Government wants feedback on immigration plan

By Gerald V. Paul

Citizenship, Immigration and Multicultural Minister Jason Kenney has announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched online consultations for public input on immigration levels and mix on Friday.

“Given the importance of immigration to our economic growth and long-term prosperity, we are especially keen to hear the views of Canadians as we prepare for years ahead,” said Kenney.

The Minister added that the government wants public feedback on the appropriate level of immigration for Canada and most suitable mix among economic, family, and refugee and humanitarian classes. Participants will also be asked for their views on the increasing role of economic immigration in supporting Canada’s future prosperity and the government’s move toward a faster and more flexible immigration system.

In planning for the total number of people to admit as new permanent residents each year, the government said it must not only balance its immigration objectives, but also consider broader government commitments, input from provinces and territories, and current economic conditions. In addition, the government must take into account CIC’s operational ability to process applications in a timely manner, as well as the capacity of Canadian communities to welcome newcomers.

These consultations present an opportunity to raise greater public awareness of the difficult decisions involved in managing a global immigration system. There are competing visions and diverging goals for the future of the immigration programme. There are competing visions and diverging goals for the future of the immigration programme. Engaging stakeholders and the broader public is key to CIC ‘s development of an overall strategy for Canada moving forward.

Invited stakeholders represent a variety of perspectives, including those of employers, labour academia, learning institutions, professional organizations, business organizations, regulatory bodies, municipalities, Aboriginal groups, settlement provider organizations and ethnocultural organizations.

The online consultations are open for input until August 31, 2013.

Parliamentary Secretary Rick Dykstra begun a series of cross-country consultations with stakeholders on Friday in Mississauga.