Planning to Study, Work in Canada? Here's Why Tomorrow's Election Could Amend Immigration Rules

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Canada will head to vote on September 20, according to a new poll on Saturday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Conservative rival will campaign to wrestle for power. According to latest Sondage Lager poll conducted for the Journal de Montreal and the National Post newspapers, the Conservatives led by Erin O’Toole have been given 33 percent vote, one percent ahead of 32 percent given to Trudeau’s Liberals.

In the 2019 elections, the Liberals did not performs well and their seat tally went down from the 170 mark, required to form a majority government, to reach 157 seats. It had got 184 seats in the last 2015 elections. The Liberals have governed largely with the support of the New Democratic Party (NDP), headed by Jagmeet Singh, a report in The Quint said.

Singh, a practicing Sikh, is the first visible minority leader to head a major federal political party in Canada. It is believed that in this election too, a minority government will come to power like the last four out of the six elections. In this case, smaller parties will determine who will be prime minister.

Immigration

The Liberal party under Justin Trudeau has expanded immigration into Canada since 2015, primarily through its Express Entry program, the report said. Data showed that in 2019, Canada granted permanent residency status to 3.4 lakh people. India remained the largest source country for these immigrants accounting for 25 percent, followed by China (9 percent) and Philippines (8 percent).

Immigrants also accounted for more than 80 percent of Canada’s population growth in 2019 and it was the highest population growth among the G7 nations.

Immigration Rise After Pandemic

In 2020, when Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, the immigration in Canada dipped 50 percent in comparison to 2019. 1.8 lakh people immigrated in 2020. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it prioritised in-Canada Express Entry candidates and also eased travel restrictions to allow approved permanent residents to enter the country.

However, in 2021, the immigration bounced back as 70,500 individuals granted permanent residency in the first quarter of 2021.

It added that with the widespread support for immigration in Canada, immigration isn’t a major political issue in this election. The top issues remain housing affordability, pandemic recovery, healthcare, and climate change.

Super Visa programme

With the liberals already achieving immigration goals, the Conservative party manifesto does not include immigration targets. Instead, it has proposed to expand the ‘Super Visa’ programme, which allows family members of new Canadians to come to Canada. The move is seen to benefit international students and temporary foreign workers.

India-Canada ties

India is currently the largest source country for migrants to Canada, and it is likely to remain so in the foreseeable future. India has around 2.5 million people migrating abroad every year, which is the highest in the world.

Migration from India is expected to increase likely due to ‘weak’ economy and climate change, the report adds.

Since Canada hasn’t proposed any country-based quota for migration, Indians are likely to continue to be welcomed to Canada in the coming years, regardless of whichever party comes to power.

Election Remains Tight

When Trudeau pulled the plug on his government at the beginning of August in order to force snap elections, he was riding high in the polls. Canadians were strongly supportive of his pandemic response, which saw hundreds of billions of dollars doled out to support workers and businesses through the crisis.

And the nation’s Covid vaccine rollout was going well, despite initial missteps. It seemed a good time to try to regain a majority in a third term.

Trudeau remains Canadians’ top choice for prime minister, but scandals and ethics lapses have tarnished his golden boy image, while his administration is showing signs of wear after six years in office.

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