On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are four political parties that will likely win seats in Canada’s Parliament. One of them is the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party has made the following election promises regarding immigration:
- Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada. We will also work with private sponsors to intake even more.
- Invest an additional $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase – without reducing health and safety standards – refugee processing, as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.
- Provide an immediate $100 million new contribution to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to support the critical relief activities in the region.
- Fully restoring the Interim Federal Health Program.
- Establishing an Expert Human Rights Panel for determination of designated countries of origin and to provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries. This panel will include representatives from international human rights groups.
- Ending the practice of appointing individuals without subject matter expertise to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
- Nearly doubling the budget for family class immigration processing, in order to restore processing times to the levels achieved before the Harper decade.
- Doubling the number of new applications allowed each year, for parents and grandparents, from 5,000 to 10,000.
- Providing greater access to applicants with Canadian siblings, by granting additional points under the Express Entry system. We will also conduct a review of the program, ensuring that processing times are efficient.
- Restoring the maximum age for dependents to 22 instead of 19,
Recently, the Conference Board of Canada published a series of articles relating to immigration. One of them, written by Nick Nanos, talks about extensive polling on Canadian opinions regarding immigration. It has been widely quoted in the media that while Canadians approve of immigration, they generally want the numbers to stay the same.
I made summaries of four of the seven questions that Mr. Nanos asked respondents. In making the following tables, I merged “% agree” and “% somewhat agree” into one category. I did the same for disagree.
The results are as follows:
Question 1. Immigration is a key positive feature of Canada as a country?
Question 2. In 2008, Canada admitted 247,202 permanent immigrants. Do you think Canada should increase, decrease, or keep the same number of new permanent immigrants each year?
% Increase Numbers
% Keep Same
What these two tables indicate is that Liberals and NDP voters are 10% more likely than Conservative voters to support immigration, and are also more likely to support increasing the level of immigrants admitted to Canada. However, the difference does not appear to be great enough to say that this is a key difference between supporters of the three parties. As well, it is worth noting that the “Undecided Vote” seems to be much less enthusiastic about immigration than any of the parties’ supporters.
Question 7. A Canadian citizen should be allowed to have another citizenship
The issue of multiple citizenship is a topic that is dear to many immigrants who do not wish to lose their original citizenship.Read more ›