It’s official. The Liberal Party of Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has won the 2021 Canadian election, but only with enough seats to form a minority government. In this article, we’ll examine what this means for Canadian immigration under the continued governance of the Liberal mandate.
The number of seats won by each party in the September 20 election is strikingly similar to the number held prior to the election, leaving many Canadians wondering if the 2021 election, which cost more than $600 million, was necessary? Prime Minister Trudeau, however, held strong to his victory in a speech early Tuesday morning:
“Thank you, my friends. You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic, and to the brighter days ahead, and my friends, that’s exactly what we are ready to do.”
Trudeau called the Canadian election in an effort to win a majority government which would allow his government to pass new legislation and enact policy without the support of other parties. Having failed at this goal, only succeeding to maintain minority status, the Liberals will be forced to negotiate support from the other political parties in order to pass new legislation.
Bearing in mind that the Trudeau government will have to negotiate with Canada’s other political parties in order to enact their platform promises, let’s examine the immigration policies outlined in the Liberal Party platform.
Immigration promises in the Liberal platform
The Liberal Party platform was light on immigration. Other issues were top of mind for Canadian voters with the platform focused more heavily on COVID-19, housing affordability, health care, and climate change. However, there were a few key promises related to immigration:
Promises for economic immigration pathways
No radical changes have been proposed for immigration in the Liberal platform, but several tweaks to existing programs and policies have been proposed:
- Reform economic immigration programs to expand pathways to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers and former international students through the Express Entry points system.
- Build on the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot and work with employers and communities across Canada to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to fill labour shortages in in-demand sectors such as health care.
- Establish a Trusted Employer system to streamline application process for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers to fill labour shortages that cannot be filled by Canadian workers.
- Grow and improve the Global Talent Stream program by simplifying permit renewals, upholding the 2-week processing time, and establishing an employer hotline, to allow Canadian companies to attract and hire highly skilled workers.
- Continue to work with provinces, territories, and regulatory bodies to improve foreign credential recognition.