“Our system had been terribly mismanaged, to the point where we had over a million people waiting up to nine years for decisions on their immigration applications,” he says.
“We are moving towards a fast immigration system which will allow us to do [a] much better job of selecting people likely to succeed in Canada’s economy [and] likely to integrate quickly and successfully.”
In 2011, Canada accepted about 240,000 permanent residents and 8,000 refugees — numbers that are among the highest per-capita level in the developed world.
Kenney says that’s a level of immigration that he’d like to maintain in the years ahead.
“Most employers would like to see bigger [immigration] numbers but only about 10 or 15 per cent of Canadians want us to raise immigration levels,” he said.
“They’re already very high and our focus is on improving the outcome [and] the experience of immigrants before increasing the numbers.”