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The sectors that need the most labour will be better targeted by the new tools.

Immigration minister Sean Fraser at a press conference in Ottawa.
Immigration minister Sean Fraser at a press conference in Ottawa. Photo by Blair Gable/Reuters files

Immigration minister Sean Fraser said on Tuesday that Canada is going to introduce new "selection tools" next year that will help its immigration system better target sectors with the highest need for labour.

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Fraser said that the new mechanism would give a more flexible way to address labour shortages. The country's latest immigration targets are 465,000 permanent residents in the year 2023, 485,000 in the year 2025, and 500,000 in the year 2020.

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The numbers are higher than in the previous year.

Fraser said that we can't afford to keep bringing doctors here who aren't able to work as doctors.

He said that the workers who will help release pressures on our health-care system and build more homes for Canadians will be attracted by the new mechanism.

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84 per cent of the growth in the total labour force during the 2010s was attributed to immigration.

The skills of newcomers are often not used. According to Statistics Canada, the number of immigrants with a university degree working in jobs requiring a degree fell from 2001 to 2016

We can't afford to bring in doctors who can't work as doctors.

The man is Sean Fraser.

The survey found that at least a third of new hires had to downsize their jobs in order to get a job.

The federal government wants to address the issue but can't do it alone since regulated professions are controlled by provincial governments

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He said the federal government can't insist on new criteria. He hopes the new mechanism will encourage provinces to sort out their foreign credentials.

Fraser said "we can more easily justify a targeted draw in your part of the country that will allow someone to come and work at their fullest potential."

About 60 per cent of newcomers to the country will be in the economic immigration category, according to the immigration plan. Those who enter the nation on humanitarian grounds and for family reunification are included in this category.

The Business Council of Canada (BCC), a group of 150 large companies that had previously proposed that 65 per cent of newcomers belong to the economic category, said the country needed bolder admission targets.

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Economic-class permanent residents make up less than half of total admissions. The number needed to support Canadians' high standard of living is less than this.

Carrie Freestone is an economist at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Even if we meet our immigration targets over the next three years, we won't be able to fill all the job vacancies we have. We want to make sure that the sectors with the labour shortages are prioritized.

She said it was important tobedding the targets into Canada's infrastructure plans to make sure the infrastructure is ready to welcome everyone.

Rebekah Young, vice-president and head of inclusion and resilience economics at the Bank of Nova Scotia, said the targets needed to be integrated into a broader economic growth agenda.

The email address is nkarim@postmedia.

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