Liberals plan to boost immigration to be matched by cash in federal budget

Liberals plan to boost immigration to be matched by cash in federal budget

OTTAWA — Tuesday’s federal budget is expected to detail how the Liberal government will financially manage their planned increase in immigration over the next three years.

The Liberals last fall announced a move to a three-year planning cycle for admissions, seeking to inject more certainty into the immigration system by taking a longer view of the admissions process while heeding the call from numerous groups to allow more people in each year to spur economic and population growth.

Previously, immigration targets were set annually. In 2017, Canada had aimed for 300,000 people — by 2020, the Liberals want to take in 340,000.

The increases over time are expected to cost about $440 million, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has said, as he promised the details of those funds would be outlined in the budget.

“This additional funding will enable my department and its partners to process and screen more applications for permanent residency in a timely manner while we continue to provide high quality settlement and integration services to newcomers,” Hussen said earlier this month.

The Liberals have not said how much it is costing to manage the unplanned increase in new arrivals — namely, a surge of asylum seekers, some entering illegally from the U.S. and others filing claims at formal border crossings like airports.

The government released the latest figures on asylum late last week. They show that in January of this year, the RCMP stopped 1,517 people coming into Canada from the U.S. between official border offices.

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