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THE IMMIGRATION PLAN
Commitment to Immigration
The government remains committed to investing in Canada's economic and social development through immigration. A planning range of 210,000 to 235,000 is confirmed for 2002. Refugees will account for more than 10 percent of newcomers to Canada in that year. Skilled workers, business people and provincial or territorial nominees, together with their families, will again make up about 60 percent of the movement in 2002, and family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, slightly more than one-quarter (see appendices C and D).
This is consistent with the planning range announced earlier for 2002 and reaffirms the long-term objective of moving gradually to immigration levels of approximately one percent of Canada's population, while bearing in mind Canada's absorptive capacity. The skilled workers, business immigrants, family members and refugees who enter Canada through our immigration program are increasingly important to maintaining a strong and skilled labour force. These same people also strengthen Canada's social fabric and cultural diversity.
The government remains committed to investing in Canada's economic and social development through immigration.
Temporary residents are also a key element of Canada's growth. The immigration program provides for the temporary entry of skilled foreign workers and business people essential to economic development, foreign students drawn by the reputation of Canada's universities and colleges for excellence in education, research and training, and tourists eager to experience the many attractions of this country.
The commitment to immigration is inseparable from Canada's determination to deny access to those who pose criminal or security threats to Canada and other countries, and who might abuse immigrant, refugee or temporary entry programs for illicit and fraudulent ends. Investigation and interdiction abroad, screening at border and airport entry points, and removal activities in Canada are necessary adjuncts to an open immigration policy and the levels planning process.
Pursuant to immigration legislation, the Social Union Framework Agreement and federal/provincial/territorial immigration agreements, consultation is essential to immigration planning, and various federal/provincial/territorial forums exist to that end. In addition, as part of the Multi-year Planning Process, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the provinces and territories are working to establish a joint planning table to address common concerns and challenges related to immigration planning. Consultations with other parties who are increasingly interested in participating in immigration planning will continue.
The scope of the policies and procedures required to enhance public safety and security, and concomitant pressures on the fiscal framework, will have an important effect on future planning, as will the nature of migration flows in the coming years, and other program pressures. Given the current level of uncertainty, it would be premature to announce a planning range for 2003 at this time without further consideration and consultation to ensure that supports are in place to move to higher immigration levels.
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