The current minority government at the federal level headed by Justin Trudeau has called for fresh federal elections on September 20, two years ahead of the legally mandated time.
Unlike other developed countries in the west, the election campaigning in Canada is not centered on whether the country should accept immigrants, but how Canada can best welcome them. Canada already has set an ambitious immigration levels plan to target over 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years.
Even as skilled foreign workers are regularly welcomed by Canada to apply for permanent residence through direct immigration pathways such as Express Entry programs, Canada Provincial Nominee Programs offer an alternate pathway for PR visas. Canada is equally open to family immigration as well as business entrepreneurs to invest or start up a business.
However, there remain unresolved issues in the immigration system like application backlogs, outdated technology, and uncertainty over the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP).
Liberal Party Continues to Favour Immigration
The incumbent government in power is the Liberal Party headed by Justin Trudeau. The party is releasing its election platform for immigration in a stage-wise manner. Apart from promising more refugee intake and settlement programs, Trudeau is looking to make housing more affordable for first-time buyers, majorly newcomers. (those who arrived & settled in Canada in the last 5 years)
Under its modernization plan, some paper-based Canada PNP programs have now become digital. During its tenure, the Liberal government introduced some employer-driven immigration programs to boost tech immigration and in the Atlantic Canada region.
Conservation Party Promises To Speed Up Application Processing
The Conservation Party is identified as politically centre-right and currently the main opposition party at the federal level. Erin O’Toole is the leader of the party who has won elections in immigrant-rich regions in the past.
The Conservatives realise the importance of immigration to build & sustain the economy and demography. They call for speeding up the overall application process time by reducing red tape, streamlining applications, and using resources to their full potential. They would also look to scrap the lottery system for the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), and replace it with a first-come, first-served model if voted to power.
Conservatives would allow foreign family members of Canadians to live in Canada for up to five years without permanent status. Family members would be able to renew their stay for additional time as long as they purchase health insurance.
New Democratic Party Promises to Improve Settlement Services
The New Democratic Party is a left-leaning party on the political spectrum. In their election campaigning, the party identifies gaps in the Parents & Grandparents Program (PGP) and promises to improve it. They call for improving foreign credential recognition services. They also promise to work closely with the employers in Canada to prioritize pay equity and end wage discrimination among immigrant women.
The party has also raised concerns about unscrupulous immigration consultants and has taken a call to regulate the industry if given a chance at the federal level.
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