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Emerging Policy Issues Jeffrey G. Reitz Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Centre for International Studies University of Toronto November 13, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Emerging Policy Issues Jeffrey G. Reitz Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Centre for International Studies University of Toronto November 13, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emerging Policy Issues Jeffrey G. Reitz Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Centre for International Studies University of Toronto November 13, 2006 Gaps Between Skilled Immigration and Canadian Labour Markets

2 Agenda 1.Evolution of Canadian Immigration Evolution in relation to economic development Evolution in relation to educational investments Balance between general education and specific occupational skills 2.Current Challenges and Controversies Under-utilization of immigrant skills, and ‘brain waste’ Demand for temporary or less-skilled immigrants Illegal immigration 3.Policy Options Toward more flexible immigration policy?

3 Permanent Immigrants to Canada, Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

4 Immigration Nations: Percent Foreign-born, 2005 Source: United Nations, International Migration 2006

5 Canadian and U.S. immigration: Source: Green (1995, p. 48) Annually as % of pop.

6 Immigration Cities: Migrants as Percentage of Urban Populations, 2001 Source: Fellegi, 2004

7 Shifts in immigrant origins, Canada Source: Fellegi, 2004

8 Three Phases of Canadian Immigration History Agricultural Economy: –Immigration for Settlement of the West, 1850 – 1920 Industrial Economy: –Immigration for Urban Construction and Manufacturing, 1900 – 1960 Post-Industrial Economy: –Immigration for the Knowledge Economy, 1960 – present

9 Canada: Why so much immigration? Nation-building, need for larger population –Satellite status in North America –Multicultural destiny? Economic development –New ‘consensus’ that immigration stimulates growth Low birth rate –Falling population after 2025 without immigration

10 Immigration and population growth, Canada Source: Fellegi, 2004

11 Canada: why so much immigration? Nation-building, need for larger population –Satellite status in North America Economic development –New ‘consensus’ that immigration stimulates growth Low birth rate –Falling population after 2025 without immigration

12 Canada: why so much immigration? Nation-building, need for larger population –Satellite status in North America Economic development –New ‘consensus’ that immigration stimulates growth Low birth rate –Falling population after 2025 without immigration Potential to manage –Due to geographic isolation

13 Elements of Immigration Management Emphasis on skill selectivity after 1960 reforms –Points system, continuous upgrades –High proportions of ‘economic migrants’

14 Immigrants to Canada, by admission category (green is skill-selected) Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

15 Points system – as of September 22, Education 5-25H.S.  PhD 2.Official language knowledge0-24English, French 3.Work experience years 4.Age years 5.Arranged Employment0-10HRSDC confirmed 6.‘Adaptability’0-10* * Spouse education, Canadian education or experience, family contacts Pass Mark: 67 out of maximum 100 Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

16 Example 1.Education 20BA 2.Official language knowledge16Fluent in English 3.Work experience172 years 4.Age years 5.Arranged Employment 0No job 6.‘Adaptability’ 5Spouse with BA 68  Pass (by one point)

17 Elements of Immigration Management Emphasis on skill selectivity after 1960 reforms –Points system, continuous upgrades –High proportions of ‘economic migrants’

18 Elements of Immigration Management Emphasis on skill selectivity after 1960 reforms –Points system, continuous upgrades –High proportions of ‘economic migrants’ –Increased potential for integration Integration policy –Settlement services, language training –Fees –Separate Quebec selection system –Multiculturalism

19 Canadian opinion on immigration levels Source: Gallup Canada, Inc. “If it were your job to plan an immigration policy for Canada at this time, would you be inclined to increase immigration, decrease immigration, or keep the number of immigrants at about the current level?”

20 Current Challenges 1.Labour market problems of skilled immigrants Declining employment and earnings Skill under-utilization, ‘brain waste’ 2.Demand for temporary or less skilled immigrants E.g. Alberta oil industry 3.Illegal immigrants Construction industry 200,000? 4.Other problems: 1.Racial tensions 2.Border security, terrorism 3.Urban concentration of immigrants, desire for immigration elsewhere

21 Earnings trends for immigrant men Source: Frenette and Morissette, Statistics Canada, 2003

22 Some reasons offered for decline Reasons specific to time periods –Business cycle effects (recessions of early 1980s, early 1990s) –Origins shift (1960 – 1980) Reasons related to broader labour market changes –Adverse conditions for all new labor market entrants –Increased emphasis on credentials –Less value of foreign experience

23 Promoting Immigrant Skill Utilization 1.professional licensing access 2.bridge training programs 3.credential assessment services 4.workplace internships and mentoring 5.diversity training 6.information websites 7.public awareness 8.recognition of employer best practices

24 More Temporary Migration? Employer-driven, less skilled: short-term v. long-term potential for integration Enforcement: ensuring temporary status

25 Illegal Migration Growing problem, unknown size Pressure to create temporary migration U.S. experience Threat to immigration program

26 Directions to Fill Gaps Employer-driven immigration Government-private partnerships Community involvement


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