Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Monday that the Trudeau government is planning on radically increasing the number of immigrants arriving to Canada annually in 2021, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
"In 2021 we plan to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents," Mendicino declared before the Commons Immigration Committee.
The number is a 117 percent increase from 2020, during which 184,370 immigrants found a new home in Canada. It is also substantially larger than the 351,000 immigrants Mendicino had last year said the government will accept into the country in 2021.
However, the 2020 numbers were much lower than the Trudeau government's target of 341,000 that year.
"There is no doubt the pandemic upended global migration," Mendicino said. "That is true not only in Canada but around the world."
While some may question the viability of raising immigration levels during an economic crisis, especially given that Canada usually lowers immigration levels in tough economic times, Mendicino assured that "at the very core of our immigration plan is our belief that those who possess the skills and experience will accelerate our economic recovery."
Research conducted by Mendicino's office reveals that Canadians are not overly keen on increasing immigration levels at the moment. When asked for their opinions on the statement "it will be difficult for our economy to absorb many immigrants in the next year," 50 percent of Canadians agreed.
The study, released on Jan 26, also revealed that very few Canadians believe immigration levels to be too low. The study additionally noted that even Canadians who are usually pro-immigration are concerned about accepting more immigrants during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Over half of Canadians think immigration should be reduced during the pandemic while over a quarter said it should be cut in half.
Mendicino's office has allocated $3.25 billion towards increasing immigration levels, with Mendicino saying that the "funding will be put to good use as we advance our ambitious level objectives to accelerate our economic recovery."