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Policy Insights

Shaping the future: Canada’s rapidly changing immigration policies

A new Maytree report by Naomi Alboim and Karen Cohl

The pace and scope of change in Canada’s immigration system in recent years leaves one breathless. From 2008 to July 1, 2012, the federal government has made changes to every aspect of immigration policy, including the way in which reform is undertaken, and more changes are proposed. While some of the recent changes are positive, many are problematic. The changes could have a dramatic impact on both the social and economic fabric of Canada and how the country is perceived by potential immigrants from around the world.

Access the report page.

Downloads and Links

Download full report (PDF)
Download Q&A document (PDF)

Link to media release


New Survey Research Reveals Canada’s Attitudes towards Citizenship

A poll of more than 2,000 people reveals that Canadians think citizenship is more than paying taxes or obeying the law.

While these things are important, when asked what makes someone a good citizen, Canadians emphasize being active in their community, volunteering, helping others, and accepting others who are different. The survey also explores issues around citizenship acquisition, rights and responsibilities, civic participation, civic education and multiple identities.

>> Download the summary report
>> Visit the Citizenship Survey page


Maytree & Metcalf Foundation Release New Report on Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Immigrant Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship in the GTA by Dr. Sarah Wayland explores whether self-employment and entrepreneurship is a viable option for lifting new Canadians out of poverty in the Greater Toronto Area.

The report describes:

  • Characteristics of self-employment and entrepreneurship amongst immigrants;
  • Challenges faced by immigrants in starting new businesses;
  • Existing services, programs and policies available in the Greater Toronto Area for immigrant entrepreneurs;
  • Lessons learned from other jurisdictions; and
  • Preliminary observations about the efficacy of existing supports for self-employed immigrants, and gaps in services.

The research finds that there are a suite of services for entrepreneurs in the GTA, but that there is a paucity of supports targeted towards the unique barriers immigrants face when starting a business. It identifies the need for future research and suggests possible policy and program ideas for various stakeholders.

>> Download Immigrant Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship in the GTA: Literature, Data, and Program Review (PDF).


Maytree releases new report with more than 50 actionable policy ideas

Maytree’s most recent publication, Charting Prosperity: Practical Ideas for a Stronger Canada, presents policy proposals intended to contribute to Canada’s prosperity while protecting the country’s most vulnerable. It presents more than 50 ideas, covering five thematic areas:

  • Income support and social security
  • Inclusion and protection
  • Democracy and participation
  • Immigrant and refugee selection
  • Diversity and integration

Canadian MIPEX immigration data released

A new study published on February 28, 2011 by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group compares and ranks Canada against 29 countries in Europe and the USA. It shows that while Canada has some of the strongest policies in place to ensure the integration of immigrants, there are still areas it can improve and learn from others.

>> For more information and links to background materials, visit the MIPEX III page.


Results Are in: Federal Skilled Worker Program Works

Prepared by Maytree, this short document summarizes the recent evaluation of the skilled worker program conducted by the federal government. Following the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), occupation-specific criteria were removed from the point system, and the evaluation finds that this was largely successful. Still, the federal government returned to an occupation-specific model, and the skilled worker class continues to be one of the few economic classes which does not receive priority processing.

>> Download the summary (PDF)


More than Money: Mining the human and financial potential of Canada’s education savings programs for low-income families

A Maytree report by May Wong and Sheila Murray

This report outlines a number of specific recommendations on how service providers and government can improve low-income families’ access to federal government education savings programs. Even modest savings can encourage these students to pursue post-secondary education, by helping them overcome the high costs of tuition and by encouraging them to perceive that post-secondary education is within their reach.

For more information and links to background materials and videos, visit the “More than Money” page.


Maytree calls on the Government of Canada to keep the completion of census long form mandatory

Good data is essential for crafting public policy based on evidence.  Statistics Canada is one of the world’s foremost statistical agencies. With data collected through the long form,  it has provided facts, trends and analysis to governments, businesses, and not-profit organizations. The government’s decision to make the long census optional will seriously undermine Canada’s ability to fully understand all its citizens and plan for their future. Of special concern to Maytree is that the most vulnerable among us are also the least likely to fill out a voluntary form.  This will seriously undermines Canada’s capacity to make informed and reasoned decisions in their interest.

Maytree supports TRIEC, CD Howe, Canadian Institute of Planners, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and many others in calling for a reversal of the  Government of Canada’s decision to drop mandatory completion of the census long form.


Recommended Publication

Maytree Policy Insights – From Insecurity to Prosperity: Practical Ideas for a Stronger Canada
This document is a must-read for policy makers and practitioners who are interested in ideas that reduce poverty and promote inclusion. The ideas have been prepared by Maytree’s policy partners on issues such as employment insurance, caregiver benefits, community engagement, diversity in the arts, immigration and refugee policy.

For all inquiries, please contact policy@maytree.com.