Blog > 2011 > Canadian Immigration Policy Shift

Canadian Immigration Policy Shift

December 27th, 2011

This much is not in dispute. Canada has become one of the most affluent, peaceful and, for good measure, diverse countries in the world. There are many reasons for our good fortune and among them is the sound immigration policy upon which Canada… at least until recently, has been built.

Most will also agree that our dependence on newcomers will intensify in the years ahead. Our aging population continues to retire in ever larger numbers. Already, we face specific labour shortages in different parts of the country and this phenomenon will expand, both by location and industry, going forward. Whichever way you cut it, our continued prosperity depends to some extent on workers who are not yet in Canada. How they come here is worth consideration.

Until recently, Canadian immigration policy targeted economic immigrants (permanent residents) to fuel our country’s growth. However, in the past few years a significant shift has taken place. Starting in 2006, and for every year since, Canada has admitted more temporary foreign workers than economic immigrants. We are now choosing to fill labour shortages with guest workers ahead of permanent residents. This change in direction will have consequences.

There are big differences between immigrants and foreign temporary workers. Immigrants come to Canada with the idea of laying down roots. They are committed and become part of the Canadian fabric as they make their way towards citizenship and full participation in our society. Guest workers are brought into the country and stay here legally only as long as their Canadian employer wants them. While it’s true that some foreign workers may qualify to upgrade their status to permanent residency, the majority of them never get the chance. Many work permits are valid for a maximum of four years and then guest workers are gone… or they’ve gone underground.

What’s happened is that our government has delegated the selection of newcomers to the private sector and more particularly to employers. The problem is that “what’s good for General Motors isn’t necessarily good for Canada.” Companies owe a duty to and look out for the interests of their owners. They like cheap labour and often think short term. Serving the public interest? That’s what good governments are supposed to do.



 
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18 Responses to “Canadian Immigration Policy Shift”

  • On December 27th, 2011, Bakarh said ...

    This is a deciding argument no doubt . That interests of corporations and of the country is never alike . In the past decade we have seen dazzles of “Privatization/Globalization”,”Merger /Acquisition” , “Debt leverage” and onwards 2007/8 we see a different picture “Nationalization/Protection “, De-merger/De-acquisition” and “Cash is king-no debt ” and everyone owes none pays . The enduring Eurozone problem is a similar consequential learning – where states became virtually corporations. We never heard in the history that a state can become ‘bankrupt’ ! How come the word bankruptcy evaluate the potency and capability of state in a shorter or longer period ? It is true that in business it requires leaders but vision of a corporate leader and state leader are altogether like a railway track ; they may go side by side sine die and never merged . State must keep distance with corporate spirit and instincts . State is State, it is Mother, not an employer.

  • On December 28th, 2011, Pearl Nimpong said ...

    Bravo Steve, you have hit the nail right on its head. Canada’s immigration dynamics is getting confused. There are currently over 400,000 Permanent Resident Visas Applicants in queu waiting. Some have been waiting for over six years now. Instead of expediting the process the current government rather encourages private companies to source for new temporary employees some of whom use crude means to come to Canada. What is intent and purposes of this issue.
    Well done once again Mr. Cohen.

  • On December 28th, 2011, Naeem Ferdous said ...

    Mr. David,
    Thanks for your valuable views for sharing to public. I do agree with you, PR for Canada in long run is good for the country’s economic growth; it is a vast country & she needs those human resources who are more attached with the country and want to contribute in economy permanently.

    Naeem
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • On December 28th, 2011, adebanjo adebola said ...

    i think they should relax the rules to accomodate pple like us

  • On December 28th, 2011, Anonymous said ...

    Atleast, they should not show such short time frame for getting a PR Visa in their websites. If they want workers they should mention it clearly. Why waste people’s resources in PR Visa application then ???

  • On December 29th, 2011, zafrulbd said ...

