July 13, 2018 - Winnipeg, MB — As immigration is a key economic driver that supports job growth, innovation and diversity across Canada, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Forum of Ministers Responsible for Immigration (FMRI) met today to discuss key priorities for building on the success of the immigration system.
Focusing on how Canada can grow its economy and strengthen its competitive advantage through immigration, Ministers noted that success will depend on a fast, flexible immigration system focused on a skilled and adaptable labour force. Ministers supported exploring the opportunity to collaborate on attraction, recruitment and retention efforts. Ministers discussed the importance of ensuring rural Canada benefits from increased immigration and the importance of increasing francophone immigration outside of Quebec.
Ministers also discussed the importance of highlighting the positive benefits of immigration to both our economies and communities.
Ministers placed emphasis on the need for improved labour market intelligence to ensure the immigration system responds to the rapidly changing labour market.
Ministers saw the opportunity for increased pathways to permanent residence for international students and temporary workers. Ministers also reviewed the implementation of the 2018-2020 multi-year levels plan during its first year and supported the need for an additional year for long-term forecasting to take us towards 1% of the Canadian population.
While the number of crossings has recently decreased, Ministers expressed willingness to work together to address the pressure of irregular migration, noting the importance of collaboration between the federal and provincial governments. Ministers agreed on the importance of coordinated and ongoing contingency planning and supports in order to reduce pressure on provinces and municipalities that receive the highest number of asylum seekers. In reviewing the findings from the independent review of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ministers discussed how to make the asylum system more efficient over the long-term.
Ministers stressed the importance of building on current co-planning efforts to strengthen collaboration across federal, provincial and territorial governments. This is essential to address unique integration needs across jurisdictions while ensuring that newcomers are successfully integrating socially and economically.
Reflecting on accomplishments, global migration trends, challenges and opportunities, Ministers discussed immigration priorities for a renewed strategy and action plan beyond 2019 to meet the FPT governments' shared objectives and priorities.
Note: As requested by the Government of Quebec, the Quebec Minister Responsible for Immigration holds observer status on the FPT Ministers' Table. Under the Canada-Québec Accord, Québec fully assumes sole responsibility for establishing immigration levels, and for the selection, francization and integration of immigrants. In areas under its responsibility, Québec develops its policies and programs, legislates, regulates and sets its own standards.
“Canada's immigration system is key to supporting our country's economic prosperity and to strengthening our national identity. I look forward to continued collaboration with my provincial and territorial colleagues to support orderly and fair migration, to keep Canada globally competitive by spurring innovation and economic growth, and to build more diverse and inclusive communities through the successful settlement and integration of newcomers.” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and federal co-chair of the Forum of Ministers responsible for Immigration.
“Canada's immigration system is successful by design, and our future economy depends upon our continued, co-ordinated efforts to attract and integrate talent from around the globe. Provinces and territories look forward to building on our discussions today on how, together, we can continue to grow our workforce, communities, and country.” Said Gilles LePage, Minister of Labour, Employment and Population Growth, New Brunswick and incoming provincial-territorial co-chair of the Forum of Ministers responsible for Immigration.
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada