Canada aims to set temporary resident targets for the first time this fall


Published March 21, 2024 at 1:51 pm

canada temporary resident targets
Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, waits to appear before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration related to a briefing on temporary immigration measures in response to ongoing conflicts in Sudan and Gaza in the Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

For the first time, Canada will set targets for the number of new temporary resident arrivals to the country, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced Thursday.

The federal government plans to decrease the number of temporary residents to five per cent of the population over the next three years, down from the current 6.2 per cent.

The first targets will be set in September.

Canada has seen a sharp increase in the number of temporary residents coming in each year, with Miller saying in the past that the country has become “addicted” to temporary workers.

“Changes are needed to make the system more efficient and more sustainable,” Miller told a news conference.

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

Miller said he’ll convene a meeting of provincial, territorial and federal ministers in May to talk about how the levels should be set.

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

Miller has also asked his department to review existing programs that bring in temporary residents so as to better align them with labour needs and weed out abuse in the system.

The government is also moving to reduce the number of workers entering Canada in certain sectors as of May 1.

Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault said businesses that are currently allowed to have up to 30 per cent of their workforce come through the temporary foreign worker program will have that proportion drop to 20 per cent.

The health care and construction sectors will be exempted from the change.

Boissonnault said the government is also requiring employers to consider asylum seekers with valid work permits for open jobs before they can apply for temporary foreign workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2024.

This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the government plans to decrease the temporary resident population by five per cent over the next three years.

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