Canada is reportedly planning to welcome more than 1 million immigrants over the next three years.
The Canadian Parliament announced its plans to bring new permanent residents into the country by 2021, CNN reported on Thursday.
“Thanks in great part to the newcomers we have welcomed throughout our history, Canada has developed into the strong and vibrant country we all enjoy,” Ahmed Hussen, the country’s minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said in a statement.
According to CNN, Canada added over 286,000 permanent residents in 2017 alone and projects it could add up to 350,000 more in 2019 and roughly 730,000 in the following two years.
Hussein, himself an immigrant from Somalia, said the effort is one of the country’s latest moves to counter its aging population and declining birth rate.
The effort also comes at a time that the United States and other Western countries continue to crackdown on illegal immigration.
The U.S. federal government entered a shutdown on Dec. 22 due to President Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for his proposed border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congressional Democrats have balked at the demand, calling a wall inefficient and unnecessary.
The 20-day impasse has resulted in parts of the federal government going without funding, becoming the second-longest government shutdown in history on Wednesday.