Over the past two years, the pandemic has introduced new challenges to our immigration system. Border closures, travel restrictions and public health measures had significant impacts on our programs and services. Despite this disruption, we continued to welcome newcomers and met our ambitious immigration levels target of 401,000 new permanent residents by the end of 2021.
Immigration plays a vital role in growing our economy and addressing labour shortages, and enhancing the diversity of Canada’s population, and it will continue to do so through our pandemic recovery.
My new mandate letter commitments will allow us to make real progress and address these challenges, including through working to reduce application processing times, maintaining ambitious immigration levels, facilitating the arrival of vulnerable people from Afghanistan and promoting Francophone immigration across the country.
As we move ahead towards a post-pandemic recovery, I look forward to working with our provincial and territorial partners, as well as other partners, to implement this ambitious agenda.
These mandate letter commitments prioritize our ongoing work to strengthen Canada’s immigration and refugee system, including bringing in more newcomers to all regions of Canada who will support Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
My mandate also includes commitments related to the humanitarian, social and service related aspects of our immigration system, such as our enhanced commitment to facilitate the safe passage and resettlement of vulnerable people from Afghanistan, the expansion of the new immigration stream for human rights defenders, and our commitment to strengthen family unification through the introduction of electronic applications.
Lastly, we are continuing our work on an ambitious national strategy to support Francophone immigration across the country.