- Amir Akhtar
Liberals win Election 2021: What does it mean for Canadian immigration?
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has won its third straight Canadian election.
The Liberal Party of Canada won a majority in the 2015 election but was relegated to a minority government following the 2019 election. Last month, Trudeau forced an election two years before his government’s four year term was set to expire as he sought to achieve another majority.
The Liberals and Conservatives traded spots in national polling throughout the campaign in what was a very close race. They are the only two parties to ever govern Canada since the country was founded in 1867.
Throughout the campaign, immigration took a back seat to issues such as climate change, affordable housing, and economic recovery. However, both the Liberals and Conservatives promised to increase immigration, address the backlog in applications, and improve credential recognition.
The election outcome should result in few major policy changes and surprises to Canadian immigration over the coming years. Another Liberal minority should also have little direct impact on the immigration system. Since 2019, the Liberals have been able to enact their immigration agenda without much controversy or opposition. Instead, the opposition parties have focused on holding the government to account on other issues such as its response to the pandemic, economic and fiscal policies, and foreign affairs issues such as Canada’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan.
As such, we should expect a continuation of the Liberal’s immigration agenda that has been implemented since 2015. This means an ongoing commitment to welcoming high levels of immigration to support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as a commitment to reuniting families, helping refugees, and welcoming other global talent such as temporary foreign workers and international students.
The Liberal Party’s platform contains a number of promises relevant to newcomers, and future citizens. For example, they reiterate their 2019 election campaign promise to end citizenship fees.
They also promise to support Francophone immigration both in Quebec and beyond. However, they do not provide much detail on their “ambitious national strategy.”
They say they will reduce processing times that have been impacted by COVID-19 to under 12 months, though their platform does not say how. To improve applications for family reunification they say they will introduce electronic applications.
The Liberals want to expand pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers and former international students through the Express Entry points system (known as the Comprehensive Ranking System).
For refugees, the Liberals promise they will work with employers across the country to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in in-demand sectors such as health care. Plus, they want to double down on their commitment to Afghan refugees and raise the resettlement goal from 20,000 to 40,000.
The Liberals say they will support temporary foreign workers and Canadian employers by establishing a Trusted Employer stream to that will streamline the application process. They also vow to improve the Global Talent Stream by simplifying permit renewals, upholding the two-week processing standard, and establishing an employer hotline to allow companies to attract and hire workers.
Source: CIC News