Canada’s federal conservative government has been one of the most regressive in terms of its lack of fairness and exclusionary immigration policies. Stakeholders assert that a system of immigration enforcement and control has taken hold in Canada with emphasis being placed on the benefits of immigration purely from an economic benefit to Canada.
Many believe the arrival of the MV Sun Sea in 2010 to be the catalyst for the profound transformation of the Canadian refugee system under the Conservative government. Following the arrival of the 492 Tamil women, children and men aboard the MV Sun Sea in August 2010, Canadian politicians rushed to condemn the asylum seekers as terrorists, and took the unprecedented step of imprisoning them upon arrival.
In the following two years, the federal government passed wide-ranging legislation to make it harder for refugees to remain in Canada, focusing on preventing refugees from arriving in Canada, and making it more difficult for them to make claims, leaving them in danger of deportation. For instance, refugees now only have 45 days to prove they are in need of protection, down from six months previously.
Asylum seekers in Canada now face a discriminatory two-tier system, with refugees designated as “irregular arrivals” facing mandatory and indefinite incarceration. Additionally, the federal government has been increasingly chipping away at the rights of legitimate refugees, such as cutting health care rights.
As further evidence of increased hostile policies towards immigrants, critics point to the fact that the majority of economic migrants arriving in Canada arrive through migrant worker programs that grant temporary status, rather than avenues that grant permanent residence.
Workers in the low-wage TFW Program often have no access to unionization or guaranteed access to social services, despite having payed into them. And the government has been shutting down avenues that grant permanent residency to migrants.
The recent decline in the number of family-class immigrants and accepted refugees, as well as the diminishing rights of immigrant families and naturalized citizens, all point to an anti-immigration stand on the part of the current government.
Legal challenges have been filed at the Federal Court of Canada against several government immigration policies, such as second-class citizenship, cuts to refugee healthcare, the ban on niqabs at citizenship ceremonies, and the two-tier refugee system which has led to the indefinite detention of many migrants. With several court decisions going against the government, the federal government’s unconstitutional and punitive agenda against migrants and refugees has been exposed.
And with opposition parties putting forward genuine alternatives to the Conservative government’s immigration policies, the upcoming general elections may provide Canada the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past few years.
Immigration authorities in the Province of Quebec announced they will begin to accept new applications under its highly successful Quebec Immigrant Investor Program for a limited period starting August 31st 2015 until January 31st 2016.
This comes as welcome news for high net worth individuals looking for an attractive passive investment scheme offering Canadian permanent residence. With the recent closure of the Federal Immigrant Investor program, the Quebec program is the only program of its kind in Canada.
Under the new subscription period, Quebec will accept a maximum of 1750 applications during the subscription period including a maximum of 1200 from China, Hong Kong and Macao. Interested applicants are accordingly encouraged to act early to increase their chances of having their application selected for processing.
The application quotas and the limited period of reception do not apply to applicants to the investor category who can demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of French language proficiency through an approved standardized language test. Applicants who can meet this requirement may submit an application anytime during the period beginning April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016.
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate the following:
- A legitimately acquired personal net worth of at least 1.6 million Canadian Dollars;
- At least two years of senior managerial experience within the past five years in a private enterprise, eligible partnership, government body or NGO;
- Commit to making an interest free investment of CAD $800,000.00 in a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment for a period of five years;
- An intention to settle in the province of Quebec;
- A application processing fee of C$15,000.
The application process proceeds under one-step with a tempered list of documentation from previously. Applications must be fully documented at the time of submission. Quebec policy now provides for the refusal of applications that are incomplete or otherwise inconsistent with the requirements, without requests for outstanding documentation or incomplete information.
Interested readers are invited to complete our Free Online Evaluation to determine whether they qualify for immigration to Canada as an Immigrant Investor. Our immigration professionals will provide evaluation results within two business days.
The aging of Canada’s workforce is fast becoming more of a concern for employers across the country.
New analysis shows that, as early as 2016, the number of people entering the workforce may not be enough to match the number leaving, which will cause labour shortages across the country.
Statistics show that by 2031, one-quarter of Canada’s population will be over 65 years old – what used to be the mandatory retirement age. Now, it is not unusual to see workers continue on well past this age, and better health than ever before is helping them do so.
Canadian employers may not have much choice in the matter, as long-standing predictions about a massive worker shortage are on the verge of fruition. Older workers are probably not the solution that most Canadian companies are hoping for.
