Will Canada election affect immigration policy?

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Dear Mr Brown,

I heard that Canada will be having an election this year. How will immigration policy be affected if there is a change in government?

— DM

 

Dear DM:

 

There may be very significant changes should the Conservative Party, led by Andrew Scheer, prevail in the election over the Liberal Party of Canada, which is led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The federal election is scheduled to take place on or before October 21, 2019.

Mr Scheer has indicated that his immigration policy would include:

• Reducing processing times and backlogs

• Abandoning arbitrary immigration levels

• Promoting privately sponsored refugees

• Safeguarding and emphasising economic immigration

• Improving language training (English/French).

• Improving credential recognition

• Providing low-skilled workers a permanent path to residency

• Closing a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement to prevent people from entering Canada at illegal crossing points.

 

Mr Scheer blames the Trudeau government’s immigration policy for the flow of people crossing into Canada from the US outside legitimate border points. He has maintained that it is unfair for people to jump queues and exploit loopholes. The Trudeau Government has been criticised for failing to control the border during a surge in the number of people crossing into Canada from the US outside official border points. In fact, approximately 40,000 people have crossed illegally in the last two years.

Mr Scheer has also condemned the Trudeau Government’s decision to sign the non-binding statement of principles, that’s meant to frame an international approach to the emerging challenge of migration for undermining Canada’s national sovereignty. Canada joined 151 other countries in ratifying the compact.

In response, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen accused Scheer of embracing “the same sort of extreme right wing, anti-immigration rhetoric that has become pervasive among right wing populist parties around the world”.

Public polling on this topic is mixed, but a recent survey has suggested that general views in Canada on immigration have changed little over the last eight years. In 2011, 47 per cent of respondents said immigration made Canada a better place, while 16 per cent said it made Canada a worse place. In 2019, those numbers were 44 per cent and 15 per cent.

I will highlight any major issues regarding potential immigration changes as the election approaches, as I receive a lot of queries about the topic. Potential immigrants are often nervous regarding changes to the immigration system.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian permanent residence programs, including Express Entry, the Study & Work programme, visas or appeals, etc.

 

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of jamaica2canada.com — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.

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