Sweden Copies Canadian Immigration Model

October 18, 2011

Canada has always been inspired by Sweden, one only has to look at our healthcare system and environmental policy, for example. A new book, entitled “The Canada Model” [translated] suggests that Sweden is now taking inspiration from Canada’s immigration policy.

“We looked at Canada, and we saw that it worked – even though Canadians don’t always say this, from a Swedish perspective we felt that Canada is a model that should be followed,” said Martin Adahl, one of the book’s editors.

One of Sweden’s immigration problems is that their largest group of newcomers are refugees, who are as a group typically poor, marginalized and unemployed. Understandably, this causes unsettling political tension between the native population and the immigrant population, in this traditionally peaceful nation.

Canadian immigration policy has allowed Canada to attract individuals who are members of the economic class, investors, entrepreneurs and skilled workers. The number of refugees Canada accepts is a small percentage of total immigration numbers. As a result of Canada’s immigration policy, the unemployment rate amongst immigrants is significantly lower than among native Canadians.

In Canada, immigrants are given access to business and home ownership and employment opportunities. There is also a large network of non-governmental organizations and charities charged with assisting in the integration of immigrants. Canada’s labor market is relatively unregulated, allowing employers to hire and fire people, which results in more access to jobs. In most European countries, including Sweden this is not the case. For example, many jobs in Sweden are guaranteed for life, this results in a virtually impenetrable, white, privileged elite class of individuals that immigrants are unlikely to ever become a part of.

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