OTTAWA — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland released a fall economic statement today that outlined a better-than-expected economic rebound, but also billions more in spending, including on the response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Here are some other measures outlined in the fiscal update.
The federal government plans to put $85 million into plowing through massive backlogs in processing immigration applications starting in fiscal 2022-23.
The government acknowledged the pandemic dramatically slowed down the pace of processing immigration applications, and many resources were redirected to focus on bringing Afghans in crisis to Canada after the country fell to the Taliban.
Though Canada is set to meet its immigration target of 401,000 permanent residents this year, opposition parties have criticized the government for allowing the backlog to grow to 1.8 million applications.
The government said immigration is picking up, with the monthly average number of new permanent residents catching up to pre-pandemic levels.
Resetting refugees from Afghanistan
The cost of resettling Afghan refugees in Canada is expected to be $1.3 billion over six years, starting in the current fiscal year, and $66.6 million in future years.
Last week, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said he expects it will take two years to fulfil the government's promise to bring 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada.
Many of those people will be women, children, religious and ethnic...
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