Newfoundland and Labrador are experiencing their largest population growth since the 1970s, however, this doesn’t align with their immigration outlook. According to a new report from Stats Canada, Newfoundland immigration numbers have not been great over the last 5 years.
Between 2016 and 2021, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the least growth through immigration in Atlantic Canada. They have only welcomed 0.3% of all landed immigrants in Canada in that time period. Out of 1.3 million new immigrants between 2016 and 2021, only 4000 of those immigrants have settled in Newfoundland and Labrador.
If you compare this to Atlantic Canada where the share of immigrants arriving has almost tripled, going from 1.2% to 3.5% since 2006.
Gerry Byrne who is the immigration, population growth and skills minister of Newfoundland has said that the report is actually an indicator of good news. It suggests bigger and better things to come for the province. In his opinion, the number of immigrants may be low compared to other provinces in the country, however comparing it with Newfoundlands and Labrador’s history, it’s a success.
The federal government has revealed plans for a massive increase in immigration in Canada. They’ve set a goal of welcoming 500,000 immigrants per year by 2025. This new increase in immigration has occurred in order to combat labor shortages around the country.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced these new plans on Tuesday putting a heavy emphasis on admitting more permanent residents with work-related skills. Also, family members and refugees are emphasized.
Fraser told the Canadian Press, “We have not seen such a focus on economic migration as we’ve seen in this immigration levels plan.”
This plan first begins in the year 2023. In 2023, the government wants to allow 465,000 people to come into the country. Then in the year 2025, this will rise to 500,000. In comparison, 405,000 permanent residents were admitted into Canada in 2022.
Most of these new immigrants will be “Economic immigrants”. They would be expected to fill the many empty jobs currently in the Canadian economy.
“There were a million jobs available in the Canadian economy at a time when immigration already accounts for nearly all of our labour force growth,” Minister Fraser said. ““We cannot maximize our economic potential if we don’t embrace immigration.”
After the federal government announced plans to increase immigration to 500,000 new immigrants yearly by 2025. Quebec premier Francios Legault upholds that Quebec cannot accept more than 50,000 immigrants annually.
Legault told reporters that the federal government needs to understand Quebec is facing a “special challenge” as they want to preserve the French language.
“Already at 400,000 there was a problem, so at 500,000 it’s even more so,” Legault said. “Already at 50,000, it is difficult to stop the decline of French.”
Quebec’s immigration agreement with Ottawa permits the province can welcome the percentage of newcomers into Quebec related to its demographic weight in the country. In Quebec’s case this would be 23%. This means that if Canada would accept 500,000 immigrants a year, Quebec could accept upto 115,000 immigrants that year.
Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that immigration done correctly can help address labour shortages in Quebec and that Ottawa would be there to help the province create more economic growth.
However the Quebec parliament seems to reject this notion. As Quebecs Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette said the province’s 50,000 number was firm.
“That will not change, no matter how many immigrants arrive elsewhere in Canada,” she told reporters.