So, I had a good break yesterday. But, I am back to blogging. Yay!
Immigration is highly vital to Canadian economy. Canada has a falling birth rate and an aging population. To offset that, Canada brings immigrants to increase the growth rate. Therefore, immigration is an important topic for all Canadians
In this post, I will go through some of the immigration reforms that have been taken by the current Federal government.
1. Under the Federal Government, Expression of Interest System has been created. This system will allow the employees and the provinces to pick people from a pre-screened pool of applicants.
Why is this good? Each province has shortages in certain workforce. For example, Alberta might need more Construction workers. The provincial government can pick immigrants who have these qualifications and fill the market need. It helps the immigrants because they actually have the chance to work in their field. How many times have we heard of doctors or engineers working as taxi drivers. Hopefully, this system will help minimize that.
2. The government is focusing on younger immigrants from 18 to 35. It will fast track their applications if they are fluent in one of our official language and have a job lined up in Canada.
Why is it good? It will help a lot of students from foreign countries who are studying in Canada. Also, we need a young, dynamic workforce in order to have a healthy economy.
3. The federal government has emphasized language proficiency (English or French) in order to obtain citizenship. If prospective applicants are not fluent in either language, they will not be granted citizenship.
Why is this good? This is a no brainer. They are working and living in Canada. We need people who can understand our languages.
4. The federal government has tightened rules for spousal immigration in order to prevent marriage fraud. The new rules stipulate that they must live with their partner for 2 years before getting a permanent resident status.
Why is this good? It is good in the sense that it will prevent people from defrauding Canadian nationals. The rule is flexible if there is an indication that there is domestic violence or abuse between the couple.
The Grey area:
Under Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, applicants from 29 countries will have to provide fingerprints and photo identity while entering Canada. These countries are third world countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Vietnam etc. They introduced it to prevent fraudulent applicants from entering or re-entering Canada. On one hand, it protects Canada from people who might abuse the system. On the other hand, it is racial profiling of sorts. I think this policy has both pros and cons.
The whole Refugee system has been changed. Again, I think the government’s intentions are good and I understand the need to tighten the rules. But, the rules can be abused and individuals put into detentions.
The Bad: Temporary Foreign Workers
Under the new system, temporary foreign workers will increase. These workers tend to work in unsafe environment with lower wages, low or no benefits and are exploited. I don’t think this is good for Canadian job force as a whole.
Overall, I think the Federal government has made some important improvements. I know that the Conservative party has a reputation of being anti-immigration. So, some people will see the rules as such. However, being an immigrant myself, I am pro-immigration.
Let’s be honest, most immigrants are good and hardworking. However, there are a few that exploit the system . Tightening the rules to prevent such individuals from entering Canada is a good thing. However, there are some potential areas mostly pertaining to refugees that the State might abuse.
What do you think? Do you think the current government is on the right track with immigration? Things that you think the government can improve upon?
P.S: I am not a Conservative party supporter but I cannot fault them for their immigration policy. Their environment record on the other hand is dismal. I try to judge each party and government on policy by policy basis.