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Canada Plans To Give Thousands More People Permanent Resident Status — But Quebec Doesn't

Canada is aiming for 500,000 new permanent residents in 2025.

Welcome sign at the Quebec border.

Welcome sign at the Quebec border.

Canada unveiled an ambitious plan to welcome tens of thousands of additional permanent residents in the next few years. But the Quebec government, which selects its own immigrants, is standing its ground on its resistance to higher immigration levels.

The federal plan calls for 500,000 new permanent residents nationwide by 2025, a big increase from the record 405,000 in 2021.

The goal is to address the country's labour shortage, specifically in the health care, manufacturing, construction and STEM sectors. The federal government also wants to boost immigration to less populous areas through targeted programs for Atlantic Canada, the north and other rural communities.

It has further vowed that a minimum of 4.4% of new permanent residents outside Quebec will be francophone by 2023.

"Last year, we welcomed the most newcomers in a single year in our history," federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser said in a statement. "This year's immigration levels plan will help businesses find the workers they need, set Canada on a path that will contribute to our long-term success, and allow us to make good on key commitments to vulnerable people fleeing violence, war and persecution."

Quebec, meanwhile, is sticking to its own immigration levels, which it determines through its unique immigration powers.

"We acknowledge the immigration thresholds presented by the federal government" and "reaffirm that it is up to Quebec to determine its permanent immigration targets," newly minted Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette tweeted.

"The annual threshold in Quebec is 50,000 in order to respect our capacity to receive, francisize and integrate immigrants."

She also called on the federal government to transfer more immigration authority to the province.

"Our position remains the same: we need more powers in immigration if we want to protect the French language."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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