In what may bring cheer to thousands of Indians, especially from Punjab, looking for greener pastures abroad, the Canadian Government is set to open its “floodgates” for immigrants, allowing up to 3,10,000 newcomers in 2018.
The total annual allowance of influx of new immigrants is planned to rise to 3,40,000 by the end of 2020, sources in the government have said.
The ambitious plan suiting the political agenda of Justin Trudeau-led Liberal government — supported by a large section of minorities like Punjabis, both Hindus and Sikhs — will be implemented with better preparation and integration than ever before.
The move is aimed at bringing in more workers, particularly in the skilled category, and professionals who can propel Canada’s economy amid burgeoning skilled manpower shortage and to meet the shortfall of workers in the labour market.
Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein has already cleared the air on the country’s manpower requirements and its plans to bring in more people from around the world by opening up doors to lakhs of applicants.
The maximum number of new settlers in the country comes from South Asia, particularly from Punjab (India) and China.
With 36.29 million people living in Canada in 2016, the proposed influx will almost be 1 per cent of the country’s overall population — the largest number of settlers allowed into the country since 1913, when nearly four lakh people had immigrated.
This year, the government plans to bring in around 3 lakh new immigrants or permanent residents. Of these, 58 per cent are will be professionals, skilled labourers and caregivers or nannies, while 28 per cent will be parents, children and grandparents. Refugees and other humanitarian cases will constitute 14 per cent of the total immigrants in 2017.
The proposed annual 3,00,000 arrivals will “normalise” the situation in respect to dwindling birth rate and ageing workforce of the country, Hussein has been quoted as saying.