Source: Facebook

The federal government has announced a new plan to establish specific targets for how many temporary residents will be allowed into the country.

The target will first be introduced in September, but according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, it aims to reduce temporary residency from 6.2% to 5% of the total population within three years.

“Changes are needed to make the system more efficient and more sustainable,” said Miller on Thursday. 

“There should be an honest conversation about what the rise in international migration means for Canada as we plan ahead.”

Miller previously expressed concerns about Canada’s overreliance on temporary workers, calling current levels unsustainable.

Acknowledging regional variations in labour needs, Miller emphasized the importance of provincial and territorial participation in managing temporary resident intake. 

“Provinces and territories know their unique labour needs and capacity and need to assume responsibility for the people that they bring in as well,” said Miller.

Additionally, the government will review ongoing temporary residency programs to ensure they match labour market demands and prevent misuse.

Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault also announced limitations on the temporary foreign worker program. 

Starting May 1, 2024, the maximum proportion of temporary foreign workers allowed per business will decrease from 30% to 20%.

Exceptions will be made for critical sectors like healthcare and construction.

Boissonnault also announced new requirements for employers. Businesses will now be obligated to prioritize employing those seeking asylum who are already in Canada instead of hiring temporary foreign workers. 

Facing pressure to cut down on record-level immigration targets, the Liberals have taken several steps to adjust current immigration streams, such as reinstating the visa requirement for Mexican nationals to enter Canada by air.