Ottawa Holds Steady On Immigration

Ottawa holds steady on immigration
Oct. 31, 2006. 11:41 AM

OTTAWA — While Canada faces growing labour shortages, Ottawa is holding the line on new immigrants, opening the door to up to 265,000 next year.

That number, announced this morning, is in line with the 262,236 immigrants who were welcomed into this country in 2005.

China ranked as the top source of new immigrants, followed by India, the Philippines, Pakistan and the United States.

“Canada is facing skills shortages at home . . . Immigration has a role to play in addressing labour market challenges,” Immigration Minister Monte Solberg wrote in the report.

Yet the report also notes that the department is grappling with a backlog of applications that now tops 800,000, a challenge that officials recognize they must address.