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.

The authors suggest that the public be engaged in a national conversation on what kind of country we want to be and how immigration can help us get there. They list four principles that should guide the conversation and subsequent reform:

  1. Immigration policy should be based primarily on long-term social and economic objectives and a commitment to citizenship.
  2. Immigration policy should be evidence-based, comprehensive, fair and respectful of human rights.
  3. Immigration policy should be developed through public and stakeholder engagement, meaningful federal-provincial-territorial consultation, and democratic processes.
  4. Immigration policy should enhance Canada’s reputation around the world.

The report also makes recommendations on specific immigration, refugee and citizenship programs.

Downloads and Links

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

Link to media release

Watch Naomi Alboim talk about her new paper:

Watch a recording of the report release webinar:

Media Coverage

Coverage in Chinese

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