Visa Crunch

IRCC: Canada’s New Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, Takes Charge In Trudeau’s Cabinet

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet on October 26. The new Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC), Sean Fraser, is a former lawyer from Nova Scotia province who was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in 2015.

The 37-years-old was re-elected in 2019 and again in 2021. He will succeed Marco Mendicino who had been the Minister of IRCC since November 2019 and he is now Canada’s Minister of Public Safety. Fraser is a member of the “Central Nova” riding, which includes a portion of Halifax. He worked in commercial litigation and international dispute resolution before entering politics.

The minister is a law graduate from Dalhousie University, a Master of Public International Law degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University.

With a cabinet in place, the Liberals will continue to rule Canada while focusing on guiding the country out of the coronavirus outbreak. Parliament will reconvene on November 22 this year.

A cabinet is a group of ministerial advisors that set the policies and priorities for the federal government. The Prime Minister issues a mandate letter to each minister. The mandate letter describes the objectives and goals that the Prime Minister wishes to see implemented by each minister throughout the government’s tenure in office.

Since winning the federal election in 2015, Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada has governed. They obtained a majority at the time, and have since won minority administrations in 2019 and the September 2021 election.

Any measure introduced in Parliament by a majority administration can be passed. Minority governments require opposition backing. The Trudeau Liberals have continued the Conservative Party of Canada’s policy of raising immigration levels, which began in the late 1980s. However, the Liberals have expanded immigration levels more aggressively in recent years in order to provide even more help to the Canadian economy.

The Liberals then made the shocking announcement in October 2020 that they would set the new benchmark for immigration at over 4,00,000 arrivals per year. This more all-embracing aim is intended to aid Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to pursue its key priorities in the short term.

In a conference with associations representing Canadian Immigration lawyers and consultants on October 21, IRCC stated that their three current objectives are achieving their 4,01,000 new permanent residence target for 2021, family reunification, and resettling Afghan refugees.

Meanwhile, the IRCC, provinces, and territories will continue to welcome individuals for immigration through Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and Quebec’s programs. The application process will also continue.

The Liberals have made various immigration promises during the 2021 election campaign. Like they vowed to abolish citizenship costs. They also seek to shorten application processing times and make changes to Express Entry, such as providing more immigration options for temporary foreign workers and international students.

The revised Immigration Levels Plan, based on current precedent, will be revealed by March 2022. Except, in the case of elections, this plan is normally presented by November 1 every year. The Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 should be devoid of surprises since it will most likely reiterate Canada’s goal of welcoming over 4,00,000 new immigrants each year.

Having said that, the Liberals will face significant immigration concerns throughout their new mandate. The major issues that lie ahead to be addressed include lessening application waiting lists that have accumulated since the pandemic, maybe modifying Express Entry and the Parents and Grandparents Program, introducing the Municipal Nominee Program, and waiving citizenship fees.

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