Last Updated On 31 March 2023, 9:41 AM EDT (Toronto Time)
Today, the finance minister and deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled Canada budget 2023 amid rising grocery costs.
Budget reiterated that Canada will welcome 500,000 new permanent residents per year by 2025 with the vast majority of whom will be skilled employees.
This will assist in addressing the labour shortages that so many Canadian firms are currently facing.
The budget proposes new funding to improve processing and boost visitors to Canada.
Additionally, it also allocates new funding for promoting francophone funding as well as to support legal aid for Asylum Seekers.
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Canada Budget 2023 Proposal for Immigration
Canada budget 2023 proposes $104.3 million for citizenship, visitors, asylum seekers + $123.2 million for promoting francophone immigration.
As per 2022 budget, Canada already has plan to spend $1.6 billion over six years and $315 million ongoing to achieve ambitious target of welcoming 500,000 new permanent residents annually by 2025.
Moreover, $50 million is also being spend to address immigration backlogs.
Safe and Efficient Citizenship Applications: $10 million over 5 years
Applications for citizenship are screened using name-based searches rather than biometric methods like fingerprints, which are used in visa and permanent residency applications.
Name-based searches take longer and are less precise, resulting in longer processing times.
So, budget 2023 proposes $10 million over five years, beginning in 2023-24, with a remaining amortization of $14.6 million for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to implement biometrics.
Supporting Travel to Canada: $50.8 million in forgone revenue over 4 years
Canada acknowledges that Visitors to Canada generate billions of dollars in revenue. The federal government is dedicated to simplifying and streamlining the application process for anyone wishing to visit Canada, while not compromising national security.
Budget 2023 proposes expanding eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) eligibility to low-risk, trusted travellers from additional visa-required countries.
This will assist to make Canada a more appealing destination for trustworthy travellers while also allowing the government to direct resources where they are most needed, such as screening higher-risk travellers.
This approach will cost $50.8 million in forgone revenue over four years. The list of qualifying countries will be released in upcoming weeks.
Legal Aid for Asylum Seekers: $43.5 million
As per Canadian government, access to legal counsel, information, and guidance guarantees that Canada’s asylum procedure is fair and efficient for all.
In collaboration with provinces and territories, the federal government helps fund legal aid services for asylum seekers who cannot afford it.
Canada budget 2023 proposes to give Justice Canada $43.5 million in 2023-24 to sustain government financing for immigration and refugee legal aid programmes.
Francophone (French-Speaking) immigration: $123.2 million
Budget proposes $123.2 million to enhance Francophone immigration in Canada. Although, it is immigration related, but it falls under the action plan for official languages section of the budget.
This includes assistance to Canadian firms in recruiting French-speaking overseas employees and improved assistance to these immigrants after they arrive.
Grocery Rebate Canada Budget 2023
Most talked across Canada is the “grocery rebate” announced by the minister, which is a one-time payment (a maximum amount of $153 per adult, $81 per child, and $81 for singles).
As a result, eligible couples with 2 children may receive up to $467, while individuals may receive up to an extra $234. Furthermore, Seniors may receive up to $225.
This is expected to benefit For 11 million low- and modest-income Canadians and families to offset the cost of rising grocery inflation. However, this is too petite amount.
Example explained in the budget on Grocery Rebate eligibility
Sam works part-time as a cook at a restaurant, while Alex works as a clerk at a convenience store. They make $38,000 each year to support their two young children.
Increasing grocery prices have stretched their already limited budget, and they are fighting to make ends meet.
In addition to the improved Canada Workers Benefit, Canada Child Benefit, and GST Credit they already get, the Food Rebate will provide them with $467 to help them afford the healthful food their growing children require.