Borderlines Podcast #44 – An Interview with Chris Alexander, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 2013-2015

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The Honourable Chris Alexander served as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada from July 2013 to November 2015. He represented the riding of Ajax—Pickering in the House of Commons of Canada from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that spent 18 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving as Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Afghnistan from 2003 – 2005. Subsequent to being an Member of Parliament he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Mr. Alexander presided over the launch of Express Entry, the termination of the Immigrant Investor Program and the introduction of the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, which prohibited forced and underaged marriages.


5:09 – If there was one misconception about Canadian immigration law that Minister Alexander would like to change what would it be?

15:00 – Bill C-24 and the revocation of citizenship for dual nationals convicted of high crimes.

16:00 – Whether there was a strong anti-fraud and anti-exploitation mandate during Minister Alexander’s time as Minister.

22:00 – Combatting forced marriages.

23:00 – Preventing foreign worker abuse by sanctioning the employers who abuse them.

26:00 – The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act

36:45 – Ending the Immigrant Investor Program

41:45 – Entrepreneurial immigration and self-employed program.

49:00 – Points inflation in Express Entry and the increased demand for Canadian immigration.

52:30 – The launch of Express Entry

55:30 – Moving towards online applications

57:15 – What it was like following Jason Kenney as immigration minister, and the challenges posed, if any, by Jason Kenney retaining the multiculturism portfolio, as well the immigration minister sharing immigration responsibilities with HRDC and the Minister of Public Safety.

1:02 – The role the Prime Minister’s Office played with immigration.

1:05 – Mr. Alexander’s immigration platform when he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada in which he called for an increase in immigration, and whether he pushed this view when he was Minister.

1:10 – The importance of Canadian immigration and populism.

1:15 – Open work permits on demand for people from visa exempt countries.

1:18 – The need for immigration to adapt to changing circumstances and system racism.

1:22 – When Minister Alexander would intervene on specific files.

1:25 – If Minister Alexander were giving advice to a future Minister of Immigration what would the advice be?