In August, 2015, I wrote an article for the Policy Options magazine on what the results of the October 19, 2015, federal election would mean for Canadian immigration policy. Although the article was published in September, at the time that I submitted the article to Policy Options Prime Minister Stephen Harper had not yet asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament, and the parties had yet to begin formally campaigning. With the election now three days away, I thought it would be interesting to update my predictions on what the 42nd Canadian federal election would likely mean for Canadian immigration policy.
I continue to believe that Monday’s election will likely be a pivotal event for Canadian immigration policy. The Conservative Party of Canada during its time in office has comprehensively overhauled Canada’s immigration system both legislatively as well as operationally. Monday’s election will likely determine whether many of its changes become permanent, or are undone, or whether immigration policies go in a completely different direction.
In order to understand the possible consequences of the upcoming election on immigration policy we have to understand how much things have changed. Indeed, it is not uncommon for immigration practitioners to jokingly refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as the “Jason Kenney Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”
Arguably the most significant change to the immigration system was its transformation from a system where people were immediately admitted to Canada from overseas as permanent residents into one where prospective immigrants had to “prove” that they could establish themselves in Canada, economically, by initially being temporary foreign workers and then transitioning to permanent residency. While in the long run this change should ensure that immigrants are gainfully employed and should end the recognition-of-foreign-credentials debacle, it has also contributed to a significant and controversial increase in the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada,Read more ›