Canada Calls for Federal Election

Published on

What does this mean for Canadian immigration in the coming years?

On August 15th, 2021, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an election, effective September 20th.  Typically, elections are held once every four years in Canada.  The existing government was elected in 2019.  When asked why an election was initiated after just two years in power, Trudeau responded that “he needed a new mandate to ensure voters approved of his Liberal government's plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”  This article looks at how another election will impact Canadian immigration.

The election in 2019 yielded the following results:

The Liberal party won a minority government in the 2019 election.  A minority government means that seats are distributed more evenly among the parties in Parliaments.  Because of this, the party in power is more reliant on the support of other parties to pass bills/legislation.  There cannot be actions taken until there is a majority approval on the topic at hand.  This makes minority governments slightly less powerful than majority governments as it takes more time and negotiations to reach a decision.  Many believe this is why Trudeau called the election early, to try and win a majority government.  Polls suggest this is likely because of the Liberals swift response to COVID-19.  Additionally, no other political parties had or were running campaigns during these two years, as they anticipated a four-year reign from the existing government.

Majority governments are favourable to the party in power because then they can pass bills easier, as they have the majority of seats and can rally behind their party’s initiatives.  Another minority administration would leave Trudeau reliant on the New Democratic Party (NDP), who favour even heavier spending on social programs.  The NDP are the Liberals closest ally as they tend to sit similarly in the political spectrum.  The political spectrum in Canada is shown in the chart below.

While each Canadian party sits fairly centrally in the matrix, each takes slightly different political approaches and stances.  At the top of the chart, an authoritarian political stance favours strict obedience to authority.  On the contrary, a libertarian approach implies minimal state intervention in the free market or citizens' private lives.  Having a ‘left’ stance is typically more progressive with an emphasis on social and economic equality.  ‘Right’ political parties are those that have more conservative views, encouraging traditional ideas of private ownership and enterprises. 

So, what does this election mean for the future of immigration in Canada?  The current immigration plan was made by the Liberal party.  You’ll note that this was a four-year plan, as typically a party holds government for four years.  Because the party in charge of the government is subject to change in this election, this could lead to changes in the immigration sector.  The chart below highlights the existing immigration plan as made by the Liberal party, showing the number of immigration applications accepted per class.

 

Immigration Class

2021

2022

2023

Economic

232,500

241,500

249,500

Family

103,500

103,500

104,500

Refugee

59,500

60,500

61,000

Humanitarian

5,500

5,500

6,000

Total

401,000

411,000

421,000

Because this was made by the liberal party and it is unlikely another party will significantly overtake them in the coming election, immigration should not be drastically impacted in the near future.  In fact, these numbers represent record high immigration goals for Canada.  The 2021 immigration goal of accepting 401,000 applications is the highest in history since 1913.  This goal is set to expand even further in the years to come.  

If there is a change in government, here are the highlights of where each political party stands on their immigration policies.  

Liberals:

  • Plan to streamline the express entry process.
  • Increase workplace inspections to uphold the rights of temporary workers.
  • Make multi-million dollar investments in newcomer integration initiatives.

Conservatives:

  • Plans to expedite the immigration process in a few different ways:
    • Introducing fees to get your application reviewed sooner so people have a method to speed up their application process time.
    • Offering a more interactive process, with edit suggestions in the case of errors instead of flat rejections.
    • Increase the number of applications accepted in the express entry channel.

NDP:

  • Plan to remove the cap for parents and grandparents immigration stream.
  • Reduce backlog for family sponsorship applications
  • Establish more streams for temporary workers to gain permanent residency
  • Collaborate with provincial governments to identify gaps in foreign credential recognition.

Regardless of who wins this upcoming election, Immigrate is here to help your immigration dreams come true.  To start planning the process (amid the election), book a consultation with us.  We will identify the best options to help you come to Canada. 

 

Book a consultation