The Canadian immigration system, although not perfect, is often cited as an example around the world. As I’ve said many times in the past year, the pandemic has truly changed our lives. But the pandemic has also reinforced a fact about Canada: Immigration is essential to its economic growth, and vital to our future.
Critical workers, including health care workers, have been on the front lines of the pandemic. They saved lives, and thanks to them, Canadian families had access to basic necessities.
Whether it is taking care of our elderly people or producing our own food, the role they play is vital. Many of the people who have rolled up their sleeves to play these vital roles are immigrants and ambitious Canadians.
After several difficult months, we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As our country begins to emerge from the grip of COVID-19 and prepares for an economic recovery, we must do more for those who have given so much.
Earlier this year, it announced a new permanent residency pathway for up to 90,000 essential workers and international students who recently graduated from a Canadian educational institution currently in Canada. Due to travel restrictions, we make the most of talented people who are already within our borders. The scale, speed and scope of this initiative are unprecedented.
Another unprecedented fact is that this access path has three components intended for French-speaking and bilingual newcomers – components that have no candidate limits. We know that immigration is essential to the vitality of our Francophone communities and that the increase in Francophone immigration helps ensure the survival of the French language in Canada.
The Acadian community in Atlantic Canada is ancient and unique. The influence of its culture was felt from north to south of the Atlantic coast of North America, and it has survived displacement and political challenges over the centuries. The support offered to French-speaking newcomers will further strengthen the Acadian community today and into the future. Helping Francophone communities thrive economically, socially and culturally contributes to all of Canada.
Much has changed in the past year, but immigration is more important than ever to Canada’s short-term recovery and long-term prosperity. What initially constituted temporary changes to sustain the economy fueled the emergence of an entirely new way of looking at immigration to Canada.
Until November 5, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accept applications from French-speaking or bilingual candidates who intend to live outside Quebec, under three components: those for temporary health care workers, and those for temporary health care workers. Other Selected Essential Occupations, and for international students who have graduated from a Canadian educational institution.
Marco Il Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
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