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Canadian Political Parties and Immigration Agenda

Learn about what each Political parties in Canada stand for regarding Immigration.

As diverse and divergent as the ideologies of the Canadian political parties, so is their view as it regards immigration in Canada. Although they may seem out of sync on a number of issues relating to immigration, they however, tend to be significant.

Thus, parties are often in the habit of putting forth their immigration agendas during elections, as this very important topic, plays a vital role in the choice of party to vote for and consequently the final outcome of the elections.

Current Representation of Canadian Political Parties

NameFoundedIdeologyLeaderMPs as of 2021Largest MP CaucusPolitical Position
Bloc Quebecois1991Quebec Sovereignty, Regionalism, Social DemocracyYves-Francois Blanchet32/33854/295 (1993)Center-Left
Conservative Party of Canada2003Conservative, Economic LiberalismErin O’Toole119/338166/308 (2011)Centre-right to Right Wing
Green Party of Canada1983Green PoliticsAnnamie Paul2/3383/308 (2019)
Liberal Party of Canada1867Liberalism, Social LiberalismJustin Trudeau159/338179/245 (1940)Centre to Centre-Left
New Democratic Party1961Social DemocracyJagmeet Singh25/338103/308 (2011)Centre-left to Left Wing

Registered Political Parties in Canada

The under listed Canadian political parties are registered with Elections Canada therefore, are eligible to sponsor candidates in future federal elections, however, are not presently represented in the House of Commons.

NameFoundedIdeologyLeaderLargest MP CaucusPolitical Position
Animal Protection Party of Canada2005Animal Rights, EnvironmentalismLiz WhiteSingle Issue
Canada’s Fourth Front2019Direct DemocracyPartap Dua
Centrist Party of Canada2020CentrismA.Q. RanaCentre
Canada Nationalist Party2017White NationalismGus StefanisFar-right
Christian Heritage Party of Canada1986Social Conservatism, Christian RightsRodney L. TaylorRight-wing

Political Ideologies in Canada

Although, the major Canadian political parties have ideologies that are supportive of welcoming immigrants and foreigners yearly, they nevertheless, differ on the issues of who should be allowed to immigrate to Canada, in what way they should be admitted, and what post arrival assistance should be granted to them.

Similarly, there are a number of other political parties in Canada, which will be running candidates in upcoming federal election also, nevertheless, there are three major Canadian political parties running candidates nationally, therefore, their thoughts and agendas as regards immigration in Canada will take centre stage.

The Three Major Canadian Political Parties

Most importantly, this post focuses on Canadian political parties, their immigration agendas and policies. These thoughts however, will be centered on those of the major federal political parties, which includes; the present ruling Liberal Party, its main opposition the Conservative Party, as well as the centre-left New Democratic Party (NDP).

In addition, immigration to Canada is a very significant and relevant political issue for a number of reasons, particular amongst these reasons is winning voters and how the immigration agendas influence their votes. This, therefore, impacts and shapes Canada’s political parties’ views and ideologies.

The Liberal Party of Canada on immigration

Canada’s Liberal Party encourages sound, well-meaning and responsible increases in immigration, which is however, focused on receiving highly skilled immigrants who would support to build a stronger Canada.”

One important agenda by the Liberal party on immigration is to enable atleast 90,000 Canadian workers become permanent residents via a new one-time program, in addition to issuing the most Express Entry invitations to candidates in the Canadian Experience Class, where an ongoing or recent Canadian work experience is required.

In addition, their target immigration goal of 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021 may actually be achievable, notwithstanding the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Liberal Party Future Immigration Plans

Further landmarks are nevertheless been aimed at in the Canadian Immigration Plan, which intends to further admit 411,000 new immigrants in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023 respectively.

These numbers are the highest immigration numbers ever in Canada. However, the majority of these immigrants will be economic immigrants who will be received particularly through the Express Entry program, Provincial Nominee Programs, in addition to other regional programs.

Also, through the Liberal Party administration it is believed that as travel restrictions ease, many foreign immigration candidates, such as the federal skilled worker candidates, will be invited, approved, and welcomed to Canada.

Part of the immigration agendas of the Canadian Liberal party is to:

  • Streamline the Express Entry program, likewise, conferring more authority on the immigration minister to select more permanent resident candidates who satisfy the needs of the Canadian labor market.
  • The Global Case Management System is to be replaced with a fully digital platform for Canada’s immigration system not later than 2023.
  • As regards to the temporary foreign worker program, there will be increase of workplace inspections, this is to ensure that the rights of temporary foreign workers are respected.
  • Poised to increase investments in newcomer integration programs across dozens of pathways.

The important fact about the immigration agenda of the Liberals is that they tie immigration policies with economic growth, pointing out the positive impacts that population increase have on the growth of the economy, in addition to demographics, labor market projections, and fiscal bottlenecks posed by an aging population.

The Conservative Party of Canada on immigration

The Conservative Political Party of Canada on the other hand, holds ideas and propositions regarding certain immigration measures which should include the introduction of a mechanism whereby the application of any candidate who are on queue for their application to be reviewed can pay a fee to  fast-track the processing.

