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New immigration to Canada falls again in May 2021 – Canada Immigration News

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Published on July 13th, 2021 at 11:28am EDT Updated on July 13th, 2021 at 11:37am EDT

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Canada welcomed 17,100 new permanent residents in May 2021.

New Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data released this morning shows that Canada’s new immigrant landings slowed for a fourth straight month following a strong start to the year.

After welcoming 24,680 new immigrants in January, Canada welcomed 23,395 in February, 22,425 in March, and 21,155 in April. All told, Canada has welcomed just over 108,000 immigrants through the first five months of 2021. This is short of the pace it needs to achieve the targets outlined in its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023.

Canada is looking to welcome 401,000 new immigrants annually beginning this year. This is the most ambitious immigration target in Canada history as the country looks to harness newcomer arrivals to support its post-pandemic economic recovery.

Canada targeted the arrival of 341,000 new immigrants in 2020 but fell way short, only welcoming 184,000 newcomers as a result of the travel restrictions and other coronavirus-related disruptions that began in March 2020.

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Prior to the pandemic Canada welcomed between 25,000 and 35,000 new permanent residents each month. Immigration levels tended to increase during the spring and summer months as newcomers arrived during more favourable weather conditions and in time for the start of the academic and business calendar in September.

Immigration fell dramatically to just 4,100 new arrivals in April 2020 and remained below 20,000 monthly arrivals for the rest of last year.

Despite the loss in momentum, there are several reasons why Canadian immigration is poised for a rebound in the second half of 2021.

All Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders can finally immigrate to Canada following the easing of travel restrictions on June 21st.

IRCC estimates that some 23,000 COPR holders will now be able to benefit from this policy. In addition, those overseas approved for permanent residence in the coming months will be able to fly to Canada in 2021.

In addition, IRCC has been focusing on completing the permanent residence process of those currently in Canada who have applied for immigration through the likes of Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other programs. Express Entry draws continue to focus on Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates. IRCC has already invited 93,842 candidates to apply for permanent residence this year, almost double the figure at the same point in 2020. IRCC also has new permanent residency streams, for up to 90,000 international student graduates and essential workers. It has said it expects to process about 40,000 of these applications by the end of this year.

As such, it appears likely that May will represent a low in newcomer arrivals in 2021 with a recovery beginning as soon as June, but appear more noticeable beginning in July as COPR holders start to make their way to Canada in larger numbers. The high levels of in-Canada candidates should be more prominently represented in new permanent resident landing figures in the second half of this year given that the processing standard for IRCC to review and approve their permanent residence applications is around six months.

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Support dogs to comfort victims at Quebec’s specialized sexual violent courts

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QUEBEC — Some Quebec domestic assault and sexual violence victims will be able to be accompanied by a support dog during court appearances.

Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette says a pilot project is being launched in collaboration with a guide dog training foundation and the province’s crime victims assistance group.

Support dogs will be offered in the province’s specialized courts that were recently created to handle cases of sexual violence and domestic assault.

Jolin-Barrette says the animals’ presence will provide comfort to victims and help them feel more confident and safe as they navigate the legal process.

The courts are located in Quebec City, Beauharnois and Bedford, in the Montérégie region; Drummond, in the Centre-du-Québec region; and St-Maurice, in the Mauricie area.

The Quebec legislature adopted a bill last year to create the specialized tribunals, which are designed to offer a supportive environment to victims who come forward to denounce their alleged abusers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Trudeau expected to face tough questions on Canadian military spending at NATO summit

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MADRID — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to face tough questions at a major NATO summit this week as a new report released by the alliance ahead of the meeting shows Canada heading in the wrong direction when it comes to military spending.

Members of the 30-member military alliance agreed in 2014 to increase their defence spending to two per cent of their national gross domestic product, and the target is expected to be front and centre when the summit begins on Wednesday.

Trudeau met with NATO leaders Tuesday evening at a dinner hosted at the royal palace in Madrid by King Felipe VI, and will begin formal talks in the morning.

The new report released by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg estimates Canadian defence spending will instead decline as a share of GDP to 1.27 per cent this year, down from 1.32 per cent last year and 1.42 per cent in 2020.

The report did not specify the reason for the expected decline, or whether it includes $8 billion in new military spending that was promised in April’s federal budget and whose purpose has not been clearly defined.

Asked about the report during a news conference at the end of this year’s G7 meeting in Germany, as he prepared to head to Madrid for the NATO leaders’ summit, Trudeau said the government has announced several “significant” new investments.

Those include $4.9 billion to upgrade Norad, the shared U.S.-Canadian system used to detect incoming airborne and maritime threats to North America, as well as plans to buy new fighter jets to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s.

The prime minister also said Canada has repeatedly proven its commitment to the NATO alliance by deploying troops and equipment on a variety of missions, including by leading a multinational NATO force in Latvia.

“Canada is always part of NATO missions and continues to step up significantly,” Trudeau said.

