CIMM - Budget 2021 - June 2, 2021
- Budget 2021 reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to promote economic recovery from COVID-19 and help Canada build back better.
- Immigration is integral to Canada’s economic success and is an important part of Canada’s recovery from the global pandemic.
- A well-functioning immigration plan builds our skilled labour force and helps grow our economy, enriches our communities, reunites families and supports those in need of protection.
- Investments in this budget will support an immigration system that is more efficient, easier to navigate, and better targets those immigrants that Canada needs.
- It will also provide stronger supports to those who need them – including racialized newcomer women, asylum seekers, and temporary foreign workers.
- Budget 2021 features proposals that will support Canada’s efforts to stay competitive with its international partners and be prepared to take advantage of the resumption and growth in global travel, post-pandemic. Immigration will be a critical component in Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.
- In support of Canada’s immigration system, Budget 2021 provides funding to deliver a modern immigration platform, maintain temporary resident processing capacity, enhance client service and support, and enhance supports to those clients facing barriers.
Delivering a modern immigration platform
- In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada’s most significant investment in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is for the delivery of a modern immigration platform.
- Through this modernization, IRCC will be positioned to provide better client service, make operational efficiencies and strengthen program integrity. By leveraging digital capabilities, including strong data management, IRCC will ultimately support better outcomes for newcomers and visitors, and greater socioeconomic and demographic impact for Canada’s prosperity.
- As such, Budget 2021 provides IRCC with 428.9 million dollars over five years, starting in 2021-2022 (with 398.5 million dollars in remaining amortization) to develop and deliver an enterprise-wide digital platform that will improve application processing and better support applicants, beginning in 2023.
- This investment builds upon funding received through the Economic and Fiscal Snapshot 2020 provided IRCC with 93.4 million dollars (with an additional 38.1 million dollars covered by IRCC’s Passport Revolving Fund) for Digital Modernization Platform Phases 1 and 2. This will support work to stabilize and standardize the Department’s current information technology infrastructure.
- Funding provided by Budget 2021 will enable IRCC to build upon the work previously funded, to deliver a secure, multi-functional platform that will protect personal information, advance application processing, and help Canada remain a destination of choice.
- This generational investment in our immigration system will enable Canada to leverage a digital advantage for its immigration system and protect the safety and security of Canadians. This will be especially important in a post-COVID-19 context, where immigration will be key to Canada’s economic recovery and long-term growth.
Maintaining temporary resident processing capacity
- Budget 2021 also provides funding to maintain processing capacity for Temporary Residents, a group of people we know to bring billions of dollars to the Canadian economy, and enrich Canadian culture, and communities.
- As travel resumes and Canada seeks to attract more visitors, the Government of Canada will strive to continually improve its operations to provide timely and efficient client service and to keep pace with international competition for trade and tourism.
- As such, Budget 2021 provides IRCC with 19.6 million dollars (for 2021-2022) to enable the Department to maintain its enhanced capacity to serve visitors applying for temporary resident visas and permits
Enhancing client service and support
- Moreover, to ensure timely support by phone and email inquiries, Budget 2021 provides IRCC with 74.4 million dollars over three years (starting 2021-2022) to maintain enhanced capacity and service standards within the Client Support Centre.
- Such support is particularly important in a COVID-19 context where clients are facing increased uncertainty, and for those clients who require personalized support, including those who may face service barriers.
Enhancing supports to those facing barriers
- As we all know, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted newcomers, racialized persons, and women. Budget 2021 strengthens supports to those who need them, including temporary foreign workers and racialized newcomer women.
- Through investments to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and IRCC (totaling 110.7 million dollars over three years, starting in 2021-2022, 8.5 million dollars of which is for IRCC), this Budget will enhance the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by increasing inspections of employers and ensuring that temporary foreign workers have appropriate working conditions and wages. It will increase processing speeds and improve the service delivery of open worker permits for vulnerable workers, helping those in situations of abuse find a new job.
- To support racialized newcomer women who may experience barriers to employment, Budget 2021 provides IRCC with 15.0 million dollars over two years (starting in 2021-2022), to extend the Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot initiative. This program will continue to provide employment-related settlement services designed to improve the employment outcomes and career advancement of these women.
- Budget 2021 also provides IRCC with 2.0 million dollars over five years (starting in 2021-2022) to enhance the Settlement Program and build the capacity of the sector to address gender-based violence for immigrants and refugees. This will include strengthening cooperation between the settlement and anti-violence sectors to increase the effectiveness of supports and resources available to newcomers facing gender-based violence.
Streamlining Express Entry
- Lastly, Budget 2021 announces the Government of Canada’s intent to introduce amendments (no associated funding) to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to further streamline the Express Entry System by providing the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship with authority to use Ministerial Instructions to help select candidates who best meet Canada’s labour market needs.
- This streamlining of Express Entry will be particularly important given the key role that immigration will play in supporting economic growth as Canada emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporting facts and figures
IRCC-led items that received support:
| Digital Platform Modernization
|$428.9M to IRCC over five years, starting in 2021-2022, with $398.5M remaining amortization|
|Maintaining Temporary Resident Processing Capacity||$19.6M to IRCC for 2021-2022|
|Enhancing Immigration Service and Support (Client Support Centre)||$74.4M to IRCC over three years, starting 2021-2022|
|Support for newcomers and refugees experiencing gender-based violence||$2.0M to IRCC over five years, starting in 2021-2022|
|Racialized Newcomer Women Pilot Program||$15.0M to IRCC over two years, starting in 2021-2022|
|Accelerating Pathways to Permanent Residence||No funding, but Budget 2021 reiterates the introduction of the time-limited pathways to permanent residence for foreign nationals already in Canada (including recent international graduates and workers in essential occupations, such as health care or other critical sectors).|
|Streamlining Express Entry||No funding, but Budget 2021 supports amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to provide the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship with authority to use Ministerial Instructions to help select candidates through the Express Entry System.|
Items led by other government departments, through which IRCC received funding:
|Response to the Venezuelan Migrant and Refugee Crisis||
$80.3M over two years, starting in 2021-2022, to GAC and IRCC
|Youth Employment and Skills Strategy||
$109.3M for 2022-2023
|Enhancing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program||
$110.7M over three years, starting in 2021-2022, to ESDC and IRCC
- On April 19, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland tabled Budget 2021, titled A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience, with four main themes: Finishing the fight against COVID-19; Creating jobs and growth; A resilient and inclusive recovery; and, Fair and Responsible Government.
- As with all issues related to immigration, the Government of Canada recognizes that Quebec shares responsibility for immigration and that certain initiatives will not apply to applicants seeking to reside in Quebec.
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