Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, has announced plans to welcome more than one million foreign workers over the next three years, to respond to the country's economic needs.
The plan, dubbed Growing Canada's Economic Future, hopes to combat the problem of a dwindling workforce and an aging population, the minister explained at a recent press conference.
In 2017, the country aims to grant permanent residence to 310,000 foreign workers for the following year, followed by 330,000 in 2019 then 340,000 in 2020. Canada has long been a highly desirable destination with a current population of around 35 million. From 2011 to 2015, an average of 259,542 people were granted permanent citizenship.
In 2017, the number of immigrants admitted under the 'economic category' – meaning skilled workers, business people and caregivers – increased to 172,500 from 160,600. This new plan hopes to boost the country's skilled worker numbers and also to reunite estranged refugee families.
According to a National Bank of Canada analysis of Statistics Canada data, immigration now accounts for three-quarters of Canada's population growth, the Huffington Post reports.
The news comes just after Donald Trump capped US immigration to a historic low of 45,000 for 2018, compared to Obama's 110,000 cap for 2016. Here's a little taste of what the new Canadian residents will be in for: