How will the 2019 Canadian Elections affect Immigration policies?
On October 21st, 2019, Canada will hold its 43rd federal election. As Immigration is mostly a federal competence (with exception in Quebec, where the provincial government also has a voice on immigration), we can expect all major parties to have their own platforms on immigration.
During the course of a political campaign, it is easy to get lost in all the promises that the political leaders make to attract voters. We have summarized what we believe each parties' policies will be on the subject of immigration.
Disclaimer: these are the policies we have gathered from each party throughout the 2019 electoral campaign, it is not guaranteed that the winner of the elections will implement what they have promised during the campaign.
Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) Leader: Justin Trudeau
Since the Liberals have been in power, immigration has seen large increases. In 2018, it is estimated that 321,045 immigrants came to Canada. The Liberal party has already pledged to increase the yearly immigration admissions to 350,000 in 2021, which will be 1% of Canada's population. The increase in immigrants also means that there will be an increase in the amount of refugees admitted, for which we might see a new dedicated stream.
New Democratic Party (NDP)
Leader: Jagmeet Singh
One recurring issue that NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has often commented on was the suspension of the "Safe Third Country Agreement" with the United States. Under this agreement, refugees are required to request refugee protection in the first "safe country" they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception. At this moment, the U.S. is the only country that is designated as a safe third country by Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The NDP has also pledge to end the quotas for parental sponsorships. The focus for this party doesn't seem to be for advertising a number of new immigrants, but rather clearing the current backlogs and prioritize family reunification.
Conservative Party of Canada (CPC)
Leader: Andrew Scheer
The Conservatives have been clear on their priority to limit illegal border crossings and increase of refugee screening. The CPC also vows to renegotiate the "Safe Third Country Agreement" with the United States and favour "economic immigration" over other streams.
Bloc Québécois (BQ)
Leader: Yves-François Blanchet
Being a party that is primarily focused on the province of Québec, it is only natural that their politics would revolve around Quebec immigration. Similar to provincial politics, the BQ would like Quebec to control the number of immigrants and refugees that are accepted into the province.
Leader: Elizabeth May
The strongest claim we have heard from Green Party leader Elizabeth may is that the Greens would terminate the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and instead increase the permanent residence programs. The Greens also want to include "Environmental or Climate" refugees to the general definition of "refugees" for those fleeing their countries due to climate change. The platform also mentions an increase in immigration in areas where jobs are harder to fill. They also want to end the Safe Third Country agreement.