Immigration reforms put Canada on the right track



    OTTAWA, Oct. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The convergence of Canada's "temporary"
and "permanent" systems is providing a more flexible and adaptive approach to
immigration, according to a Conference Board study, Renewing Immigration:
Towards a Convergence and Consolidation of Canada's Immigration Policies and
Systems.
    "Canada's permanent and temporary immigration systems are changing to
better address the needs of business, provinces and migrants themselves," said
Douglas Watt, Associate Director, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning.
"These changes are positive steps, but more needs to be done. Canada is
competing with other countries for top international talent and a willingness
to adjust programs and policies is the hallmark of successful immigration
systems."
    In recent years, increasing numbers of temporary workers have been
accepted into Canada to fill gaps in labour markets. The following changes
demonstrate the convergence between the temporary and permanent systems:

    
    - improvements to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, as
      well as the increasing use of mechanisms driven by employer-and
      regional-demand for skilled workers, particularly the Provincial
      Nominee Program (PNP);
    - the newly created Canadian Experience Class; and
    - improvements to the International Student Program, the Off-Campus Work
      Permit Program, and the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

    The Conference Board provides a number of recommendations to make Canada's
immigrations systems more effective, which reflect the global trends in
immigration:

    - Address the growing importance of skills-based migration to meet labour
      market needs - Australia has been a leader in this area; the federal
      government's Bill C-50 is a positive move in this direction.
    - Maintain a robust commitment to humanitarian-based immigration while
      expanding skills-based migration-there is no need for an either/or
      choice between them.
    - Take further steps to help temporary foreign workers become permanent
      employees by creating new and improved pathways to permanent residency.
    - Harness the growing engagement of employers in immigration - the rapid
      expansion in size and scope of the TFW and the PNP and other programs
      demonstrates the growing interest and involvement of employers, but
      there is scope for greater engagement.
    - Increase settlement and integration services, especially in urban
      areas - The size and diversity of immigrant communities, especially
      within city-regions, has increased the need for greater support for
      existing immigrant communities.
    - Link immigration programs and practices to other major government
      policies and strategies - governments are increasingly linking
      immigration to overarching social, economic, and environmental
      objectives.
    

    The study, produced under the three-year CanCompete research program, is
unique in setting out the myriad pieces that comprise Canada's permanent and
temporary immigration systems. CanCompete, a three-year program of research
and dialogue, is designed to help leading decision makers advance Canada on a
path of national competitiveness. The report is publicly available at
www.e-library.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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