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Economics Relating To Canada's Immigration Policy

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This report will discuss how immigration can assist the Canadian economy to fill labour gaps more efficiently and effectively. The future of Canada's economic growth lies with a productive immigration policy that will attract the foreign individuals needed to fill our skilled worker gaps.

For many years, the governing bodies of Canada have been aware that the labour force in Canada would diminish to a point where it could no longer effectively supply enough skilled workers to meet the countries needs due to a decreased birth rate and high levels of people leaving the workforce.

There have also been many discussions covering future labour shortages, including particular concern for the shortage of necessary trade's people required for the construction industry. Other concerns were that sixty percent (60%) of the operating Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be retiring before the year 2010 together with many individuals that, after completing post secondary education, are leaving Canada in search of jobs with better pay and benefits, giving credibility to the idea of the Ð''Canadian Brain Drain'.

This foresight led the government towards decisions that would help expand the labour force in Canada. An immigration policy was instigated that invited foreign people with various skills and trades together with foreign people who were interested in investing in Canada's future, the opportunity to live and prosper in our country. However this policy needs to be revised to give applicants, with the necessary skills, priority over those with no marketable skills or knowledge of a least one of our official languages.

Thesis Statement

To ensure Canada's future economic growth a productive immigration policy, which is focused on attracting skilled foreign workers, is crucial to ensure labour shortages are minimized.

Background Information

Under the current immigration policy there are three categories of immigrants:

Skilled Workers

The government of Canada created a new strategy called the Skilled Workers Program in February 2002, which operates within the 2002 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Variyam, 2007). This is a points' based system that forms the basis of the qualifications of the skilled worker. It emphasizes the human capital factors that would be predictors of lifetime productivity and labour market adaptability (Variyam, 2007) and will contribute to successfully integrating into Canadian society and contributing to the country's economic growth. The current categories that are covered when determining eligibility for immigration include:

1. Level of Education

2. Languages, English and/or French

3. Work Experience

4. Age

5. Arranged Employment

6. Adaptability, to lifestyle in Canada

A total of 67 points is required in order to be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada (reduced from 75 on the 18th of September 2003 (, 2007)). The reduction in the point's requirement was a significant step in ensuring that immigration levels increase as there are far more jobs available, due to our older population retiring, than citizens available to fill them.

Ð'* Current processing time for applications is between 18 Ð'- 62 months

Business Class (Entrepreneurs and Investors)

An alternative immigration route to the Skilled Workers Program is through the Business Class. This program targets individuals who have an entrepreneurially focus and involves the immigrating individual to meet certain criteria which includes:

1. The individual must have a net worth of $800,000 (Investor)

2. They must invest $400,000, interest free, which is used for economic development and job creation by provincial and territorial government for a minimum of five years.

3. Within 2 years of arrival must hold at least one-third of the equity of a Canadian business, be actively involved in management of business, and employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

4. They must be able to prove sustainability while settling after arrival and prove that they will be able to support their family.

5. They must collect 35 points in the point system instead of 67

6. They must have minimum 2 years business and capital management experience.

7. They must pass a security and criminal check, plus pass a physical medical examination.

8. They must bring over or create a new business that will create five new job positions for Canadians

Entering Canada is not simple, but this policy will bring people to Canada that are ready, willing, and capable of taking the initiative that will help our economy grow.

Ð'* Current processing time for applications is between 30 Ð'- 70 months.

Family Reunification and Refugees

This policy allows the immigration of immediate (spouse and children) and extended family members in order to keep the family unit intact (25% of immigrant fit into this category). Refugee protection is offered to people in Canada who fear persecution or may be at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, and are unwilling or unable to return to their home country.

Ð'* Current processing time for applications is between 3 Ð'- 30 months.

Points of Discussion

Positive Analysis

The positive analysis of government tries to explain why government choose the policies they do. To this regard Ð''Immigration plays an increasingly important role in supporting Canada's economic prosperity and competitiveness' (CIC, 2007). Due to our aging population, the number of Canadians leaving school for the workplace will only offset the number of retirements; therefore immigration will be a key source of labour force growth in the future. Immigration can contribute to both short and long-term labour market needs by attracting people with the right skills and talents



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