The business leaders of New Brunswick, in a press conference held the other day, urged the party which gets to form the next Canadian federal government, to boost immigration. Speaking at the press conference, Alex LeBlanc, chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Business Council, said, “Whichever party forms the government must prioritize policies and investments that enable businesses to access talent and capital they need to recover and grow.”
Ahead of the elections, they have made three demands related to immigration. First of all, they have urged Ottawa to allocate enough immigration spaces to bring in 10000 new immigrants to the province by 2024, with 30 percent of them being francophones. Secondly, they want the federal government to simplify and speed up the overall process of immigration, with an emphasis on streamlining and accelerating pathways for international students. Thirdly, they want the federal government to pump in more money towards settlement services so that immigrants who arrive in New Brunswick stay there and settle down.
New Brunswick immigration
New Brunswick, which is a maritime province in the east coast of Canada, is facing serious labour shortage, especially after the pandemic. Overall, economic immigration to the province has fallen down by almost 52.7 per cent in 2020 owing to the impact of the pandemic. In June this year, many contractors in the province had to turn down works owing to the shortage of skilled labourers.
Despite the current shortage of skilled labour, the economic impact of the pandemic was much less on New Brunswick in 2020, compared to other Canadian provinces. The GDP fell only by 3 percent as the province was successful in keeping COVID-19 cases down.
The six business groups who are asking the government to boost immigration are:
- Le Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick
- New Brunswick Business Council
- Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
- Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton
- Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
Canada’s immigration target
Canada is planning to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023. In the current year alone, Canada would welcome 401,000 new permanent residents. Earlier, Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino had exuded confidence that the country would be able to hit these immigration targets.