The Canadian government is looking to add 400,000 new residents through immigration and refugees according to a recent statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Speaking to reporters in Hamilton, Ont. following the Liberals unveiling of the 2022 budget, Trudeau outlined his desire to continue record immigration levels in Canada.
Citing a decline in immigration due to the pandemic, the prime minister said “Obviously, two years almost in which Canada had closed its borders because of COVID-19 created challenges and backlogs and delays in getting in the labour force that we need, getting in the new Canadians that we need to build the future,” Trudeau said.
Despite the prime minister stating otherwise, Canada, while in the midst of the pandemic in 2021, set a new record for welcoming newcomers according to Trudeau's own Department of Immigration. The “historic achievement,” the department's Dec. 2021 press release says, “was particularly significant in the face of the pandemic’s many challenges.”
Canada added 401,000 new permanent residents last year.
In Hamilton, the Liberal leader said that “the Department of Immigration is working incredibly hard, with some of the most ambitious targets Canada has ever seen — over 400,000 new Canadians to be coming in this year.”
Trudeau also stated that the country is dealing with multiple refugee crises, adding that his government was “bringing in over 40,000 Afghan refugees” and was “responding to the humanitarian disaster that is Putin's illegal war in Ukraine.”
“We are working incredibly hard to make sure that we're continuing to welcome in families who will be successful, be able to contribute and grow our economy,” Trudeau said.
“I can assure you that Immigration and Citizenship Canada is pulling out all the stops to solve the challenges that our system is facing right now.”
To achieve the record immigration levels in 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said that it “added resources, embraced new technology and brought more processes online.”
“These changes are all permanent improvements to Canada's immigration system,” the department noted.