The recent announcement by federal Immigration minister Marco Mendicino that the government of Canada will welcome 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years is welcome news not only for employers seeking skilled labour for their businesses but also those citizens and permanent residents who wish to bring spouses and parents to Canada from abroad. If the government meets its ambitious objectives it will be the highest number of newcomers to Canada since 1911.

During the past few years pre-dating the COVID-19, the number of newcomers to Canada averaged around 340,000 under the Trudeau government, an increase from the roughly 250,000 welcomed every year under the previous government. While this number dropped substantially to 128,000 in 2020 through August due to the pandemic, the federal government is setting this objective within the context of an economic recovery sometime in 2021.

Of the roughly 400,000 newcomers it hopes to welcome – roughly 230,000 will be in the economic or skilled worker category, 105,000 will be in the family sponsorship category primarily related to parents or spouses and children, 60,000 will be in the refugee / asylum category, and 5000 in the humanitarian & compassionate category.

While the positive news is spread all around by this announcement, this is especially good news for employers who will have access to more skilled labour through an expansion of those approved for immigration through the express entry or provincial nominee categories, as well as those Canadians or permanent residents who wish to have their parents join them permanently in Canada.

These two categories in particular (skilled workers and parents) have been significantly bottlenecked over the past decade either by lengthy wait times due to fixed number of admission under the previous government, or by being unable to receive an invitation to apply due to fixed numbers under the current government. This news will hopefully open the doors to more qualified skilled workers as well as eligible spouses and parents to enter the country legally over the next several years.