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Call for CIPS Member Input – 2014 Immigration Levels

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), is looking for feedback on immigration to Canada. Specifically, they want feedback on setting immigration levels. This means the number of new permanent residents that Canada should plan to admit for 2014.

CIPS will be submitting a response to CIC on this request for feedback and would like your input specific to the ICT sector.  A number of questions are provided below which the CIPS Advocacy Committee would like your input on.

Please send your comments to by August 23, 2013. 

CIPS’ submission will be printed in a future CIPS Connections. 


CIC is asking Three Questions

  1. What is the appropriate level of immigration for Canada?
  2. What is the appropriate mix between the number of economic immigrants, family class immigrants, and refugee/humanitarian class?
  3. What role can immigration play to support Canada’s economy?

Much of the success of Canada’s immigration system depends on the balance between the level of immigration, the mix of different immigration categories, and whether newcomers can settle in welcoming communities with job opportunities, schools and housing.

In addition to the background information below additional information has been provided by CIC at:


Further Background provided by CIPS Advocacy Committee

CIC had an Information Technology Workers Immigration Program (the “IT Specialist Category”) which ended on September 30, 2010.  The program was created in an attempt to attract highly-skilled information technology (“IT”) professionals from around the world while also meeting an identified labour shortage in the Canadian IT sector.  The reasoning behind the elimination of the IT Specialist Category was straightforward; Canada successfully addressed the labour shortage facing the IT industry.  Apparently, based on number of applicants, this program was popular with foreign IT workers.[1]

However, in the Information and Communications Technology Council’s (ICTC) report:  OUTLOOK 2011-2016: IT’S TIME FOR ACTION, they state:  “Canadian employers will need to hire some 106,000 ICT workers”.[2]  A large percentage of that requirement is for people with 5 years or more of experience. While there may have been some overlap of research and the end of the special immigrant program, ICTC was still forecasting a shortage of ICT workers – with experience.

From a brochure put out (undated, but 2011 or later) by the London Economic Development Corporation, 92 universities in Canada produce 50,000 math, computer science and engineering graduates annually.[3]  Colleges and polytechnics also graduate people in ICT.

Also from the ICTC report:  At the heart of the skills shortage challenge is a pervasive mismatch between the capabilities that employers require and the skills and experience (or lack thereof) of many job-seekers.

In the 2011 Outlook report, ICTC anticipated a stable immigration trend.

From a January 30, 2013 webinar --- 30% of ICT workers are IEPs (internationally educated professionals).  According to ICTC – immigrants account for 30% of total ICT employment in Canada and account for a total 34% of ICT sector employment.  The largest share of IEPs is in BC (40%) and Ontario (39%)

According to ICTC —over the next five years, immigration will play a significant role in meeting the growing demand of ICT professionals across Canada.

While immigration has a role to play in supporting Canada’s economy, it is just one source of labour. Canadians leaving the school system (at all levels of study) will continue to make up 80 per cent of all new people who enter the labour force.   Canada’s economic immigration programs complement other existing programs that aim to help more of the domestic labour force succeed. (from CIC)

The Government of Canada must work with the provinces and territories to manage the immigration program.  The provinces and territories choose immigrants through their Provincial Nominee Programs to fill regional labour market needs. Each year, CIC consults with provincial and territorial governments on immigration levels. The shared goal is to make immigration programs respond to the unique economic, social and labour market needs of each province and territory.

In January 2013, CIC launched a new Federal Skilled Trades Program. They state that they also improved the Canadian Experience Class, which was created in 2008 to give those with work experience in Canada a pathway to permanent residence.

CIC has also recently launched the new Start-Up Visa, which is the first of its kind in the world. This new visa aims to attract innovative entrepreneurs to launch their companies in Canada, to create new jobs and spur economic growth.

Through these reforms, they feel that they are strengthening Canada’s immigration system, bringing the people this country needs to help to foster economic growth and making sure all Canadians will prosper in the long-term.

, CIC is also developing a new and innovative “Expression of Interest” (EOI) application management system. The EOI system will let Canadian employers, provinces and territories choose skilled immigrants from a pool of applicants that best meet Canada’s economic needs. CIC is targeting late 2014 to launch the EOI system. (Note:  CIPS could assess the skills of immigrants to Canadian – or international, standards to allow better selection from the pool of applicants).



From an ICT practitioner perspective:-

·       Given the shortage of experienced ICT workers, what level (percentage) of the shortage should be filled by IEPs?

·       What are the short and long term needs for ICT workers? 

o   Do you seen the needs being able to be filled by:

-  Skills upgrading

-  More graduates in ICT and ICT related fields

-  Immigration

·       Is there a role for CIC in meeting the labour needs of different regions?

·       How should employers, provinces and territories take part in economic immigration?

·       Do we need a Federal Skilled Worker program for ICT?   

·       Will/could the Start-up Visa program enhance the ICT sector in Canada?




[1]Iozzo, Robert, “Canadian Immigration Trends – Significant Economic Benefit and the Defunct Information Technology Workers Program” July 8, 2011,


[2]ICTC, “Outlook for Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market 2011-2016”,  March 2011,


[3]London Economic Development Corporation, “London Canada Information & Communications Technologies” Pg 8.


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