Immigrant advocates are concerned over the wide-reaching possible ramifications of the government’s recent changes to Canada’s immigration policies.
Many of the recent changes, announced this spring when the Conservative government released their budget, have been sparking controversy among immigrant advocates and economic experts across the country.
One likely fallout scenario being examined is the shift in source countries. In recent years South East Asiancountries have become a top source of newcomers to Canada, but the recent shifts that are placing more emphasis on language fluency will likely deter many of those candidates. Already, from the changes imposed in 2010 there has been a drop in applications from China, the Philippines and India.
On the surface, the added emphasis on language proficiency may seem like a better way to encourage immigrant employment, but studies have shown that children of immigrants from South East Asian countries tend to do better (in terms of education and economics) than second and third-generation children from Anglophone immigrants.
This is just one example cited in a recent piece by RatnaOmidvar for the Globe and Mail. Omidvar is president of the Maytree Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty and inequality in Canada. She argues that many of the recent changes announced by the government will have far-reaching consequences and directly affect the fabric of Canadian society.
“By seeking to eliminate the backlog by expunging those waiting in the queue, we choose efficiency over fairness,” writes Omidvar. “By moving to ‘super visas’ and away from permanent residence for our immigrants’ parents and grandparents, we choose transience over inclusion. When employers select workers who will become future citizens with little guidance, we choose head-hunting over nation-building. When we raise the bar on language, we choose homogeneity over diversity.”
In a time when immigration is increasingly being trumpeted as one major solution to Canada’s impending labour crunch, it is more crucial than ever to examine not only the kind of image we are projecting on the international stage, but also the kind of society that this proudly multicultural nation wishes to be.
Source: Globe and Mail