An Immigration System for Canada’s Future
- Minister's message
Canada has a long history of immigration. It is who we are. With the exception of Indigenous communities who have been here since time immemorial, the story of every other family in this country begins with a migrant’s journey.
We need immigration to grow our communities, address labour market needs and be able to continue to enjoy the public services we are accustomed to. It is, however, so much more than that. It’s the opportunity to connect people to people, to welcome new ideas and innovation, and to take pride in how we, as Canadians, welcome newcomers. Our approach is unique in the world.
I consider myself fortunate to have been appointed Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and I recognize that my work, and the work of my department, is just one part of an important network of support and welcome for newcomers.
When newcomers settle in our country, they come to know Canada first through their journey here, and then through their neighbours and community, schools, businesses, health care professionals, governments and so many others.
It’s a life-changing journey. We want it to be positive and rewarding for newcomers, and for our communities.
We also need to ensure that we have the conditions in place for those coming to Canada to settle and integrate successfully. This is a shared responsibility, and we need to work closely with federal, provincial/territorial and societal partners on issues from housing and infrastructure, to jobs and health care.
In 2022, I had the opportunity to co-chair the Task Force on Services to Canadians, with the goal of improving the delivery of government services. Investing in our immigration system, and the technology, policies and processes required to make it work for families, communities and business, was at the forefront of this work.
To fully harness the potential of immigration and create the best experience for newcomers, Canada needs an immigration system that is easy to navigate, integrated and adaptive to change.
While we are making progress on backlogs and processing times, and addressing outdated technology, there is more work to do and there are new ways of doing it.
That’s why, in February, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched a review of Canada’s immigration system, and have spent the last few months meeting with stakeholders, and receiving feedback from people who use the immigration system, and others who have creative ideas on how to improve it. Hearing the strengths and challenges of current immigration programs, policies and services has helped to inform where we need to go in the future and the steps we’ll need to take to get there.
My sincere thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts, ideas and experience and have fed into this report, “An Immigration System for Canada’s Future”. Whether you participated as a government partner, employer, service provider, learning institution, expert, academic, practitioner, client or community member—I appreciate you contributing to this discussion, and inherent in that, I appreciate that you also recognize the importance of this conversation at this time in Canada’s history.
As a country, we’ve been through a lot over the last few years. We’ve seen how quickly change can happen when it needs to happen. Immigration is not the solution to all of our challenges, but it is key to growing our economy and strengthening our communities — its future is something in which we all have a vested interest.
Welcoming newcomers is a team effort. This has been demonstrated through the level of participation and rich discussion that this review prompted. This report is only the beginning of a transformation to the way Canada approaches immigration. I invite you to review the report to learn more about what we heard, where we are headed, and how we plan to get there.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
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