“We know how important it is to step up and we will continue to do so to make sure that the world knows that it can count on Canada to be part of advancing the cause of democracy, the rule of law and opportunities for everyone,” he added.

Successive Canadian governments have shown little appetite for meeting the two per cent spending target, which the parliamentary budget officer has estimated would require an extra $75 billion over the next five years.

They have instead emphasized Canada’s numerous other commitments to the alliance, including the provision of 700 Canadian troops to Latvia along with several naval warships to assist with NATO patrols in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

That is despite Canada having agreed to the target, as well as repeated exhortations from Stoltenberg and criticism from American officials in Washington calling on Ottawa to invest more in its military and collective defence.

The continuing decline in Canadian defence spending as a share of GDP will almost certainly lead to even more pointed questions for Trudeau in Madrid than was already expected, said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

This is particularly true given confusion surrounding the government’s announcement last week that it plans to invest in Norad modernization, with uncertainty around where the money is actually coming from, when it will be spent and on what.

“I would assume that they were hoping to send a message with the continental defence piece that irrespective of what’s happening in Europe, Canada’s got other defence commitments and that contributes to overall alliance security,” Perry said.

“But the mechanics of how the continental defence piece rolled out would take away from some of that.”

That defence spending is on a downward track when Canada is facing pressure to contribute more overseas and struggling with significant military personnel and equipment shortfalls is also a concern, said Robert Baines of the NATO Association of Canada.

“I’ve always been amazed that Prime Minister Trudeau has facility for dancing over the very serious situation Canada is facing when it comes to defence,” Baines said. “Trying to do so much, and then having so many resource issues and challenges.”

To that end, Trudeau sidestepped a question over whether Canada is prepared to send more troops to Latvia, as NATO seeks to double the size of its forces throughout eastern Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Latvia’s ambassador to Canada told The Canadian Press earlier this week that Canada is talking with allies about reinforcing the Canadian-led battlegroup in his country.

The battlegroup in Latvia is one of four established by NATO in 2017, with Germany leading another such unit in Lithuania and Britain and the United States responsible for forces in Estonia and Poland, respectively.

Germany and Britain have both said in recent weeks that they are ready to lead larger combat units in Lithuania and Estonia, but Canada has so far remained silent about its plans in Latvia.

Trudeau also wouldn’t say whether Canada is prepared to put more of the military on high readiness, as Stoltenberg announced on Monday that the alliance plans to increase the number of troops on standby from 40,000 to 300,000.

“We have been working closely with NATO partners, with the secretary-general of NATO, and especially with the Latvians, where Canada leads the (battlegroup) and is committed to making sure we continue to stand up against Russian,” Trudeau said.

“We, like others, are developing plans to be able to scale up rapidly,” he added. “And those are conversations that I very much look forward to having over the next couple of days in NATO.”

Baines predicted whatever additional troops and equipment are added to the Canadian-led battlegroup in Latvia will predominantly come from other NATO members as Canada only recently deployed more troops to the region.

The government announced in February that it was sending an artillery unit and 100 additional soldiers to bolster the 600 Canadian troops already in the Baltic state. It also recently deployed two additional warships to the region.

Perry said it remains unclear how much more the Canadian military, which is short about 10,000 service members, has to spare.

“Maybe there’s an ability to find some more at the back of the cupboard,” he said.

“But if the alliance is going to collectively be stepping up with some additional … troop and equipment commitments, then I’m sure there’d be lots of pressure on us to be part of that as well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

— With files from Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa

 

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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Cyberspy agency launched operation to protect federal election from foreign attack

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OTTAWA — Canada’s cyberspy agency launched a defensive operation to protect last year’s federal election — including the party leaders’ debate — from disruption by foreign agencies.

The Communications Security Establishment’s annual report released today says the operation was designed to disrupt malicious cyber activity aimed at the voting system, as well as to protect political parties from foreign interference.

The agency also says it disrupted attempts by foreign-based extremists, including those affiliated with Islamic militant groups, to recruit Canadians and disseminate violent propaganda here.

The report says the agency removed 11,500 fake websites, including phoney government sites, and emails designed to trick Canadians into sharing personal information or clicking on infected links.

It also thwarted and exposed Russian disinformation campaigns, including claims that Russia was only attacking military targets in Ukraine.

The report also disputes the national intelligence watchdog’s finding last year that more than one-quarter of the spy agency’s 2,351 disclosures of information about Canadians over a five-year period were not sufficiently justified.

The spy agency says after a detailed analysis and consultations with government partners, it’s satisfied that all but one of the disclosures was compliant with the Privacy Act. The lone disclosure that was not compliant has been retracted and the data has been purged by the receiving institution, it says.

The agency is banned by law from spying on Canadians, and people in Canada, and is not allowed to disclose their names, email addresses or computer IP addresses if it comes across them in the course of its work.

However, other federal agencies and foreign partners who receive these reports can ask for details of the information if they have legal authority and proper justification.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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