04:19 GMT02 December 2020
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) - Canada is counting on increased immigration targets to boost the economic recovery following the novel coronavirus-induced downturn, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said in a statement.

    According to the minister, the plan is designed to address some of the "most acute labour shortages" and "keep Canada competitive on the world stage".

    "Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth", Mendicino said on Friday.

    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to increase immigration targets to 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023 up from 351,000 in 2021 and 361,000 in 2022 as part of the plan. The increased quotas will also offset the shortfalls produced by slowdowns during the peak of the pandemic.

    The plan will focus on economic immigration, with 60 percent of new permanent residents entering through skilled worker programs, and French-speaking candidates, the IRCC said.

    The plan also includes a provision to provide a pathway to permanent residency for asylum seekers, who worked on the front lines at long-term living facilities and other care centres during the peak of the pandemic, a point of contention for months, the statement said.

    economic growth, COVID-19, jobs, Canada, labor
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