Nation building about populating this country, especially the West; About bringing families and building communities; About a balance of skills, talents and desires.
Norwegian:”160 acres of free land for every settler”
Nation Building was viewed through a discriminating lens that initially favoured immigration from Europe, primarily the UK and France. Interesting evolution started in the 1970’s with the enactment of the Immigration Act, 1976. This managed immigration under a set a principles including non–discrimination in immigration policy and it introduced the point system that allowed people to immigrate based on merit. Note subsequent growth in non-European source countires.
This gives you a snapshot of the diversity of immigrant source countries in 2010.
Shifting from Nation-building to economic or labour market drivers started before the current proposed legislative reform. By tweaking the point system and introducing the Provincial Nominee and Temporary Foreign Worker programs, immigration has focused on labour market needs. Note the dominance of Economic Class immigrants and Temporary Foreign Workers (190,000 admitted in 2011). Also note that Family Class has been on a steady decline from 66,000 (2007) to 56,000 (2011). “ Other” category composed primarily of immigrants admitted on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.
Some of these reforms will result in quicker and fuller integration outcomes – which is a good thing. We know that fluency in a language is fundamental to integration we also know that younger people adapt more quickly to change and acquire a second language more easily. The new point system has a stronger bias for immigrants who are anglophone or francophone and who are younger. The implications for settlement services are that there will be a reduced need for language training classes. The implications of shifting selection power to employers and the requirement to assess professional credentials before immigrating are that immigrants should be finding suitable employment much more quickly – again a good outcome. The implications for service providers are that they will need to adapt their employment services to focus on workplace adjustment issues such as helping newcomers understand Canadian workplace culture so that they can retain their jobs. The positive labour market engagement outcomes of these reforms are not a foregone conclusion. These changes are based on the Australian model of immigration. A study by Clarke and Skuterud comparing the Australian model to the existing Canadian model found that Chinese and Indian immigrants who were fluent in English and had their credentials prescreened to insure equivalency with Australian standards did no better in the labour market than Chinese and Indian immigrants in Canada who came under our point system. Overall Australia has better labour market outcomes than Canada because it attracts 20% of its immigrants from the UK compared to 5% in Canada. In both countries, immigrants from the UK assimilate rapidly into local labour markets.
TFW program has been growing rapidly. On Dec. 31/2011 there were 300,000 migrants on temporary work visas in Canada. TFWs are not eligible for settlement services. Those in skilled occupations qualify for Canadian Experience Class after two years and can apply for landed status. Those who don’t qualify to stay will need to go back home. European experience tells us that a significant minority won’t go back – they will go underground. This will have the most significant impact on our work as “illegal” immigrants and deportations will poison the public’s view towards immigrants in general. More seriously, undocumented workers run the risk of exploitation by their employers. Also, it is a disturbing message about Canadian values that we would accept that an immigrant can be paid 15% less wages for doing the same job as a Canadian. It devalues their worth. The moratorium on sponsoring parents and grandparents is about keeping out people whose most productive years for the labour market are behind them. The implications for settlement agencies are the need for increased services for families who do not have the support of extended family. This includes accessing childcare and the type of counselling support we provide for people under stress and who are feeling isolated. A “conditional” permanent residency of two years is imposed for sponsored spouses and partners: concern that the conditional measure could increase the vulnerability of sponsored spouses and partners to domestic violence (stay in relationship for fear of deportation). Implications for settlement agencies are the need to provide services to help women in abusive relationships or conflict-ridden relationships. Detention for those over 15 for up to 6 months Successful refugee claims who were part of a “mass arrival” restricted from bringing over their children for five years
While Ontario is still the most popular destination in Canada for immigrants, dropping numbers of arrivals and reduced funding are a bigger challenge as this has more direct impact on service delivery; current occupational designations favour the west; The CIC budget is to be cut by $29.8 million in 2012-13, which will increase to a cumulative $65 million in 2013-14, and $85 million in 2014-15 This will test organizations to be more creative and efficient with their services. As service providers we need to stay focused on the best interests of our clients. Many of these reforms will make it easier for newcomers to integrate. We should embrace that. However, we need to also watch for unintended consequences that compromise a smooth journey for our clients and be prepared to adapt to address these challenges.
Panel mario calla june 14,2012_immigration trends
OCASI: ProfessionalDevelopment Conference Leading the Wave: Setting Trends in Immigrant Settlement and Integration The Westin Prince Hotel, Toronto June 14, 2012
IMMIGRATION REFORM: Fundamental ShiftFrom Nation Building to Addressing labour market needs
PLACE OF BIRTH BY PERIOD OFIMMIGRATION, CANADA, 2006 100% 90% USA 80% 70% Europe 60% Asia 50% 40% Africa 30% 20% Caribbean, S. & C. 10% America 0% Oceania & Other 61 71 81 01 91 06 19 19 19 19 20 20 e or ef B
TOP 10 COUNTRIES OF BIRTH OFIMMIGRANTS, CANADA, 2010
IMMIGRATION REFORM: Proposed and Enacted • Eliminated application backlog to move to new system quickly • Higher levels of English/French • More points to younger applicants • More selection power to employers • New stream for tradespeople • Assess professional credentials before immigrate
IMMIGRATION REFORM • Temporary FW can be paid 15% less wages • Moratorium of two years on sponsoring parents & grandparents: 10 year visas possible • Conditional permanent residency for spouses to deter marriage fraud • Detention for asylum seekers designated as “mass arrivals.”
IMMIGRATION REFORM • Settlement funding tied to arrivals: Immigrant arrivals in Ontario went from 47% of all arrivals in Canada in 2007 to around 40% in 2011
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