Home Economy Canada’s immigration plan aims to attract new arrivals to work

Canada’s immigration plan aims to attract new arrivals to work

by SuperiorInvest

Minister promises system that will allow newcomers to use their skills while filling Canada’s real workforce gaps

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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said changes to Canada’s immigration program next year will rebalance “the most powerful system of economic migration” in the world to help hospitals, builders and other employers address chronic labor shortages, as opposed to focusing mainly on “high qualified workers”. .”

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Fraser has revealed that it plans to introduce new selection tools early this month unveiling Canada’s new immigration plan, under which the government wants to accept a record 1.45 million newcomers in the next three years. This is related to a change in the rules implemented within the express procurement system through the Budget Implementation Act, which was adopted in the Chamber of Deputies in June.

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“This is a completely different approach than what has historically been the case, where people with the highest scores in the system were simply drawn, regardless of what sector they will be working in or what region they are destined for,” Fraser said in a November 23 interview.

The new selection tools will allow Fraser and future ministers to select immigrants to fill job gaps in specific sectors and regions. For example, Fraser said he may now be considering applications to address New Brunswick’s shortage of French language teachers, Nova Scotia’s chronic nursing shortage or Ontario’s ongoing problem of finding enough carpenters.

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Economists and business associations mostly praised Ottawa’s commitment to using immigration to address the labor crisis, as employers entered the summer with a record one million job openings, according to Statistics Canada.

Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada, he said earlier this month that if Canada’s labor force were larger, it probably wouldn’t have to raise interest rates as aggressively as it did this year to keep inflation down. That’s because the shortage puts upward pressure on wages and prevents firms from keeping up with demand.

The problem is bigger than volume. While tech companies generally praise Ottawa’s immigration efforts, other industries complain that the government has become too enamored with recruiting coders and software engineers. At the same time, non-technical immigrants who make it to Canada struggle to have their skills recognized by various professional associations, which hurts productivity because workers cannot reach their full potential.

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Fraser promised to fix both problems.

“The idea that we have neurosurgeons and dentists working as taxi drivers is unacceptable,” the minister said. “It’s really frustrating for me when I meet talented people who have come to Canada but are not able to contribute to their full potential.”

One of the professions most in need of workers is home builders, who according to BuildForce Canada, the national organization representing all sectors of the construction industry, are in high demand. The Ontario government said last month the province will need about 100,000 more construction workers this decade to meet its goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031.

An argument against increased levels of immigration is the pressure that the influx of people could put on cities that already lack housing stock. Critics say it has increased targets should be consistent with infrastructure plans ensure that the necessary services are available to accommodate everyone.

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Fraser points out that hiring more construction workers can help speed up the construction of more homes, describing trades labor shortages as the “biggest obstacle” to more supply.

A new Canadian attends a citizenship ceremony in Vancouver.  The new selection tools will allow Canadian officials to select immigrants to fill job gaps in specific industries and regions.
A new Canadian attends a citizenship ceremony in Vancouver. The new selection tools will allow Canadian officials to select immigrants to fill job gaps in specific industries and regions. Photo by Darryl Dyck /THE CANADIAN PRESS

When asked about specific plans on the road map that links immigration to Canadian housing growth in the near future, the minister said that would be revealed by the Department of Housing and that he did not want to “broadcast decisions” that the government had not formally made. published so far.

There is a risk that concerns about whether communities can handle a surge in new arrivals will test favorable attitudes to immigration. A survey conducted by researchers Leger and the Canadian Studies Association Two weeks after the government’s immigration plan was released, 1,537 Canadians said about 75 per cent were either somewhat or very concerned about the impact of the increased targets on the housing sector, which has seen prices rise sharply over the past three years, and social services.

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survey conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research however, ahead of the release of the new immigration plan, it said 85 percent of its respondents believed welcoming newcomers would lead to economic benefits, the group’s highest number in 30 years.

Fraser, who has seen schools and mental health units close in his home province of Nova Scotia due to depopulation, said he believes most Canadians support immigration.

“I’ve seen a number of different polls that indicate different results,” Fraser said. “Despite the fact that we must continue to keep a close eye on things like housing and the capacity of our … public services, we must also recognize that the continued growth of our services has very real and serious economic and demographic consequences. population.”

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Fraser added that in addition to the housing and healthcare sectors, technology firms were “singing the same song” that they needed more work. “There is no technology company in this country that I’ve talked to that is ready to grow and that has access to all the talent they need to grow,” Fraser said.

In addition to addressing labor shortages, the minister pointed out that there are only three workers for every retiree today, compared to seven roughly 50 years ago, a number that is likely to drop if Canada does not pursue growth through immigration.

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To be sure, that argument is disputed by some economists, including Mikal Skuterud, a professor at the University of Waterloo, who said the number of retirements has an impact on labor pools. was “overplayed” and that the impact of aging was more of a trend line that led to tighter market conditions than a sudden glut of gray-haired workers leaving the workforce in droves. According to Skuterud, immigration is an effective way to dampen nominal wage growth so that the pace of wages does not accelerate too quickly and start a wage-price spiral.

But Fraser said there was an urgent need to embrace immigration at a macro level across the economy. “Tthe cost to the Canadian economy of choosing not to fill these vacancies is huge,” he said.

• By e-mail: nkarim@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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