A new book in Sweden is sparking debate both at home and abroad over its recommendation that the country look to Canada as a model of successful immigration.
“We looked at Canada, and we saw that it worked – even though Canadians don’t always say this, from a Swedish perspective we felt that Canada is a model that should be followed,” said Martin Adahl, one of the editors of the book “Kanadamodellen” which translated as “the Canada Model.”
The book recommends Canada for its high immigration numbers, its points system and the established ethnic communities in major urban centres – all of which are seen by the analysts as having a positive effect on immigrant employment and integration. Furthermore, Canada allows immigrants to flow freely into the labour market and provides immediate access to housing and business ownership.
Sweden could use improvements in employing and integrating newcomers, say the authors. Swedish immigration is comprised mostly of refugees, which has led to underemployment, poverty and a significant amount of political tension over the issue.
The editors say that Canadian immigration analysts are not aware of how good a system it seems to outsiders looking in.
“It was hard to convince Canadian academics to write about their own country as a positive example,” said Adahl on the difficulties faced in collecting data for the book. “They’re used to writing critically of it, and thinking of its failings, but I had to persuade them to write about Canada as a positive example – it wasn’t easy.”
Source: Globe and Mail