The Liberal government has announced plans to allow half a million new immigrants into Canada annually by 2025. 

On Tuesday, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada released the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan detailing how Canada hopes to achieve the target. 

By next year, the Liberals hope to welcome 465,000 new immigrants. That target will rise to 485,000 by 2024 and 500,000 the year after.

“Last year, we welcomed the most newcomers in a single year in our history,” said Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser in a press release. 

“This year’s immigration levels plan will help businesses find the workers they need, set Canada on a path that will contribute to our long-term success, and allow us to make good on key commitments to vulnerable people fleeing violence, war and persecution.”

The plan claims to have economic growth at its forefront while also targeting labour shortages in critical areas like health care. Immigration streams are also targeting rural and under-settled areas like northern and Atlantic Canada. 

Quebec’s Minister of Immigration Christine Frechette responded to the targets on Twitter, saying that her government requires more control over immigration powers in order to protect the French language. 

“We reaffirm that it is up to Quebec to determine its permanent immigration targets. The annual threshold in Quebec is 50,000 in order to respect our reception, francization and integration capacity,” wrote Frechette in a French tweet which has since been translated into English. 

“Our position remains the same: we need more powers in immigration if we want to protect French.” 

Ottawa’s insistence to allow asylum claimants to cross into Canada illegally via Roxham Road and other crossings has caused tension with the Quebec government in recent months. 

In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government signed off on a plan requested by Quebec to ship Roxham Road migrants into Ontario cities after Quebec pleaded with Ottawa to alleviate pressures caused by the situation. 

Last week, Statistics Canada’s 2021 Census results showed that immigrants now made up the largest share of the population since the country’s founding. As of last year, 23% of the population were immigrants. 

The development now makes Canada the top G7 country when it comes to percentage of the population who are immigrants. 

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