According to the official Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (CIC), the federal government would like to gauge the public’s opinion about how many new permanent residents should be allowed into the country in 2014. They also want to know how these new immigrants should be distributed across the various immigration categories. The website refers to this probing as a “consultation” and it is said to explore various issues that are derived from three basic questions:

  • What is the appropriate level of immigration for Canada, this year and beyond?
  • What is the best ratio – or mix – between the number of economic immigrants, family class immigrants and the refugee/humanitarian class?
  • Economic immigration is a key immigration goal for Canada’s long-term economic growth. What role can immigration play to support Canada’s economy?

Opinions Vary

Opinions vary quite a lot when it comes to the topic of immigration. A quick search of the internet turns up a recent paper from the Fraser Institute saying recent immigrants are a “fiscal burden on Canadian taxpayers” to the tune of $20 billion per year and that immigration should stop entirely for parents and grandparents. On the flip side, a Toronto Star article argues that for immigrants to find true success and successfully contribute, they must feel like they belong, which is only accomplished when their entire families are here with them.

What Makes Sense?

Does it makes sense that only those people that can currently contribute to the economy be allowed into the country? What about those coming from war zones? What about those who can really contribute, but who have a spouse or kids or parents who also want to immigrate?

Immigration is always a potentially volatile topic, and quite often people base their opinions on what is going on in their own lives, rather than what may or may not be best for the country.

The survey closed at the end of August 2013, and the results are expected to be released in 2014. It will be interesting to see the public’s views on these important matters.