“We don’t see or hear as well,” says ergonomist Peter Goyert in a recent article about injury in the workplace. “Our colour perception deteriorates. Our reflexes slow down and we don’t sleep as well. We’re less flexible and our range of motion shrinks. Our bones thin, our balance declines, and we lose muscle and respiratory and cardiovascular function.”
Though immigration is a major way to help ease the shortages, it will most likely not be enough, given current levels. Older workers are going to become a more common feature in Canadian workplaces, and both workers and employers will have to pay the price.
Source: Vancouver Sun
The City of Calgary is predicted to experience not only a recovery but also economic growth in 2011, according to a new report.
The economic report, compiled and released semi-annually by Calgary Economic Development, says that although recovery will not be immediate, it is on the horizon, thanks to forecasts of growth in employment and consumer confidence, as well as labour income.
Calgary had been sustaining remarkable growth in recent years leading up to the recession. In 2006, the city’s growth was at 7.6 percent in Gross Domestic Product, one of the highest numbers in the country.
“In comparison to the real heady days of 2006 and 2007, it’s [the recovery] is going to look a lot milder,” says Calgary Economic Development president and CEO Bruce Graham. “But it’s also more sustainable and it’s a reflection we’re coming out of a difficult economic period and there’s going to be in all likelihood a few more bumps along the way.”
However, Calgary Economic Development is not alone in their predictions. Last fall a report from the Conference Board of Canada predicated Calgary to come back as Canada’s top city for economic growth from 2011 to 2014.
The Conference Board predicts growth at 3.8 percent, while Calgary Economic Development predicts a 3.3. percent growth in GDP.
Source: Calgary Herald
The province of Saskatchewan has undergone a lot of growth in recent years, resulting in record immigration levels and a more diverse population than ever before.
A recent survey on attitudes toward immigrants in Saskatchewan found that the majority of residents (65 percent) see immigrants as working hard and contributing to the province’s economy. Furthermore, 61 percent of respondents agreed that more should be done to help improve the lives of minority groups in the province.
In the last quarter of 2010, immigration accounted for 60 percent of Saskatchewan’s population growth. Over 12,000 immigrants are estimated to arrive in the province in the coming year. The vast majority of those immigrants will come through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, which allows employers to nominate workers whose skills are most needed.
“As the economy started to take off in Saskatchewan, we started to see specific skilled labour shortages… and that’s really been the driving force behind the rapid recent growth in the [Immigrant Nominee] program,” said an official with Saskatchewan’s immigration department. “If you’re bringing people directly into jobs where they’re immediately making a contribution in terms of taxes and payroll deductions and so forth into the Canadian economy and, of course, have the means to support their families – that is a tremendously good thing in my view.”
Not only are more and more immigrants arriving in Saskatchewan, but they are also more likely to stay there than ever before. The province’s retention rate has gone up to approximately 86 percent.
These statistics can be illustrated across the province. Immigrants are opening up specialty ethnic grocery stores and restaurants where before there were none. There are talks of starting community newspapers in such languages as Urdu and Pashto. Over 150 countries are represented across Saskatchewan today, and it is quickly becoming an extremely popular choice for new arrivals to the country.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
While the Canadian government cuts back on settlement funding in Ontario, the province of Alberta will continue to receive steady financing to assist newcomers upon arrival.
Last week, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the leadership of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, announced that it would be reducing settlement funds to the province of Ontario, Canada’s most popular destination for new arrivals. The cuts would amount to approximately $53-million.
“We have seen a shift in where immigrants are settling in Canada,” said Minister Kenney upon announcing the funding cuts. “It used to be that Ontario received, by far, the largest share of immigrants.”
Over the past five years the number of new immigrants settling in Ontario dropped from about 145,000 to 106,000. Until now, funding for resettlement assistance in Ontario amounted to about $3,400 per immigrant, while in the rest of the country immigrants receive approximately $2,900 per head. The government says that it is now time to correct that discrepancy.
Kenney says that the settlement funds not only should go to provinces which already have a large number of immigrants, but should also go toward places that need to attract more immigrants.
Alberta is one province that will benefit from the government re-allocation, receiving more funds for 2011 than in the year prior.
However, advocates in Ontario are not happy about the reduction, and vow to fight the government. Other critics assert that the government should re-distribute funds even further, to ensure that an even amount is given across the country.
“The funding should be reflective of what you call a voucher system – the dollars should be following the immigrant,” said Alberta Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, noting that Ontario immigrants will still receive more money than those in other provinces.
Source: Calgary Herald
According to new statistics just released by the government, Canada accepted about 280,000 new permanent residents in 2010, which is the highest amount in 57 years.
