreover, it is aligned to the policies of the Liberal Party during its mandate pursued between 2015 and 2019. The major aspects of the Letter call the minister to:
Ensure that there is effective implementation of Immigration Levels Plan for the future, of attracting a million permanent residents to Canada in the next three years. The recent trends show that, the federal government will increase the fresh permanent residents by 10,000 in 2022.
The target would be:
• 341,000 in 2020,
• 350,000 in 2021, and
• 360,000 in 2022
He will need to work with the territories and provinces and focus on delivering top quality settlement services for new Canadians. There is a need for a rigorous approach about the facts to measure the results accurately.
Canada Offers a Sound Investment Policy
Canada has a sound investment policy for settlement and integration support. This helps the immigrants to prepare well for the labor market, and also to improve the language skills, and build a community connection thereby integrating into the society. The federal government spends $1.5 billion each year, and there is also a sizable spending by the provinces/territories.
Canada also has to find the effective settlement programs to help the immigrants to flourish in it.
Also, the introduction of the Municipal Nominee program will permit chambers of commerce, local communities, and the Local Labor Councils to sponsor permanent immigrants directly. 5,000 new places will be reserved for the program. Its creation is an election promise to address a very old challenge of providing Encouragement to immigrants and settle them outside Ottawa, Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.
The Broader Goal
This will help small cities, and give them the selection powers, to such programs, that were successful for less populated jurisdictions, in attracting many immigrants, like the Provincial Nominee Programs, as well as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. 5,000 new places will be reserved for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot. This Pilot was successful to attract immigrants in the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and also in New Brunswick. So far 4000 immigrants have arrived through it.
Bringing a plan for eliminating citizenship fees for the people fulfilling the obtaining requirements
The citizenship application fee in Canada is high, and the federal government proposes to waive it entirely. A government forecast, states that there will be a 40 percent increase in the number of immigrants who gain citizenship by 2024.
Irregular Migration and Associated issues
Offer Support to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness dealing with the issue of irregular migration, a new Strategy for Border Enforcement and coordination with the USA to modernize the Safe Third Country Agreement.
The Safe Third Country Agreement posed a major annoyance to the Liberals in the first term. After 2017, 50,000 civilians have used ambiguity in it to claim asylum after crossing over to Canada away from the border crossings that are covered in this Agreement. Closing it, as well as modernizing the STCA, is important for Canada.
Taking the support of the Minister for Women there is a need to work in implementing Pilot Programming and encourage newcomers in settling in the rural areas of the country.
This indicates that the federal government is exploring the chance to launch more pilot programs with an aim of increasing immigration away from the large cities.
Besides PNPs there is AIP, MNP, and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot for promoting regionalization and distribution of immigrants in the country.
There were a few omissions like no mention of the Parents and Grandparents Program.
At the federal level the government had a policy of welcoming entrepreneurs and investors but presently it is lagging behind the provinces and territories in this. There is a need to Launch fresh pilots and welcome entrepreneurs and investors in a big way.
Finally seeing the past changes in immigration one can expect that the government will introduce some further improvements as assigned in this Mandate Letter.
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