The major political parties in Canada hold widely disparate opinions on immigration. Though both major federal parties are committed to welcoming hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year, they disagree on who should be permitted to immigrate to Canada, how they should be accepted, and what post-arrival support should be provided.
1. The Liberal Party
Justin Trudeau is the Liberal Party of Canada’s leader. The Liberals are on the left side of the political spectrum.
The Liberal Party’s immigration program for the 2021 election has yet to be revealed. The platform specifics are being released in stages by the party. If re-elected, Trudeau has pledged to relocate up to 20,000 Afghans.
This is not the first time Trudeau has vowed to welcome many refugees during his campaign. He won the race in 2015 after calling for Canada to admit 25,000 Syrian migrants. Trudeau also pledged to make housing more accessible for first-time purchasers, including newcomers.
2. Conservative Party
The Conservatives advocate for an immigration system that welcomes foreign talent provides sanctuary to human rights activists fleeing persecution and reunites families in their election program for 2021.
They intend to give applicants an option to pay a fee to accelerate their processing. The proceeds from these fees will be used to hire more employees to deal with administrative backlogs. They also seek to expedite application processing by eliminating red tape, simplifying applications, and maximising resource use.
The Conservatives seek a more equitable immigration system as well. They aim not just to shift operations online but also to record all interactions between immigration officials and applicants. According to them, this would be done “to guarantee supervision, fairness, and accountability” in the immigration system.
3. Bloc Québécois
The Bloc Québécois is a nationalist party in Quebec. They want Quebec to be a separate country from Canada. The Bloc is frequently described as being on the political spectrum’s center-left. Because Quebec sovereignty is at the core of the party’s program, it exclusively has candidates in Quebec ridings. Yves-François Blanchet has been the party’s head since 2019.
In terms of refugee policy, the platform urges Canada to rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States to reduce irregular border crossings between Canada and the United States. According to the party, this would allow for a “more orderly welcome of refugees.” They also seek to relocate all French-speaking refugees in Quebec.
They also want to create their version of the “Multiculturalism Act,” believing that the existing version inhibits newcomers from assimilating into Quebec society. Finally, the Bloc intends to provide tax breaks to graduates and immigrants who choose to live outside of big cities.
4. The New Democratic Party
If re-elected, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has promised to lift the ceiling on parent and grandparent sponsorship applications. Furthermore, he vows to reduce the backlog in sponsorship processing periods and to reconnect Caregivers in Canada with their family members as soon as possible.
Singh has stressed the need to establish a path to permanent settlement for all workers in Canada, regardless of skill level.
In terms of economic immigration, the NDP has said that if elected, they will adopt immigration policies that “meet Canada’s labour force demands while also recognising people’s experiences, contributions, and links to Canada.”
Singh’s plan also emphasises the significance of better international credential recognition. As a result, competent people will find a job in their sector more readily after they arrive in Canada.
In the case of a minority administration, it is evident that most of Canada’s significant parties could collaborate to establish an immigration policy. Indeed, attempting to mix and match the different party policies makes this election both unpredictable and intriguing in terms of the future of Canadian immigration policy.
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