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Canada wants to bring in a million new immigrants by 2020

While America is busy building walls and closing itself off from much of the world, its neighbour up north is actually doing the opposite.

Last week, Canada announced it would welcome 310,000 new immigrants next year as part of an initiative to bring in one million foreign workers by 2020. The three-year immigration strategy hopes to help sustain the country’s economy by addressing the problems of an aging workforce and a declining birthrate.

In addition to the 310,000 new immigrants coming in next year, the plan will also grant permanent residence to 330,000 people in 2019, and 340,000 in 2020.

“Everyone has been of the opinion we need more workers, we need more skilled workers, we need more people to power our economy, address our real skills shortages, address our real labour market shortages and also address the regional nature of some of these requirements,” said Minister Ahmed Hussen. “So we’ve listened.”

From 2011 to 2015, an average of 259,542 new foreign workers were welcomed into the country. In 2017, meanwhile, immigrant admissions increased from 160,600 to 172,500.

According to Statistics Canada, nearly 22 percent of Canadians identify as current or former immigrants or permanent residents. This number is expected to hit 30 percent come 2036.

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