Written by
Lisa Lalande
Chief Executive Officer
Century Initiative

Statement by Century Initiative in Response to the New Immigration Levels Plan

October 30, 2020

Toronto, October 30, 2020 – The Century Initiative issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement from the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship on Canada’s (IRCC) new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.

Immigration is essential to Canada’s long-term economic prosperity, diversity, resilience and influence. Our current birth rate is well below the level required to replace our aging population, which means that increasing the number of immigrants to Canada is a vital path to economic growth and well-being, particularly in context of the deep challenges we face as a country as a result of Covid-19.

Given this, we applaud the Government’s ambitious new immigration targets announced in today’s 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan. These targets include permanent resident admissions of 401,000 in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. These figures are up from previous targets of 351,000 new permanent residents in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022, representing a significant increase.

Century Initiative has been pleased to participate in consultations with government on immigration levels over this past year including a fall 2020 ministerial roundtable on immigration levels. Through this recent dialogue with government and its broader engagement, Century Initiative has consistently highlighted the importance of increased immigration to Canada’s long-term prosperity. Today’s announcement will have positive implications for the country for years to come.

In addition to meeting our immigration plan targets, Canada must also develop plans to ensure we are attracting people with the talent and skills required to help fill some of our most pressing labour market needs. Today’s announced plan will help to build upon Canada’s strong economic immigration record and its recognition of the importance of family reunification and refugee resettlement.

Century Initiative has emphasized the high level of potential that lies in increasing pathways to permanent immigration for temporary residents already in Canada who are familiar with the country and its communities, including international students and temporary foreign workers. We are encouraged by reports today that Canada will move in the direction of increasing these pathways to help achieve its new immigration targets.

As Canada’s leading voice on smart population growth, Century Initiative continues to advocate not just for increasing our population, but for policies to support that growth through investments in education and in the national and urban infrastructure that will allow our communities to grow in a sustainable manner. We also need to prioritize supporting parents with a national childcare strategy, and our children with early education programs.

Now is the right time to invest in growing our population. Environics Institute’s recent Focus Canada survey shows that a record two-thirds (66%) of Canadians reject the idea that immigration levels are too high, and that Canadians recognize the critical contribution immigrants make to our economy and our social fabric. We have a tremendous opportunity before us and welcome the opportunity to continue working with government to seize it in the interest of future generations of Canadians.

About Century Initiative

Century Initiative is a national, non-partisan charity with a mission to enhance Canada’s long-term prosperity, resiliency and global influence by responsibly growing the population of Canada to 100 million by 2100. Century Initiative delivers its mission by leading, enabling and partnering on initiatives that support long-term thinking and planning in immigration, urban development, employment and entrepreneurship, early childhood supports, and education.  The Century Initiative is concerned about our future and believes a bigger, bolder Canada benefits us all.