‘While other Western countries have cut back immigration during the recession, our government kept legal immigration levels high,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. “Canada’s post-recession economy demands a high level of economic immigration to keep our economy strong.”
While Kenney announced the large numbers, he also praised his administration’s efforts to reduce the immigration backlog, which saw some applicants waiting up to seven years for their file to be processed. Kenney says his government has so far reduced the backlog from 640,000 in 2008 to approximately 335,000 currently.
Kenney also stated that immigrants who arrive in Canada with a job offer pending are able to make $79,000 on average within three years of their arrival. Immigrants are also responding more to efforts to attract them to places other than Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
However, critics are asking why the government is boasting about record-level immigration while at the same time cutting spending on resettlement services. Other critics argue that the government should be focusing more on family reunification rather than economic immigrants during a recession, when unemployment levels are high.
“There’s no economic argument [for these immigration levels] that makes any sense at all,” said Immigration Watch Canada founder Dan Murray. “All of the federal parties are afraid to talk about immigration in any kind of a negative way. They’re all looking for their share of the immigrant vote.”
Sources: Globe and Mail
A new survey out of Washington has found that Canadians have a more positive attitude toward immigration than several other nations, including the U.S., the U.K., and the Netherlands.
“Canadian attitudes are by far the most positive among all countries surveyed,” said Delancey Gustin, an analyst with the Washington-based think tank who conducts this survey each year.
The analysts said that government policy and Canadian geography both work together to ensure that Canada attracts and retains the most desirable migrants in terms of skill.
“Research shows that when immigrants come from far away they’re more likely to succeed, because it costs a lot of money and requires connections,” said Gustin. “These people are typically more educated and tend to be the elite of their own country. So you guys [in Canada] have (the) luxury of kind of skimming right off the top and bringing in the best and brightest.”
This fact has helped over half of the Canadian public to agree that immigrants help to create jobs and businesses. Further, Canadian respondents believe that the government is doing a good job with immigration policy.
However, Canada’s numbers, though more positive than the other nations surveyed, are still in line with the overall trend in dropping approval rates. Experts say the declining views on the issue are a direct result of the recession which has plagued the global economy in recent years.
Source: Vancouver Province
A new study has found that apprenticeships could play a key role in bridging immigrant skills and jobs in Canada.
The study, which was collaboration between students at the University of New Brunswick and Carleton University, found that first-generation immigrant males who have completed an apprenticeship usually earn about 20 percent more than those who have no post-secondary education. Still, however, immigrants rarely apprentice.
“Despite the significant earnings and employment advantage of having an apprenticeship, the study found that immigrants from more recent arrival cohorts have especially low rates of having an apprenticeship credential when compared to either their counterparts from earlier arrival cohorts or Canadian-born individuals,” said the authors of the study Ted McDonald and Christopher Worswick.
The authors hope that this study will motivate the Canadian government to encourage more apprenticeships among new arrivals to the country, as immigrants and Canadian wage gaps continue to grow, despite recent efforts by the government to introduce more foreign credential recognition systems.
“Given the strong labour market returns to apprenticeship training (particularly for men), the declining number of workers holding an apprenticeship in Canada raises the question about whether enough emphasis is currently being placed on apprenticeships and other vocational training in the selection of immigrants,” said the report.
Source: Globe and Mail
Canada’s minor hockey league is employing new efforts to attract more immigrant and native-Canadian children to the sport.
The move is in response to recent trends of reduced enrolment in Hockey Canada’s program for children. If registration rates continue to drop, there will be approximately 200,000 less players in the next decade.
“We recognized fairly quickly that there’s a decreasing pool of kids in the five to 19 age group and that trend was continuing on at a fairly rapid place here,” said Hockey Canada official Glen McCurdie. “Really, the only increase in population across the country… is through immigration. We were sort of an organization that is used to, very honestly, opening up our doors and having people flock to us. We’ve never really been in a boat where we needed to recruit players.”
One of the ways in which the organization hopes to do some recruiting is by reaching out to immigrants and native groups by publishing promotional planners in 12 languages, including Arabic, Punjabi, Cree and Inuit.
“From our perspective, [the multilingual planner] is now serving three purposes,” said McCurdie. “One is an affinity with the national body, but it also has a recruitment angle to it where other kids that are seeing it are excited about the possibility of playing. And I think our members in that age group certainly feel like they are part of something bigger and it’s something they might want to stay involved in more readily with stuff like this going on.”
Officials say that competing for kids’ attention these days is becoming more difficult as video games, social media and other sports are becoming more prominent in the country.
Source: Ottawa Citizen