Century Initiative issued the following statement in response to Minister Chrystia Freeland’s tabling of the 2022 federal budget titled, A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable:
Century Initiative welcomes several investments and commitments in the 2022 budget presented by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. It reflects the important role immigrants play in Canada and acknowledges the need to continue taking steps to attract, process, settle and integrate immigrants into Canada.
Canada’s birth rate is at its lowest in more than a century, making immigration all the more important to the country’s long-term prosperity. The government’s commitment to provide $385.7 million over five years, and $86.5 million ongoing, for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to facilitate the timely and efficient entry of a growing number of visitors, workers, and students is transformational and will give immigrants more support and pathways to success in today’s economy.
Key insights from our Second Annual National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity, released this week, note that immigration alone will not advance Canada’s long-term economic goals. Growing immigration must be accompanied by significant policy and systems changes. To that end, the Century Initiative applauds the government for the following investments that will close gaps in educational opportunity, employment, and infrastructure:
• $310.6 million over 5 years to support better student outcomes through a Regional Education Agreement with the First Nations Education Council, which includes 22 member communities in Quebec.
• $115 million over five years, with $30 million ongoing, to expand the Foreign Credential Recognition Program and help up to 11,000 internationally trained health care professionals per year get their credentials recognized and find work in their field.
• $4 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23, to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to launch a new Housing Accelerator Fund. This new fund will target the creation of 100,000 net new housing units over the next five years.
While there is much work to be done to achieve the goal of a bigger, bolder Canada, Budget 2022 signals a strong commitment from our government, and we look forward to working with them.