In a recent speech, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised that as long as the Conservative party continued to hold power, Canada would be the exception to the world’s recent economic decline. While this vow is persuasive and optimistic, the Conservative government additionally needs to focus on preventing its immigration reforms from generating a backlash that could give rise to the very same economic difficulties that the rest of the world must be confronted with.
A recent poll demonstrated that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians believe that the high Canadian immigration levels are harming the economic recovery in Canada. However, if national fears choke Canada’s unparalleled intake of 250,000 newcomers a year, the economy will ultimately suffer. A strong economy and Canadian immigration policy have protected Canada from the demographic shock of decreasing fertility, which both Europe and Japan are currently facing. Nonetheless, by 2030 any increase in the Canadian population will come almost entirely from immigration.
The Harper government has been aggressive in reforming the Canada immigration policy. Many of the reforms are valuable, such as limiting the ability of criminals to utilize the refugee system, and ensuring that incoming skilled workers adequately fill job shortages. Other measures have proved to be more controversial such as limiting public health care for many refugee applicants, limiting family reunification programs and dealing with backlogs by simply cancelling Canada permanent resident visa applications for federal skilled workers and business-class immigrants alike.
The best way to guarantee that Canada immigration remains advantageous to both the nation and the Canada visa applicants themselves is to continue bringing high numbers of young, creative, federal skilled workers every year.