On November 1, 2010 the Federal Government announced its 2011 immigration plan.
The Government confirmed that high levels of legal immigration will need to be maintained to help sustain the economic recovery. As a result of Canada’s aging demographic and low birth rates, we will require immigration to maintain our labour force growth.
Despite the Government’s announcement it would not be prudent for Canadian employers to believe that they will be able to meet their work force needs from within Canada, even if you include the 240,000-265,000 new immigrants estimated to come to Canada in 2011. One of the highlights of the announcement is an increased emphasis on the family category of immigration, as well as an increase in refugee resettlement.
Furthermore, on June 26th of this year the Government pared back the number of professions/occupations eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (unless an applicant has arranged employment according to certain criteria) from 36 to 29. As well, they capped Federal Skilled Worker applications over the next 12 months to 20,000. Finally, they also placed a cap of 1,000 per eligible profession/occupation to be considered for processing each year.
It seems readily apparent that Canadian employers will increasingly have to look to temporary foreign workers to meet their labour needs, both skilled and unskilled, and to subsequently offer full-time indeterminate job offers to those they wish to retain permanently to facilitate their immigration. On a more positive note, the percentage of economic immigrants who settle in the less populated provinces, such as Alberta, has more then doubled since 1997.