I’m so pleased to see that the House has passed Motion 44 to improve Canada’s immigration system. The Motion has adopted my amendment to expand "the economic immigration to allow workers of all skill levels to meet the full range of labour needs", and adding "caregivers" into specifically considered occupations and essential sectors that are underrepresented in current economic immigration programs.
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Surrey Centre for his motion. As he knows, part of the problem with our immigration system is that, over the years, Canada has changed the permanent immigration stream for economic workers to only high-skilled workers. The reality is that Canada needs the full range of workers. As we learned in the COVID period, many of these workers are, in fact, essential. They put food on our tables and support our community and our economy.
To that end, would the member support an amendment to his motion? I would like to propose:
That the motion be amended: (a) by adding after the words “comprehensive plan to expand” the following: “the economic immigration stream to allow workers of all skill levels to meet the full range of labour needs”; and (b) in paragraph (f), by adding the word “caregivers” after the words “health services”.
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should develop and publicly release within 120 days following the adoption of this motion a comprehensive plan to expand the economic immigration stream to allow workers of all skill levels to meet the full range of labour needs and pathways to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers, including international students, with significant Canadian work experience in sectors with persistent labour shortages, and such plan should incorporate the following elements:
(a) amending eligibility criteria under economic immigration programs to give more weight to significant in-Canada work experience and expand the eligible occupational categories and work experience at various skills levels;
(b) examining evidence and data gathered from recent programs such as Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway, Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), Rural and Northern Immigration Program (RNIP), and Agri-Food Pilot, and Provincial Nominee Process (PNP);
(c) incorporating data on labour market and skills shortages to align policy on immigrant-selection with persistent labour gaps;
(d) assessing ways to increase geographic distribution of immigration and encourage immigrant retention in smaller communities, as well as increase Francophone immigration outside Quebec;
(e) identifying mechanisms for ensuring flexibility in immigration-selection tools to react quicker to changes in labour market needs and regional economic priorities; and
(f) specifically considering occupations and essential sectors that are underrepresented in current economic immigration programs, such as health services, caregivers, agriculture, manufacturing, service industry, trades, and transportation.