Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the recruitment and retention of healthcare workers from other countries a top priority for Canada's immigration minister Friday.

In a mandate letter to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino, the Canadian prime minister described the COVID-19 pandemic as the most serious public health crisis the country has ever faced. "The global pandemic has had devastating impacts on lives and livelihoods and exposed fundamental gaps in our society," wrote Trudeau. "Challenges that existed before the pandemic remain and others have been exacerbated."

Immigrants Working in Healthcare To Have More Paths To Permanent Residency

Ottawa is planning to beef up its programs to help immigrants working in the healthcare fields get their permanent residence to deal with the pandemic.

The Canadian prime minister charged his immigration minister in his Jan. 15 mandate letter with continuing to implement measures to create pathways to permanent residency for those who have provided healthcare in long-term care homes or medical facilities or performed other essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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