12 February 2009
Canada may cut back immigration
The Conservatives are considering reduction in the Canadian immigration quota if the economy continues to slide, reports the National Post.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told reporters that the Canadian immigration programme needs to be reflexive to market conditions, and now unemployment is rising in tune with the weakening economy.
"We don't want people to be coming to Canada and facing unemployment," Kenney said Tuesday. "So, we need to be sensitive to a changing labour market, and if we need to make changes, we will."
The federal, provincial and territorial immigration officials will meet at the end of March to discuss the current financial data at all levels and how the Canadian immigration quota should be readjusted to meet the needs of the economy.
The immigration quota will remain at 265,000 permanent Canadian visas until the government makes it decisions next month.
The government has also been warned that maintaining high immigration would help rebuild the country after the economy starts growing again.
"We need to be flexible, prudent and ensure that our response to short-term conditions does not counter our long-term goals, in which immigration will play a significant role," Kenney said.
Kenney is hoping that the bleak outlook for Canada's economy this year would not deter people considering a move to Canada and that the country's social and lifestyle benefits and long-term economic prospects would far outweigh the current conditions and continue to lure skilled workers to fill interminable gaps in the workforce.
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