Canada’s goal of admitting more than a million new permanent residents by the end of 2021 is gaining new attention internationally.

Recent reports by the BBC, CNN and others have highlighted how the three-year target is setting Canada apart on the global stage. As CNN reported, “Canada’s friendly stance towards new residents comes as many other Western nations, including the United States, are adopting more restrictive immigration policies.”

A New York Times opinion piece took it further, arguing the U.S. should be following Canada’s example and increasing immigration for the sake of its “economic health.”

This rationale lies at the heart of Canada’s drive to raise its immigration levels. In his department’s annual report to Parliament last fall, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, said, “growing immigration levels, particularly in the Economic Class, will help us sustain our labour force, support economic growth and spur innovation.”

Under Canada’s latest three-year immigration levels plan, total immigration is expected to reach 350,000 new permanent residents in the year 2021. This represents an immigration level of nearly one per cent of Canada’s population, which the Conference Board of Canada says must be reached by 2030 to ensure modest population and economic growth.

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