Canada: Immigration target for 2017 set at 300,000 people
The government said the majority of those allowed into the country will be selected as economic immigrants. Photograph: (Reuters)
Canada on Monday said it would accept 30,000 immigrants into the country, setting the number as a new baseline for the admission of permanent residents.
The government said the majority of those allowed into the country will be selected as economic immigrants, news agency Reuters reported. Despite recommendations of increasing the number to help spur economic growth, the target remained unchanged from 2016's plan. It is, however, above the average of 259,542 immigrants admitted from 2011 to 2015.
Finance minister Bill Morneau's economic advisory council recently made a recommendation to increase Canada's annual immigration target to 450,000 over the next five years.
Immigration minister John McCallum agreed that more immigrants would be good policy but said the number was not conceivable for 2017. He told reporters that making the 300,000 target permanent laid the foundation for future immigration growth, reported Reuters.
"I do believe it is true that more immigrants for Canada would be a good policy for demographic reasons. That number is a conceivable number for some date in the future, but certainly not for 2017."
Canada's ageing population, similar to many developing countries, poses a challenge for economic growth.
The government said that the number of immigrants accepted under the economic category will rise from 160,000 this year to 172,500 next year. The number of refugee will decrease to 40,000 from 55,800.
(With inputs from Reuters)