A recent summer meeting was held between Premiers of each province and territories across Canada at Victoria, British Columbia. The Council of Federation have suggested few recommendations to improve Canada’s immigration plans. They have emphasized the need to have more choice & flexibility from the Federal government in terms of choosing immigrants. 

The main concerns acknowledged were massive shortage of labor and a large part of work population entering retirement. Premiers or heads of the state in each province and territories have identified few needs. These include the need to recruit more foreign skills in the labor market so as to address the issue. In fact, many have even insisted for a Quebec style immigration system where the provinces will have about 90% say in selection of working class immigrants. 

“In the face of a historic labor shortage, we need more skilled workers to help fill the gap here in Ontario and across the country,” .

Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

Ontario Labor & Immigration Minister Monte McNaughton stated how the province was only able to select only 9700 immigration applications out of an actual demand of 18000. Moreover, the provincial heads also stressed on the importance of a faster processing of work permits.

Moreover, Premier John Horgan of British Columbia emphasized on a joint collaboration between the provinces and federal Government. This was important to develop & implement multi-lateral approaches to resolve growing economic demand of more settlement services in the provinces.

What are the Key Recommendations?

The premiers of each province & territory are involved in jurisdiction of Canada’s immigration policies along with the federal Government. They have put forward some key recommendations to improve Canada’s immigration plans and address economic needs:

Firstly, there is a need to optimize current Post Graduate Work Permit norms. This would allow international students pursue relevant jobs in the province and contribute to the local workforce requirements.

Secondly, there should be increased allocation of immigrant space in the provinces. This means provinces should be allowed to select more immigrants to meet their specific labor market needs.

Thirdly, IRCC should take measures to accelerate processing times of various immigration applications and address increasing inventory of growing application backlogs. 

In fact, the federal government has already started taking measures to improve government services, especially in immigration processing, by introducing a task force to recognize critical issues and form both long term and short term plans to resolve the same. 

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