Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, wants to welcome more refugees to Canada through economic immigration pathways. Minister Hussen made the statement during remarks on World Refugee Day on June 20, then again in an interview with BNN Bloomberg.
Canada manages a significant refugee resettlement program with plans to welcome 46,450 refugees in 2019 through a mixture of government and private sponsorship programs, totaling 14 percent (or around one-in-seven) of Canada’s targets for new permanent residents. However, Minister Hussen hopes that he can give refugees better access to Canada’s economic immigration pathways, which account for close to 60 percent of Canada’s 2019 target for new permanent residents.
Minister Hussen is interested in examining how Canada’s economic immigration pathways create barriers for refugees. “Refugees are not a monolithic group.” Hussen said.
“They are people who have diverse sets of skills and talents and they’ve just had an event or circumstance that has made them become displaced.”
Hussen recommends ensuring that Canadian immigration systems are able to recognize the economic potential of refugees by allowing them to compete in skilled immigration streams.