Reducing overall levels and prioritizing skilled immigrants
The primary aim of Canada’s immigration policy should be to economically benefit Canadians and Canada as a whole. It should not be used to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country. And it should not put excessive financial burdens on the shoulders of Canadians in the pursuit of humanitarian goals.
Despite Canada already accepting more immigrants than almost any other country, both the Liberals and Conservatives support an unsustainable increase in the annual immigration intake, and are using mass immigration as a political tool to buy votes among immigrant communities.
Right now, only 26% of all the immigrants and refugees who come to Canada every year are directly chosen because they have the right qualifications and work experience to fulfill our economic needs. The rest are dependents (spouses and children), come through the family reunification program or as refugees, do not work, or do not have the skills that we need even if they find work.
Immigrants generally have lower wages than non-immigrants. They pay on average about half as much in income taxes as other Canadians but absorb nearly the same value of government services. A study puts the cost to taxpayers in 2014 at roughly $5,300 per immigrant living in Canada, for a total annual cost of somewhere between $27 billion and $35 billion.
Demographic studies have shown that newcomers are a bit younger on average than Canadians, but not enough to have a noticeable impact on the rate of aging. The Liberal government has made matters worse by increasing the number of parents and grand-parents accepted under the family reunification program.
Mass immigration also inflates housing prices. More than 41% of all immigrants to Canada settle in and around Toronto and Vancouver, which have some of the least affordable housing among big cities in the world.
Our immigration policy can benefit Canadians only if we welcome the right kind of immigrants. It should prioritize Canada’s economic interests and be calibrated in a way that does not jeopardize Canadian values and the maintenance of our national identity.
A People’s Party government will:
Substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees Canada accept every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on economic and other circumstances.
Reform the immigration point system and the related programs to accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants with the right skills.
Accept fewer resettled refugees (see Refugees policy) and limit the number of immigrants accepted under the family reunification program, including abolishing the program for parents and grand-parents.
Limit the number of temporary foreign workers and make sure that they fulfil temporary positions and do not compete unfairly with Canadian workers.
Change the law to make birth tourism illegal.
Ensure that every candidate for immigration undergoes a face-to-face interview and answers a series of specific questions to assess the extent to which they align with Canadian values and societal norms (see Canadian Identity policy).
Increase resources for CSIS, the RCMP and Canadian Immigration and Citizenship to do interviews and thorough background checks on all classes of immigrants.