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.
Experts in Saskatchewan are growing concerned as evidence mounts of a looming labour crisis.
The province has been growing economically at unprecedented rates, while simultaneously anticipating the retirement of the baby-boomer generation. In the meantime, there are not enough young Canadians entering the workforce to maintain current productivity levels.
The situation has many businesses concerned over the future. Already, signs of the coming crisis are surfacing – projects have been stalled, wages are being inflated and the economy is slowing.
One solution is to look outside of Canada, and the Philippines are increasingly being touted at as a viable source of the skilled labour that this country will desperately need in the coming years.
Filipinos are a particularly good fit in Canada, as about half the population speaks English. They are highly trained, hard working and usually very open to the idea of working abroad and/or relocating permanently.
However, to get workers here from the Philippines is still a complicated process, say immigration and human resources experts in Saskatchewan. Employers should be prepared to wait six to eight months for a worker to arrive once the job offer has been extended.
For many employers, the wait is worth it. The Saskatchewan construction industry is bracing for a boom over the next two years, wherein employers estimate needing workers by the thousands.
Source: Regina Leader-Post
A new study is sparking debate over whether Canada should decrease immigration during times of economic recession.
The study, which was completed by two professors at Queen’s university and released this month by the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network, examined the earnings of immigrants across the first ten years after their arrival in Canada.
What the researchers found was that immigrants who were admitted based on their employable skills did vastly better financially than those admitted under different categories, such as sponsorships or refugee claimants.
Women entering the country as skilled immigrants earned between 39 and 56 percent more than the average of immigrant females, while men who arrived based on their skills earned between 30 to 37 percent more than average. Refugees were found to have the most income growth potential.
The study also found that during times of economic slowdown immigrant income levels are low, with little potential for growth. This trend was displayed across all immigration categories.
“Recession appears to have had very marked and long-lasting scarring effects on the real earnings of immigrants,” said the authors of the study. “Perhaps thought should be given to ways to reduce total immigrant admission levels when severe recessions hit.”
Experts are saying that placing more emphasis on skills, as well as favouring immigrants who have a Canadian job offer in place at the time of application, would help to ensure their continued economic success.
Critics, however, argue that success need not always be defined in terms of economics or income, and that Canadian values reflect more diverse goals.
“You can’t measure the success of the family reunification program by assessing their rates of earnings,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “We don’t protect refugees because we think it will be good for the economy – we do it to protect them from persecution.”
Source: Calgary Herald
Despite continued efforts to streamline Canada’s immigration process, the government confirms that there are now over one million people waiting for their applications to be processed and that addressing the issue is one of their top priorities.
The House of Commons Immigration committee has announced intentions to hold eight hearings on the matter, starting in October. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under Minister Jason Kenney, will also continue to conduct reviews on immigration matters in the near future.
However, critics are sceptical on the effectiveness of such reviews in addressing the growing list, saying that the government’s own formula of reducing acceptances is not only causing the increase, but also goes against the government’s own statements about the desperate need for immigrants to fill the labour force as the baby-boomers retire in the coming years.
“How are we going to meet that economic reality?” asked NDP immigration critic Don Davies. “I don’t think they’re responding to their own projections.”
The government, on the other hand, argues that they have increased the number of immigrants coming into the country overall and that their policies have decreased the immigration backlog which has been plaguing the system for years. The department says that the present increase in people waiting is due to simply more applications being filed, which is an issue they will have to address.
“While Canada continues to welcome historically high numbers of new immigrants, and maintains the most open and generous immigration system in the world, we have to carefully manage the large number of people who want to be Canadian,” said a spokesperson for Minister Kenney.
Critics say that such management could only come in two forms – either increasing the department’s resources to process applications, or to limit the number of applications. They say it is unlikely that the government will increase resources, which would involve spending more money and that they likely will turn to the latter strategy.
Source: Globe and Mail
Canada’s Immigration Minister is reassuring Alberta employers that the government recognizes their need for labour, and will help by streamlining the process of hiring temporary foreign workers.
Speaking to business groups this week in Calgary, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced plans to consult with members of the private sector to determine how his government can best help them to find and hire the workers they need to continue their economic recovery.
“It’s our intention to hammer out a process that is more efficient, that eliminates unnecessary and redundant bureaucracy, or red tape, so that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program works, on time, for the Alberta economy,” said Kenney.
The consultations are a direct result of discussions with employers this summer, in which it was made clear to the Minister and his department that labour is a top priority for the province – which is helping to lead the country back from the 2008 recession.
Last year, over 40,000 temporary foreign workers were brought to Alberta. However businesses in the province are concerned about a deepening divide between the government’s immigration priorities and the needs of employers. They say that the skilled worker stream of immigration places too much focus on formal education.
