Briefing

OECD recommends changes to Canada’s immigration system

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In a report released Tuesday, the OECD suggested, among other things, that the federal government simplify the criteria to apply for permanent residency; that it examine whether the selection process for migrants with partners deters applicants from bringing their families, and adapt the process if so; and that the government consider abolishing the labour market impact assessment, which requires employers to prove there’s no qualified Canadian to fill the role for which a migrant worker is being hired. The report also praised Canada’s system as a role model for other nations, based on migrants’ health, citizenship and employment rates. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the government would study the recommendations, but did not indicate whether they would be adopted. The report comes as Quebec considers cutting the number of immigrants it accepts and as the Ottawa rolls out new spending for immigration supports ahead of the federal election. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $26 million for Ontario refugee and immigration legal aid after the province slashed funding for the services. Some tech leaders have pushed for immigration reform in Canada. For example, Allen Lau, CEO of Wattpad, where Tuesday’s announcement was held, has long advocated for faster application processes for foreign skilled workers. While some new measures, like the Global Skills Strategy, are helping fill that gap, other programs have been less effective: in March, my colleague Murad reported that just 666 people were approved through Ottawa’s Start-up Visa program between 2014 and 2018.