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Sean Fraser: ‘Unacceptable’ that immigrant surgeons are working as taxi drivers

November 28, 2022

By Yahoo Finance |

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said changes to Canada’s immigration program next year will rebalance the world’s “most powerful economic migration system” in a way that will help hospitals, builders and other employers address chronic labour shortages, as opposed to focusing mainly on “highly skilled workers.”

Fraser revealed that he plans to introduce new selection tools earlier this month while unveiling Canada’s new immigration plan, under which the government aims to accept in a record 1.45 million newcomers in the next three years. This is linked to a change in rules made under the express entry system through the Budget Implementation Act that was adopted in the House of Commons in June.

“This is a completely different approach than what has been the case historically, which simply did a draw for the highest scoring people in the system regardless of which sector they were going to work in or which region they are destined to,” Fraser said in an interview on Nov. 23.

The new selection tools will allow Fraser and future ministers to select immigrants to fill job gaps in specific industries and regions. By way of example, Fraser said he can now sift through applications to address New Brunswick’s shortfall of French language educators, Nova Scotia’s chronic lack of nurses, or Ontario’s constant struggle to find enough carpenters.

Economists and business associations mostly lauded Ottawa’s pledge to use immigration to address the labour crisis, as employers went into the summer with a record one million job vacancies, according to Statistics Canada.

Tiff Macklem, the Bank of Canada governor, said earlier this month that if Canada’a labour pool was larger, he probably wouldn’t have needed to raise interest rates as aggressively as he has this year to contain inflation. That’s because the shortage puts upward pressure on wages and hinders the ability of companies to keep up with demand.

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