The Liberal government is boosting the base number of immigrants allowed into Canada next year to 300,000, to help drive economic growth as the country grapples with an aging demographic. The government's economic growth council had recommended raising immigration levels to 450,000 over the next five years. The 2017 targets boost entries for those in the "economic" class — skilled workers, businesspeople and caregivers — to 172,500 from 160,600. In the family class, the number of sponsored spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents will climb to 84,000 from 80,000. Immigration plays a critical role in terms of the future of Canada, in particular in regions where the threat of depopulation is a reality. For example, If it weren't for immigration, the population of Manitoba would have declined in the last decade.