With an aging population and low birth rate, Canada is increasingly becoming dependent on immigration to support its economic and demographic growth. Especially in the economic front, immigration is indispensable for Canada because an aging population means the government has to spend more on services such as healthcare for them. Besides, older people tend to spend less compared to the younger population and this leads to weaker economic activity. Similarly, not having enough young workers to replace the retiring workers means the youngsters will have to bear a greater tax burden. Though we cannot say that immigration will solve all these problems instantly, it can at least reduce the economic strain caused by the demographic realities of Canada. This is exactly the reason why the country has decided to increase the number of newcomers to be admitted to the country in the next few years.
So it is in this context that we must look into how various political parties are calling to improve the country’s immigration system during their campaign for the Canada elections to be held in September 2021.
Job security for newcomers
There is no doubt that the immigration system of Canada is one of the best in the world. However, the country needs to address certain immigration issues related to COVID. The first among these is about providing employment support to newcomers. Even though it is a fact that newcomers can succeed in the labour market of Canada owing to more workers retiring, the selection criteria that prioritizes the skilled ones and more temporary residents transitioning to permanent residents, newcomers belonging to vulnerable sections such as women and refugees will have to face a disproportionate impact of COVID on their job prospects. So parties point out that it is the responsibility of the government to provide the vulnerable newcomers the necessary support to succeed in the labour market.
FSWP candidates not receiving invitations
IRCC has not invited any Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates in the Express Entry draws held so far this year. While the reason can be that most of the FSWP candidates are residing outside Canada, there are many who live in Canada at present and they are also not receiving invitations. With most of the travel restrictions having been lifted, many argue that FSWP candidates must be invited in Express Entry polls. Further, FSWP candidates tend to have comparatively higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score compared to other categories. But when they are not invited in the Express Entry draws, it defeats the whole purpose of selecting candidates on the basis of CRS score.
Those who had their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPRs) expired are finding it difficult to renew them. They have completed the entire immigration application process and have been approved by the IRCC. But they cannot travel to Canada because their CoPRs have expired. They could not travel to Canada owing to various reasons such as lack of flights, lockdowns in their home countries and border restrictions in Canada. They are anxiously awaiting their chance to fly to Canada because they have got everything ready. They have quit their jobs, taken their children out of school, and packed their bags to move here. But now their life is hanging in balance because their COPRs have expired. So the parties are demanding to demonstrate compassion and give them the support they deserve.