Peculiarities of Canadian Immigration Policy in 2006-2012

  • Mariia Burtseva The State Institution «Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine»
Keywords: Canada, immigration policy, migration


The paper analyzes some features of the Canadian immigration policy in 2006-2012. It was during that period that the Canadian policy of «open arms» underwent significant changes, changing the focal point of its further development. An important impetus to those processes was the Conservative Party of Canada coming to power and the review of the new federal government, headed by Stephen Harper, activity priorities. Mainly, attention was focused on focal points of the Conservative Cabinet activity.

The first was to establish the priority of ensuring the economic needs of Canada by changing the immigration law. To provide that, various initiatives were introduced. Among them were both complex and specific. Some of them were aimed at attracting to the Canadian labor market persons who were in Canada on temporary worker programs. Others encouraged business people to immigrate. An important component of those programs was the involvement of economic immigrants who did not require a significant/full public financial support. Thus, applicants with experience in living and working in Canada did not need social services and adaptation programs. And that, in turn, reduced the budget expenditures of the state.

The second focal point of the activity was the introducing of legislative initiatives aimed at gradual limiting the opportunities of «unwanted» and «dangerous» immigrants coming to Canada. The procedures of that focal point were formally aimed at counteracting various violations – illegal immigration, exploitation, and trafficking in people, the submission of «false refugees», etc. Accordingly, the imposed interdictions and restrictions regarded persons somehow connected with those violations. The main category of «dangerous» immigrants was illegal immigrants and other persons involved in that process. Just against that group the most severe legal restrictions, sentences, and some aggravating factors were introduced. The introduction of such rigid regulations was preceded by the widening of the definition «people smuggling» by the conservative government. Thus, the illegal arrival to Canada was regarded as a criminal activity – people smuggling. Another unprofitable category of immigrants was refugees. To constrain the applicants of that group, a list of «Designated Countries of Origin» – unsafe countries, the natives of which lost the right to apply for the status of a humanitarian immigrant, was introduced. In addition, for the same purpose, the unfavorable changes in the procedure of proceeding refugees’ applications were made. Lastly, restrictive legislative initiatives were characterized by the enhancement of the Minister of Immigration and immigration officials rights, for providing additional opportunities to reject the applicants.

It has been concluded that the measures of both policy focal points concerning immigrants in the specified period were the parts of the same process. After all, the introduction of priority programs of economic immigration was accompanied by the reduction of opportunities for other, economically unprofitable groups of immigrants.


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How to Cite
Burtseva, M. (2019). Peculiarities of Canadian Immigration Policy in 2006-2012. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (2(26), 149-159.
World History and International Relations