What Awaits Canadian Immigration Policies Under A Liberal Minority Government

What Awaits Canadian Immigration Policies Under A Liberal Minority Government

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won and will form another minority government.

The Liberals won the most seats at 160. As this falls short of the 170 seats needed for a majority in the House of Commons, they are expected to form a minority government with support from other parties.

It is a win but also a disappointment for the Liberals as the election was called with the hope of capitalizing on his handling of the pandemic to win a majority.

A Liberal minority government means that the existing immigration policies will remain essentially unchanged.  Firstly, Marco Mendicino has won the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence for the Liberals, a riding he represented in the House of Commons since 2015. He is expected to keep his post as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, which he has held since 2019.

Mendicino is credited for his several bold immigration initiatives despite the Covid 19 pandemic.

In the Fall of 2020, he unveiled a 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, which he said “aims to help Canada bounce back from the impact of the pandemic by welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 alone.

In the Fall of 2020, he unveiled a 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, which he said “aims to help Canada bounce back from the impact of the pandemic by welcoming 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 alone.

In February this year, the ministry conducted the largest ever Express Entry draw by sending invitations to apply to 27,000 people already in Canada. In April, Mendicino unveiled an innovative pathway to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates already in Canada. He also announced in June to increase the number of refugees to Canada from 23,500 to 45,000.

The Liberal Party is expected to continue with the immigration policies it launched or promised in the recent campaign, which includes the following:

  1. Resettling refugees. In 2015, Trudeau called for Canada to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, which helped him win the election. Part of his recent 2021 election promise is to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees.
  2. Making housing more affordable for first-time homebuyers, a significant portion of who are recent immigrants.
  3. Modernization of the immigration system, including improvements in the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
  4. Raise immigration targets annually and increase immigration levels to historic highs.
  5. Continue with specific immigration programs launched in recent years such as

 

Global Talent Stream, a program to expedite processing of work permit for technology professionals,

Agri-Food Pilot, an immigration program that helps address the labour needs of the Canadian agri-food sector and provides a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries;

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, which is a community-driven program designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers; and

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot program helps employers in Atlantic Canada hire foreign skilled workers who want to immigrate to Atlantic Canada and international graduates who want to stay in Atlantic Canada after they graduate.

 

As the Liberal government continues to work on the Covid 19 economic recovery plan, it is expected to put a big focus on immigration in addressing a shortage of workers and skills as the economy recovers. On the other hand, as a minority government, it has to work closely with the other parties such as the Conservatives and the NDP to ensure that critical policies and legislation pass through Parliament.

 

BY: DEAN P. DE JESUS, RCIC, September 22, 2021