Record Numbers Moved To Canada In 2007

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 9:34pm.

A record 429,649 foreigners came to live in Canada last year, the interior ministry said Friday, claiming the success of the government's program to bring in immigrants to address labor shortages.

"These numbers show that our immigration program is responding to Canada's needs, particularly our economic needs," said immigration minister Diane Finley.

But the opposition liberals accused the government of inflating the figures with temporary workers and students. According to the ministry, almost 30 percent of those admitted to the country in 2007, some 178,000 people, came on a temporary basis.

More than 251,000 permanent residency permits were issued in 2007, within the target range of 240,000 and 265,000, the ministry added.

The figures were released as the conservative government announced plans to "speed up the processing of permanent resident applications, ensuring shorter wait times and making Canada's immigration system more competitive."

More than 900,000 foreigners are currently waiting for the immigration ministry to process their applications to come to Canada. Some have been waiting up to six years, conservative lawmaker Paul Forseth admitted to parliament.

But opposition lawmaker David McGuinty charged that the new plans -- on which no details were given -- were intended to "considerably reduce the number of newcomers."

He also said Friday's "falsely inflated" figures were trying to distract from that.

AFP - March 14, 2008 - posted at

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 9:34pm.