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Immigration Drops by 25%

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Immigration Drops by 25%
    Posted: Jul/18/2011 at 7:32am

Immigration drops by 25%

Canada let 25 per cent fewer immigrants into the country in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2010, raising concerns the Conservative government is embarking on a bold plan to restrict the country’s immigration levels.

The number of permanent resident visas issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada between January and March fell from 84,083 in 2010 to 63,224 this year, according to figures obtained by The Toronto Star.

The latest department numbers show a decline across the board, with visas for skilled workers down 28 per cent, family-sponsored relatives down 14 per cent, and refugees dropping by 25 per cent.

The significant drop in visas comes on the eve of public consultations Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is holding on the country’s immigration levels and classes of people that should be allowed in. The first meeting was held in Calgary last week, and another is scheduled in Toronto Wednesday.

“It’s a very sharp decline,” said Myer Siemiatycki, professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, referring to the visas granted. “It begs the question: What is going on here?

“Has the government decided on the outset that they want fewer admissions? Is the tap being closed tighter?”

In the months leading up to the May 2 federal election, the Conservatives touted 2010 as a banner year in immigration, welcoming 280,000 permanent residents, the highest in 50 years. In 2009, approximately 265,000 immigrants were granted permanent status.

Commenting on this year’s quarterly figures, immigration officials say it is unfair to use the 2010 numbers as a benchmark since it was a record year in granting permanent visas.

“The department is confident that irrespective of lower visas/authorizations issuance and admissions in the first quarter, it will meet its annual target of visas,” immigration spokesperson Nancy Caron wrote in an email.

(Courtesy of   

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