Tourism up 30 percent
that will better meet Canada’s economic needs”.
“The government will replace these programs with more focused and effective pilot programs that will ensure that immigrants make a real and significant investment in the Canadian economy.”
He said details of the pilot programs should be announced in early 2015.
“We expect that China will remain one of the main sources of immigrants to Canada,” St. Jacques said.
St. Jacques sees more opportunities for cultural exchanges between the two nations.
“From education to tourism to cultural exchanges, Canada is actively engaged in promoting peopleto-people ties,” he said, noting that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced in November that 2015-16 will be the “Year of People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges between Canada and China.
“Chinese tourism to Canada has increased by 30 percent so far this year,” St. Jacques said. He said the growth was also linked to Canadian policy to issue mostly multiple-entry visas to Chinese citizens visiting Canada, which are valid for up to 10 years.
“Similarly, more flexible immigration rules related to student permits when combined with the quality of affordability of Canadian educational institutions, should guarantee a steady growth in the number of Chinese students going to Canada,” he said.
When asked about China’s prospects for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, St. Jacques said: “We don’t comment on the bidding process for major international games or bids by individual countries for major international games. But I will tell you that President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Harper, during his recent visit to China, that hosting these Games in Beijing would greatly expand the number of participants in winter sports. PM Harper replied that he looks forward to future ice hockey games between our two countries!”
When asked about the current state of relations between the two nations, St. Jacques was optimistic.
“While at times there have been challenging issues in the bilateral relationship, and we discuss frankly the matters on which we disagree, our two countries nevertheless find common aspirations in providing jobs and prosperity to our citizens,” he said.
“We hope the Canadian edition of China Daily will contribute to foster a better understanding between our two countries by explaining to Canadians the rapid and interesting changes that are taking place in China’s economy and society.”