The Globe and Mail urges its readers to reconsider the undervalued role of migrants in the Canadian economy. Its “Our Time to Lead” series prophesizes that Canada’s domestic labour force will not be able to keep pace with the country’s industrial needs—almost a million jobs will be unfulfilled by 2021—and it is up to immigrants to ease Canada’s economic sorrows.
In what it coins the ‘demographic crunch’, the series highlights the fact that Canada’s widening dependency ratio may in the future place too much pressure upon the country’s healthcare system as baby boomers retire and the domestic pool of labour evaporates. It recommends that Canada double its efforts to seek and retain an increasing proportion of skilled workers so that by 2016 Canada’s influx of immigrants will reach 400,000 and comprise a significant fraction of the country’s productive and prosperous labour force.
This can be done by making immigration more accessible. However with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s closure of the Federal Skilled Worker program earlier this May, skilled labourers can only for the time being look to one of Canada’s Provincial Nomination Programs. Provinces, too, would like to stimulate flows of skilled immigrants into their economies and are hopeful that Ottawa will increase their quotas. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to reform both the federal and provincial systems first, asserting to the Vancouver Sun that “Our bottom line is, we want to work with the provinces to tighten up the program before further expanding it.”
The Globe and Mail series also remarks upon the frailties of the Canadian immigration system. Areas that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has specifically set out to rectify: bottlenecks and unreasonably long processing queues, unrecognized qualifications, lower mean incomes, and unemployment; have been addressed through broad, sweeping reforms. These include the eradication of the Federal Skilled Worker Program’s backlog; an unpopular move that Kenney assures will improve the efficiency of the system. Only time will tell whether Kenney’s minimum language standard and administrative changes will better the application process and reflect beneficially foreign worker’s quality of life in the future.
Have a story to share or questions that need to be addressed? Interact with our immigration professionals and other potential migrants on FWCanada’s Canadian Immigration Forum.