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Canada aims to welcome 285,000 new permanent residents in 2015

Canada to open the door wider to ‘higher calibre’ immigrants

JOE FRIESEN

The Globe and Mail

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The Conservative government plans to increase immigration levels significantly as it heads into an election year in 2015.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said on Friday that Canada aims to welcome as many as 285,000 new permanent residents next year, which is the highest planned total “in recent history,” according to the Minister.

The last time Canada admitted as many as 280,000 permanent residents was in 2010. A greater proportion, nearly 65 per cent of all admissions, will be economic immigrants and their dependents. That’s up from a target of 62 per cent in the planning for 2013 levels. Mr. Alexander said the goal reflects the government’s view that immigration is crucial to Canada’s economic prosperity.

“We are recruiting a higher calibre of economic immigrant than we have ever seen before,” Mr. Alexander said. “This [increase in the proportion of economic immigrants] is a goal we’ve had for some time. Many provinces already have 70 per cent economic immigration; that’s the aspiration Canada has as well.”

The hike in immigration levels comes at the same time that the government will be introducing a system known as express entry to select skilled workers, who make up the largest chunk of Canada’s immigration streams. The target range for 2015 is between 260,000 and 285,000 new permanent residents, as tabled in the government’s annual immigration plan.

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