Thereafter, the revenue gotten from such processing would be used to hire more staffs, which in the long run would reduce the processing time for all applications.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Political Party are centre-right. Presently, it is the official opposition party in Canada, this means that it won and occupies the second highest number of seats in the House of Commons. Likewise, it is the only political party aside from the Liberal party to have held office at the federal level.

Conservative Party on Fees and Fast-tracking

Similarly, employers who do not mind paying extra fees to secure their foreign workers will likewise benefit from this fee-based fast–tracked visas processing when the time comes, especially under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Conservative Party on Technology

Furthermore, the Conservative party also like to expound on the necessity of additional technology, and also that all communication and interactions between immigration applicants and immigration officers must be recorded.

Another idea put forward by the Conservatives is that an applicant should be able to correct simple and innocent mistakes made in an application within a specified time interval, rather than being issued an outright rejection.

Conservative Party on Credential Recognition

The Conservatives also aspire to start up a Credential Recognition Task Force, which should help develop new credential recognition protocols, in conjunction with other mandates. The Task Force, in addition, would be in charge of checking and validating credential pre-qualification, in a bid to enabling foreigners outside of Canada acquire Canadian-standard proficiency certifications through accredited international institutions or distance learning with Canadian institutions.

Past Ideological Stands of the Conservative Political Party

Firstly, with regards to the Express Entry program and economic immigration, details of their achievements are not far-fetched. During the period of 2006 – 2015, immigration levels increased drastically, however, capping off at about 250,000 annually, just before the Conservatives were out of power in Ottawa.

Nevertheless, the Conservative party was the party which began the Express Entry immigration program in 2015, which immediately changed the way applicants were selected for immigration to Canada and how the application process works. As a result, gave rise to the best and most significant change of the Canadian economic immigration, thus experienced in recent history.

Additionally, during the era of the Conservative party at the helm of governance in Canada, too many points were awarded to Express Entry candidates with a valid job offer. On the other hand, the now ruling Liberal party prefer to favor applicants with the potential to settle in Canada, who can demonstrate bilingualism or proficiency in language and have proof of established family ties to Canada.

The New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party like every other major party have their own ideas and desires they would love to bring to play in Canada as it regards immigration.  A quote of the NDP website reads as stated: “we [New Democrats] believe in a Canada where newcomers can rely on a fair process, and find success when they arrive and where no one is separated from their loved ones for years because of backlogs.”

The New Democratic Political Party ideologies and propositions is centered around the following:

  • To eliminate the quota on the applications in the Parents and Grandparents Program.
  • Ensure the backlogs for family sponsorship application is brought to the lowest minimum.
  • Create more pathways to permanent residency for all temporary foreign workers.
  • Better regulate the activities of Canadian immigration consultants.
  • Partner with the government of the provinces to close the gaps in settlement services and like the Conservatives improve foreign credentials recognition.

The New Democratic Party continues to make big promises concerning immigration in Canada, inclusive of family unification, workers programs as well as to refugees. Being the most left-wing of the three major political parties in Canada, it is to be expected that the NDP will aspire better when it comes to immigration; however, a lot of the details on their immigration policies remain unclear.

The Bloc Quebecois Political Party

The Bloc Québécois is one of the Canadian federal political parties, This party’s central agenda is Quebec nationalism and the advancement of Quebec sovereignty. Founded by members of the federal Progressive Conservative Party and Liberal Party who were also Members of Parliament (MPs) at the period of the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord.

Similarly, its founder is Lucien Bouchard who was a cabinet minister in the federal Progressive Conservative government.

The main aim and agenda of the party is to create the opportunities needed for the political secession of Quebec from Canada, it however, does it only by actively campaigning within the Quebec province during federal elections. The party is recognized as a social democratic and separatist (or “sovereigntist”) party.

Political Ideologies of Bloc Quebecois

The under listed is an incomplete listing of Bloc Québécois political ideas. Among other agenda it proposes:

  • Top on the list is Quebec sovereignty, and independence from Canada,
  • Abortion rights
  • Environmentalism, and in full support of the Kyoto Accord
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Legalizing assisted suicide
  • Abolition of the Canadian Senate
  • Call back of Canadian troops from Afghanistan
  • Opposed to Canadian participation in the Iraq War of 2003
  • Eradication of the monarchy
  • Support for the Quebec Secularism law, which bans government workers in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols
  • Exempt Quebec from the requirements of the Multiculturalism Act

In addition, the 2015 Canadian federal election, saw the Bloc Québécois supporting the ban of face covering during the citizenship ceremony and voting.

Bloc Quebecois on Immigration Policies

According to its election platform for 2021, the Bloc wants:

  • Speeding up of immigration processing for applicants from Quebec,.
  • Although, it has a more independent immigration system compared to the rest of Canada, it desires to have control of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  • The use anonymous resumes in public service positions to curb discrimination in the hiring process.
  • Repeal of the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S., in hopes of ending irregular crossings at the Canada-U.S. border.
  • All French-speaking refugees resettled in Quebec.
  • Adopt its own model of the “Multiculturalism Act, it is believed that its present state hinders newcomers from integrating into Quebec society.
  • Finally, is a tax credit cut for graduates and immigrants who wish to settle outside major urban areas.