    Actually they don’t know what they want to do.Always they change their thinking. Main problem is suddenly world economic fall down every thing change.We hope it will be recover Canada soon also they will take us who are waiting to go Canada last 4/5 years.

  • On December 30th, 2011, Amin said ...

    If that’s the new policy,how Canada is going to reach to its goal attracting over 250,000 new immigrants every year?

    Do you think feds are going to hide those statistics from public or lie about it?

  • On January 2nd, 2012, olu said ...

    I am of the opinion that this policy shift might not be in the best interests of Canada, long term. Sir, what’s the way foward?

  • On January 2nd, 2012, olu said ...

    as much as this policy may meet short term econmic goals, what happens to human indices such as loyalty, diverse cultures, sporting potential, etc. The GOVERNMENT should not truncate live long dreams of the likes of my ilk.

  • On January 4th, 2012, otiti dennis said ...

    Yes,the policy shift is very good especially to some immigrants who may not be interested in permanent stay in Canada. it will help in identifying those who lie while coming to Canada but end up going underground when their visa expires.

  • On January 9th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Why cann’t Canada simply stop taking temporary workers and instead increase the quota for Federal Skilled Workers. It would reduce the massive backlog of 4,00,000 waiting in the queue for PR and Canada would still get the workers anyway.

  • On February 1st, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    cANADA NEEDS TO SHIFTS ITS FOCUS FROM TEMPORARY VISAS TO MORE PR FOR FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER, SINCE THIS IS A MORE LONG TERM GUARNTEE MEASURE OF SECURING WORKERS, IN ANY CASE THE TEMPORARY WORKERS STILL HAVE TO GET SETTLE LIKE PR FSW AND THEY ARE NOT ASKED TO MEET ANY SELECTION FACTORS, CRITERIA OR POINTS. MANY USED WORK PERMITS TO ACHIEVE PR STATUS, THIS IS INFAIR TO POTENTIAL FSW APPLICANTS WHO MEET ALL THE CONDITIONS AND HAVE TO WAIT VERY LONG PROCESSING TIME

  • On February 15th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Why doesn’t canada allow in the FSW in the backlog (Pre C-50 to start with as they have been waiting longer than others)?. These applicants now tagged as backloggers had their dreams turned into nightmares due to the inefficiency of the canadian immigration system. They have been waiting for 7,6,5 years and are still hanging on.Canadian logic of last come first serve (instead of first come first serve) is most ABSURD! Who would imagine that such absurdity exists in a country like canada! Lets hope that the House of Commons will find a solution to eliminate the backlog this year itself.Amen.

  • On February 26th, 2012, moment said ...

    Canada needs to stop letting immigration consultants do all the work. The system should go to a situation where it is temporary migration initially to get a footing and understanding of the country for at least five years, I’m personally happy to have temporary workers in as long as they’re not a drag on government coffers. The next step should be permanent residency and every applicant must be individually screened by an immigration agent. Then citizenship after at least 10 years. That’s reasonable. Being able to come and enjoy the fruits of Canada shouldn’t be taken for granted. Canada will reward the ones who are committed.

  • On March 2nd, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    I agree with you dear Anonymous of 2/15/2012. It is only in Canada that doing things promptly does not pay; and like you said the last being served first while the first has to take his place on a very long queue. I happen to be a victim of this new rule and I must say loud and clear, “I don’t like it!”

  • On June 13th, 2012, Bob said ...

    This ever changing immigration system would loose the confidence of good and skilled people. People will trun away to other countries. After six years of waiting Government announced that they are not going to proceed the the backlog applications. What a ridiculous game! How could people trust the system? Who knows what will happen even after new application. I would never trust this immatured system?

  • On August 12th, 2012, JJ said ...

    Land mass is huge, there is enough place to accomodate people. Population is aging – birth rate is not enough. Young new people are needed. I dont understand why immigration is being slowed down.

  • On November 12th, 2012, adnan said ...

    Thanks Mr David

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