September 21 – Canadian Immigration History & Policy
•Boost the economy
Not everyone agrees with these points of immigration (i.e. debates)
•Does immigration help or hurt the economy?
•Take jobs from native-born workers?
•Deplete the public treasury?
•Do visa access abuses exist?
•Does increased diversity (cultural and racial) increase potential for inequality and conflict?
•How does immigration affect relations among Canada’s established cultural groups?
•Does immigration place Canada at riskfor border security and vulnerability to terrorism?
•Hard conditions at home: economic, political, personal
•Opportunities elsewhere (especially employment)
International migration is selective (not everyone can come)
oEconomic barriers (lower class have difficulties [upper class are doing well where they
are so they feel no need to move])
Canada is a country of immigrants
French and English were the first to arrive
Four phases of immigration (Li, 2003)
1. 1867-1895: a laissez-faire philosophy
•1.5 million immigrants, mostly from Europe
•Severe restrictions on non-white immigrants
Canadian Pacific Railway (1885)
Only group levied a head tax; family reunification prevented
Despite many discriminatory challenges, many of them remained in Canada
2. 1896-1914 (WW1):
•Highest level of immigration in history
•Improved agricultural production in prairies, higher crop prices, declining transportation rates,
and higher European demand for Canadian goods
•To meet demand, encouraged Eastern and Southern European immigrants
•Over 3 million immigrants arrived
•Explicit policies to ensure their immigration goals:
oHeadtax for Chinese immigrants were raised
•Two world wars and a great depression
•New industrial growth, plus expanding areas of education, health and welfare, service sector and
•Immigrants were needed because the jobs could not all be filled by the existing population, even
with more women entering the workforce
•1946-1955 = 1.2 million immigrants arrived
•Competition high; demand high
•Canada need to broaden its recruitment system
Universal Points System
Selects immigrants based on education, occupation, experience, official language skills, etc
Not based on their country of origin or racial background
Idea is that if you can get work, the other aspects of migration will fall into place – economic and social
1976 Immigration act
•Formalized immigration principles and processes, gave parliamentary authority for setting target
numbers in relation to analysis of economic need and other priorities
2001 Immigration and refugee Protection Act
•Provides “in-Canada” applications for permanent residency
•Key features of immigration policy ad new categories of migrants are enacted through
“regulations” issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
•1967 = 50 points
•1985 = 70 points
•2001 = 75 points
•2004 = 67 points
•“You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your immediate family)
•Dependent on the number of family members brought along
•Medical exams, police clearance, and translation of documents
•Plane ticket and miscellaneous expenses