Canadian Minister of Immigration, John McCallum, recently announced that the Canadian government hopes to attract more foreigners who wish to immigrate to Canada, although as housing prices are rising in Toronto and Vancouver, the government is hoping to lure them to other locations in the country. McCallum also mentioned that the aging population and labour market shortages are additional reasons to populate certain regions.
After a roundtable discussion with several stakeholders in Vancouver, British Columbia, McCallum said that the goal is to evenly spread immigrants out across country in order to avoid a pile up of immigrants in Vancouver and Toronto. He also acknowledged that there is a clear feeling in Canada that they need more foreigners to immigrate to Canada. The reason for this is that the country has an aging population that is rapidly nearing retirement age and Canada needs younger skilled workers in order to keep the Canadian economy strong.
McCallum however acknowledged there are limits to the to what the government can do to spread immigrants evenly across all regions, seeing as after they Immigrate to Canada and become permanent residents, they have the freedom to relocate to wherever they want under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He said that it is against the Constitution of Canada. When immigrants become permanent residents, the government cannot require them to stay anywhere. They have the right to live anywhere in Canada they wish to live.
McCallum pointed Chinese citizens who immigrate to Canada (both workers and students) out as a particular case. He recently returned from an official visit to Southeast Asia and China, during which he announced the Canadian government’s aim to open more visa offices in China. This will be a conscious effort to provide Chinese students, workers and tourists with the opportunity to immigrate to Canada. McCallum said that the Chinese is the biggest market in the world and Chinese visitors spend large amounts of money when traveling. Thus it would only be beneficial for the Canadian government to attract more Chinese citizens to Canada.
McCallum as the Canadian Minister of Immigration went on a trip to Beijing prior to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to China in September for the G20 summit.
McCallum added that the Canadian government has not yet made an official decision on the amount of immigrants they will propose for next year (2017), however he has made his desire to increase the overall number of foreigners who immigrate to Canada very clear. The government is expected to make an official announcement of the overall target number for 2017 in September, along with figures for 2018 and 2019.