Liberal immigration minister Sean Fraser has introduced the government’s 2022-2024 Immigration Levels Plan, announcing that Canada will increase immigration to 1.14% of the Canadian population by 2024, or approximately 451,000 people.

In comparison, Canada accepted more than 405,000 new permanent residents in 2021, the most in a single year in Canadian history.

The ministry said that it would develop a long-term focus on economic growth, with about 60% of admissions in the economic class. 

“We are focused on economic recovery, and immigration is the key to getting there,” said Fraser in a press release on Monday. “Setting bold new immigration targets, as outlined in the 2022-2024 Levels Plan, will further help bring the immeasurable contribution of immigrants to our communities and across all sectors of the economy.”

Statistics Canada reported that unfilled jobs surpassed one million in November. This number represents 6% of all jobs, a vacancy rate that is up from as low as 3% in December 2020. 

Immigration accounts for close to 100% of labour force growth, according to the press release. It went on to say that with 5 million Canadians set to retire by the end of this decade, the worker to retiree ratio would drop to 3:1. 

About 39% of Canadians said that Canada’s current immigration levels are too high, according to a poll done by the Angus Reid Institute last June. 

The poll suggested 22% of Canadians believe the number of people the Liberals wanted to immigrate to Canada was “far too many” and that the “number should be way lower.” An additional 17% called the target “too many.”

In addition, 34% of respondents said that immigration targets were “about right.” About 13% of them wanted to raise levels, 8% claimed the targets were “too few” and 5% responded that “the number should be way higher.”