Trudeau To Open ‘Pathway’ For Refugees To Fill Canadian Labour Gaps

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a joint press conference with US Preside
ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is expanding immigration even more, announcing that refugees will be brought over to fill gaps in Canada’s labour market, despite the country already growing by a million people last year.

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced this week that the Trudeau government would be opening a new “pathway” for even more immigration to Canada, with a focus on refugees who could fill gaps in the Canadian labour market.

“The people that we’re providing a second lease on life for humanitarian reasons, we can demonstrate to the world that they come up with an awful lot more than the contents of their suitcase,” Fraser said in a Toronto speech on Monday, the National Post newspaper reports.

The programme, which is set to see an estimated 2,000 refugees per year, will begin in the summer of this year and will be on top of Canada’s current refugee acceptance rate of around 50,000 per year. Applications are expected to be completed within around six months.

“I don’t think we have to take it as a given that we live in a world where refugee camps are something we accept as normal,” Fraser said and added, “The reality is if we do the right thing, we’re able to also serve our self-interest.”

Fraser announced earlier this year that he supported boosting Canada’s immigration rate to at least 500,000 per year by 2025, and while the country saw over 400,000 migrants arrive last year, just 62 per cent came as economic migrants, while many others were either refugees or family reunification.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Canada’s total population had increased by over a million people in 2022, with international immigration accounting for 95.6 per cent of the growth as permanent residents were added alongside international students and temporary foreign workers. The population growth numbers in 2022 are the largest in Canada’s history in a single year.

Along with the higher number of immigrants, the origins of immigrants have also largely changed in recent decades as Europeans now make up just 10 per cent of all newcomers, compared to Asians who make up 62 per cent of immigrants to Canada. Indian immigrants alone make up nearly a fifth of all immigrants to Canada.

Demographic shifts in Canada as a result of mass migration have led to around a quarter of the Canadian population now being born abroad.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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