More critics are expressing concern over the government’s proposed reforms to citizenship laws, saying it creates a two-tiered system.
Young educated newcomers are some of the most sought-after immigrants not only in Canada, but also throughout the global marketplace. However, some critics say that the new regulations could alienate this highly desirable population by lengthening the residency process and creating more second-tiered citizens in the country.
“We have formed ties, socialized, worked and paid taxes in Canada,” argues Alex Linkov, a 35 year-old design engineer from Isreal who applied for immigration under the Canadian Experience Class. “At workplaces, hiring priorities are given to citizens. Without voting rights, you can’t change things in your community and you become an underclass.”
Linkov has already received over 3,200 signatures on his online petition opposing the new citizenship reforms. Others like him, who come to Canada on a temporary work visa, will no longer be able to count that time as part of their required residency, which is itself being lengthened in a move the government says will “deepen attachment” to Canada.
In recent years, however, immigration policies have encouraged applicants to come to Canada first and then obtain their permanent residency status before obtaining citizenship. The Canadian Experience Class of immigration, as well as Provincial Nominee Programs and the Post-Graduate Work Program have all been designed with this system in mind. Additionally, the rising numbers of temporary foreign workers have been publicly justified by both employers and government as one way to attract the labour that Canada will need long-term.
Critics say that the new changes will not only discourage newcomers, but are also affecting Canada’s trustworthiness and international reputation. Increasing their time as “underclass” makes immigrants feel less protected and secure in choosing Canada.
Source: Torstar News Service