Population grows in Canada as gov’t imposes limit on some skilled visas

by Ray Clancy on July 2, 2010

Canada’s population is above 34 million for the first time ever with some two thirds of the growth down to new arrivals.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that the country’s population was 34,019,000 on April 1, an increase of 88,000 people since it last counted on January 1. But the growth rate of expats has slowed compared to previous years.

All provinces saw an increase in their population in the first three months of this year, except Nova Scotia. British Columbia saw the highest growth in population and there were large increases in the western provinces with Saskatchewan reporting its biggest quarterly population increase since 1972.

At the same time it has been revealed that Canada’s 2010 immigration plan will put even greater emphasis on economic recovery and reducing the federal skilled worker backlog but limits are being put on applications.

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced changes to the Federal Canadian Skilled Worker Visa. ‘As we recover from the recession, increasing economic immigration will help ensure employers have the workers they need to supplement our domestic labour supply,’ he said. The planned Canadian immigration range for 2010 is 240,000 to 265,000.

As more applications though are received than can be processed in a timely way, the department is limiting the number of new applications it will consider in the federal skilled worker category every year.

‘Canada will continue to welcome historically high numbers of immigrants, but we need to manage the number of new applications or risk creating new backlogs and longer processing times,’ Kenney explained.

‘We have more than enough applications on hand now to fill many of our needs, and we want to be fair to those people who have been waiting the longest,’ he added.

The main change is that to be eligible to apply as a federal skilled worker, applicants must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 occupations on the Priority Occupation List which includes business services, architects, GPs, pharmacists, nurses, biologists, plumbers, chefs and cooks.

Applications under the Priority Occupation List are being limited to 20,000 per year with a maximum of 1,000 per occupation. Also all federal skilled worker and Canadian Experience Class applicants must submit the results of an independent language test before they will be considered.

The changes are designed to allow the government to keep the intake of applications for economic immigration in line with the number and types of jobs available as well as providing timely processing times for migrants.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

dave July 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm

"Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister" – Canada has a disaster in the making. Liberals make policy, but never live with the consequences. How many government ministers live in areas where immigrants are settling, and coincidentally have high crime? None.

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Miss.Vicky July 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I think that its pretty messed up that my family and I were all born and Raised in Canada, yet we have trouble finding jobs (even though we are educated) and to get our education we had to pay for every cent of it on our own, yet immigrants get free education ect. Its pretty sad that the U.S.A is trying to find a way for me to attend college since the Canadian government doesn't have the DECENCY to help me out. and we struggle from day to day yet the Canadian government is allowing so many immigrants into the country… THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE CARE OF ITS OWN CITIZENS BEFORE BRINGING MORE PEOPLE INTO THE COUNTRY end of story.

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Derrick Davies January 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I agree with yo.,We are immigrants from the UK,we came here 8 years ago under the skilled worker programme.We have only just got our permnament residence cards,although my eldest son is still waiting.We spent the best part of $25,000 on immigration to this country,fees,permits etc.Most Canadians think its easy for immigrants here,how wrong can they be.
If I knew when I started it would take so long and cost so much we would n ot of come to Canada.The Canadian government make it extremely difficult for immigrants to come here.If you are a refugee with no money and no money its easier to get in.We also had to pay for our childrens education and a lot of healthcare costs,dont be fooled that immigrants get it easy.

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