Managing Canada’s Labour Market Needs in the 21st Century

Canada is experiencing its worst labour shortage in over 30 years. While immigration is often seen as a partial solution to the labour deficit, Canada faces serious challenges in facilitating the entry of people in a timely fashion. Even at current targets of processing approximately 265,000 permanent immigrants into Canada each year, the backlog in the Federal immigration program is approximately 900,000 people. The backlog of skilled worker applicants has been building for years. Temporary workers face obstacles in obtaining the necessary approval to come to Canada, in part because service delivery of our immigration program is fragmented between three separate government departments with overlapping, different, or conflicting priorities and objectives which lead to confusion and delay. These government departments must co-ordinate their efforts and priorities — or merge — to facilitate rather than restrict temporary migration flows.

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