“There is a strong disconnect with the Government of Canada’s program prioritizing so-called skilled workers, where skill is associated with education. For our industry, skill is something different,” said Cheryl Knight, CEO and executive director of Calgary-based Petroleum Human Resources of Canada. “Because those jobs do not require formal post-secondary education, they’re not seen as skilled workers.”
Kenney said that his government is looking into the issue, but also needs to consider the public perspective which favours other solutions, such as matching unemployed Canadians with jobs in other regions.
The consultations will take place next month and will also involve Human Resources Minister Diane Finley.
Source: Calgary Herald
Canadian cities should do more in terms of both attracting and utilizing skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants, say some experts.
A 2009 report conducted by Ryerson University found that in Toronto visible minorities hold 14 percent of leadership positions despite making up 49.5 percent of the population in the area. This has many analysts concerned, such as Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree Foundation – a non-profit organization devoted to the reduction of poverty and inequality.
Omidvar says that Canadian cities are falling behind other major global metropolises in terms of encouraging, recognizing and utilizing foreign skills.
“It’s actually quite mind-boggling how much more creative they are than we are,” says Omidvar, referring to the online resources provided to immigrants in Barcelona and Vienna looking to start their own businesses. “We have not grabbed the opportunity that would-be immigrant entrepreneurs present to us.”
Experts point to major cities in the U.S. which have managed to successfully integrate immigrant skills into their economies. New York, Miami and San Francisco all have exemplary integration services and communities, and a recent study by Duke University found that between 1995 and 2005, “25.3 per cent of U.S. engineering and technology start-ups had at least one foreign-born founder.”
The Maytree foundation website lists several initiatives taken by cities globally to effectively integrate entrepreneurial immigrants. For example in Hamburg, Germany, immigrants are being targeted in civil service recruitment campaigns and have subsequently increased their public employment by 10 percent since 2006.
In Canada more efforts could be made to build community relations and improve public transport. Unique identities also help a city to attract more newcomers. Experts say that cities need to remember that they cannot attract everyone, but instead can and should focus on fostering stronger ties to a specific community.
Source: Globe and Mail
A new group of graduates in Calgary will have many employment options in the near future, as they have just completed a special training program aimed at helping immigrants to find work in the oil and gas industry.
This year 16 new graduates completed the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society’s oil and gas training program, which has been up and running for nearly a decade thanks to hefty support from powerful companies within the sector who are doing all they can to fight labour shortages. Already, over 68 positions are on the table for the new graduates as employers brace themselves for an upturn in demand.
“Every one of these grads we want to hire, but it’s a drop in the bucket for what we are going to need,” said Ensign Energy Services’ Cindy Hames, who has been involved with the program at the CCIS since its inception.
The course lasts 15 weeks, and is aimed at showing newcomers to the region that a career in the oil and gas sector is more than a short-term gig. The opportunities now are extensive, with starting salaries in the range of $50,000 annually.
“The future looked bright in the oil and gas industry,” said new graduate Shiva Tamana, a 34-year-old originally from Nepal, who chose to relocate to Calgary from Toronto after hearing about the opportunities available. “I am so proud to be part of it, and thankful to be in Canada.”
Source: Calgary Herald
While Canadians were among the most positive, almost half of the world’s population has a negative perspective on the impact of immigration according to a new international poll that was released this month.
The poll was conducted by Ipsos in 23 countries on 17,601 people. Of those surveyed, 45 percent agreed that “immigration has generally had a negative impact on their country.”
Canadian respondents were among the most likely to see immigration as having a positive impact on their country. Furthermore, there was a direct correlation between education levels and responses – a more educated person was more likely to have a positive view on immigration.
Educated Canadians were the most positive of all respondents, with 60 percent agreeing that immigration has benefited their country. Overall 39 percent of Canadians view immigration as having a positive impact.
The countries found to have the most negative views on immigration were Belgium, South Africa, Russia, Great Britain and Turkey. Besides Canada, other countries with positive view included Australia, Sweden, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Canadian cities are urging the federal government to allow their direct participation in developing immigration policies.
The issue was raised after the release of a recent report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which claimed that government services are not adequately addressing newcomers’ needs. The FCM argues that their findings are a direct result of the decision-makers’ distance from the frontlines.
Officials at the FCM recognize the importance of immigration to Canada’s future and are calling on the federal government to open further the lines of communication.
“Notwithstanding their important role and the significant costs they incur, municipalities have been largely left out of immigration policy and funding decisions,” said the report. “But out of necessity and in recognition of the value new immigrants bring to communities, municipalities are integrating immigrant needs into their budgets and service plans, despite the economic pressures they are already under.”
The report went on to make several specific recommendations, including setting clearer integration targets and increased funding for affordable housing.
“This report should be a wake-up call,” said FCM president Berry Vrbanovic. “The Canadian economy depends on the successful integration of new Canadians, and the federal government has a clear role to play in supporting that work at the local level.”
Source: Edmonton Journal