Canada’s immigration policies offer Canadian permanent residence and fast track work permits to more than 500,000 applicants each year and Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney says it’s an unacceptable waste that skilled workers who come to Canada can’t find jobs. But the problem is not due to a lack of employment opportunities.
It is the non-recognition of foreign credentials that poses the biggest problem for migrant workers looking for work in Canada. Addressing this issue in West Vancouver, Kenney announced a $3.3 million funding package for the B.C. government to improve the recognition process of foreign credentials, thus helping more immigrants find work.
This funding aims to cover over 30 projects that will help remove the barriers faced by newcomers who are trained overseas, with a particular focus in B.C. especially in the energy and resource sectors.
These projects include helping employers remove obstacles for new Canadians entering the workforce, making available more information online that promotes in-demand jobs in Canada and working with regulators to hasten the credential-recognition process.
According to B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton, with one million expected job openings in the province by 2020, it’s not good to let a group of people languish who are skilled but not certified in Canada.
Kenney also wants the government to benefit from the “dysfunctional” American immigration system, which includes attracting young graduates from abroad by offering an expedited visa track to this country.
A recent Gallup World Survey has revealed that of the 700 million people worldwide, who want to leave their home country permanently, 45 million want to immigrate to Canada.
The survey, conducted by Gallup over 135 countries between 2007 and 2009, found that nearly 16 percent of the world’s adult population would like to move to another country permanently, if given the opportunity. Sixteen percent of the world’s adult population amounts to 700 million people – more than the entire adult population of North and South America combined.
The biggest movers came from sub-Saharan African countries, with 38 percent of the adult population in the region, about 165 million people, expressing a desire to immigrate to another country whenever the opportunity arose.
To evaluate preferred destinations for immigration, the survey used projected numbers based on percentages expressing a desire to move to a specific country. Based on these numbers, the United States emerged as the most desired destination for nearly 24 percent (about 165 million adults worldwide) of the 700 million, who wanted to move to another country permanently.
Canada came next with about 45 million people wanting to immigrate there, whenever the opportunity presented itself. The United States and Canada preceded other favoured destinations for immigration like the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Australia.
Interesting as these figures are, they raise several questions about the social and ethical implications of surveys that show such a mass movement of the population from their native countries to another country permanently.
For example, would Canada have the bandwidth in its economy and social services to absorb 45 million immigrants? Moreover, what happens to the countries that lose some of their best and brightest citizens? Clearly, the mass influx of immigrants would overwhelm some countries, while others would suffer considerable losses in terms of human capital.
According to Gallup, these findings reflect aspirations more than intent. However, the leaders of both sets of countries – the countries of origin and destination – would need to understand these aspects in order to develop their migration and development strategies accordingly.
Source: The Vancouver Sun and Gallup