How Canada’s Liberal Minority Government Will Shape Future Immigration Legislation
Now that the Canadian federal election has come and gone, whether or not the re-elected Liberal Party will fulfill their election promises – particularly those related to immigration – are at the top of many Canadians’ minds.
The Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was voted back into office during the October 21 election, winning just enough seats to form a minority government.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen was also re-elected in his Ontario riding of York South—Weston.
Now, the question is, how will these election results affect immigration? This is where things can get tricky.
With minority governments, the party in power becomes reliant on other parties for their support in order to pass legislation.
This means that the Liberals would require support from the Conservative Party, New Democratic Party (NDP), or Bloc Quebecois in order to pass important immigration legislation.
Liberal Party’s Stance on Immigration
But where do the Liberals actually stand on the topic of immigration?
Prior to the election and during their campaign, the Liberal Party publicly discussed the role of immigration regarding economic growth and vowed to take steps towards increasing economic immigration.
In fact, the Liberal Party pledged to bring in an additional 350,000 to 400,000 immigrants per year by 2021. This applies to all classes of immigration, including economic class, family class, and humanitarian class.
These numbers could continue to increase past 2021 if the Liberals are able to garner support from other parties.
The Liberals also allocated $1.2 billion towards enhanced border security and refugee processing in their most recent budget, stating that the funds would be used to help address a backlog of refugee claims.
In regards to their election platform, the Liberals included several promises regarding immigration, including:
- Making modest increases to immigration numbers
- Making the Canadian citizenship application process free for permanent residents
- Making the Atlantic Immigration Pilot permanent
The Liberal Party also vowed to establish a new immigration program called the Municipal Nominee Program.
The aim of the program is to allow smaller cities and towns who don’t typically benefit from immigration to sponsor newcomers to immigrate to their communities in order to fill gaps in their labour markets.
This program would provide these municipalities with up to 5,000 new spots for permanent residents every year.
The Liberal’s promising immigration plans are good news for prospective newcomers but are unlikely to affect immigrants who have already settled in Canada.
Even still, only time will tell whether or not these plans actually unfold, and if we will see immigration numbers increasing to the benefit of Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.