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Weekly Canadian Immigration News Review & IRCC Update June 10 – June 16 2024

By

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern and a skilled litigator, Lev focuses exclusively on immigration and refugee law. His immigration practice is focused on complex corporate and personal immigration and refugee law matters.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers present a weekly news review to bring you the most recent updates and developments in Canadian immigration. Follow our social media channels for regular updates and insights into the rapidly evolving immigration scenario in Canada.

Canada May Implement New Changes To Post-Graduation Work Permit Policies 

The Canadian government is contemplating modifications to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program, with a possible focus on areas experiencing labour shortages. This approach may reduce overall access to the program; however, the objective is to better align the eligibility criteria for the PGWP with the demands of the labour market. This alignment is expected to enhance employment prospects for international students. The existing PGWP program is accessible to all international graduates from publicly funded programs without any work restrictions, and significant changes could be on the horizon. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is seeking feedback on which job categories should be eligible for the PGWP and whether certain groups of students should be granted exemptions. The government is also contemplating the introduction of a requirement for PGWP holders to secure a job offer after one year, among other potential prerequisites such as language proficiency. However, these potential changes have sparked concerns among international students, fearing that the new policies may restrict their access to Canadian work experience and pathways to permanent residency.

Canadian Universities Demonstrate Strong Performance In Global Education 

Canadian universities are continually leaving a profound mark in global education, as evidenced by their strong performance in the QS World University Rankings. This prestigious ranking has praised many Canadian universities for their outstanding academic quality, captivating research initiatives, and high student satisfaction rates. The University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia have emerged as leading institutions in this respect. They have been commended for their ground-breaking research endeavours, diverse academic portfolios, and the wealth of internships and professional development opportunities they offer.

The QS rankings testify to the robustness of Canada’s higher education system, underlining its multicultural and multinational character. This diversity, coupled with the high-quality educational experiences provided by Canadian universities, makes Canada an enticing destination for students from across the globe. As such, Canada’s higher education system continues to carve a niche for itself on the global stage, bolstered by its top-tier universities and their commitment to academic excellence. Moreover, Canadian universities’ inclusive and welcoming atmosphere and active emphasis on student well-being and support further enhance their appeal.

Western Premiers Discussed Economic And Quality-Of-Life Issues

The Premiers of Canada’s Western provinces and territories recently met to discuss common priorities for boosting economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for their residents. The key issues centred on economic challenges such as inflation, high interest rates, escalating food costs, and housing affordability. The premiers emphasized the necessity for collaboration with the federal government, particularly in areas like funding school food programs, improving supply chains, and backing farmers. They underscored the need for the federal government to make lasting commitments to childcare and other initiatives aimed at making life more affordable for Canadians. 

In addition to these economic concerns, the premiers highlighted the importance of federal investments in infrastructure, energy security, and partnerships with Indigenous communities for economic development. They also discussed Arctic security, relations between Canada and the US, public safety, and disaster readiness. These discussions underscored the need for greater federal involvement and support in these areas, showing the breadth and depth of the issues faced by these provinces and territories.

Atlantic Ministers Concerned Over Federal Workforce Funding Cuts

The Atlantic Workforce Ministers expressed serious concerns over the unexpected $625 million reduction in Labour Market Transfer Agreements (LMTAs), as announced in the Federal Budget 2024. On June 11, 2024, the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills of Newfoundland and Labrador called for reversing these cuts, emphasizing the crucial role LMTAs play in workforce development programs. They highlighted the potential consequences for sectors grappling with labour shortages and diverse demographic groups.

The funding cuts also imply a $62.3 million annual decrease in funding for skills training and employment initiatives across Atlantic Canada. The Ministers strongly disagreed with the Federal Government’s argument that other funding sources could offset the LMTA cuts. They underscored the detrimental effects these cuts could have on individuals and employers, emphasizing the urgent need to reconsider the decision. The Ministers stressed that these cuts would hamper the region’s economic recovery in the post-pandemic era, potentially leading to a significant increase in unemployment rates and a decline in skills development.

Canada’s Reduction In Temporary Residents May Harm GDP And Inflation 

The proposed reduction of non-permanent residents (NPRs) in Canada could potentially influence the nation’s real GDP growth and inflation, especially regarding housing costs. This prediction is based on a recent report by Desjardins. A decrease in NPRs could potentially enhance per capita GDP and stimulate real wage growth. However, the idea that an increase in wages would entice people back into the labour market is not strongly supported by evidence. The unemployment rates and the number of individuals seeking employment are at a historical low, with the majority being unable to work due to illness or personal obligations. 

Wage increases and labour shortages might negatively affect sectors predominantly employing NPRs, such as accommodation, food services, and retail. These sectors, which have already been significantly impacted by the pandemic and a predicted rise in insolvencies in 2024, could face additional challenges with a reduced supply of low-cost, temporary labour. This situation could also compel these sectors to explore innovative solutions to these challenges. The impact of these changes could extend to the housing market. A decrease in demand from NPRs might contribute to cooling the overheated housing market, potentially stabilizing housing costs.

Proposed Temporary Immigration Reductions May Negatively Impact Canadian Agriculture 

The Canadian agriculture sector may face setbacks due to the recent decision in the 2024 federal budget to reduce temporary immigration. The resulting decrease in temporary foreign workers could pose serious challenges for agricultural businesses. The government’s plan to lower the percentage of temporary residents in Canada to five percent of the total population over the next three years will lead to a reduction of approximately 600,000 temporary residents. Given the agricultural sector’s dependency on temporary foreign workers, this shift could have significant implications. 

Janet Krayden, a Canadian Mushroom Growers’ Association workforce specialist, expressed concerns about the unfair categorization of temporary foreign workers with international students. She noted that these are two distinct programs with different management bodies. Krayden also addressed the misplaced blame on immigrants for the country’s housing crisis, stating that the temporary foreign worker program is being used as a scapegoat for rising housing costs. It has been reported that Ottawa was cautioned about the link between immigration and housing pressures two years ago. However, experts dispute the claim that immigrants cause housing shortages, stating that investors and builders constructing fewer homes to keep prices high is the reason behind the crisis.

Canada Sees A Shift In Canadian Attitudes Towards Immigration 

Research Co.’s recent survey indicates a slight shift in Canadians’ immigration perceptions, leaning towards more negative views. The poll reveals a 6% increase since October 2023, with 44% of Canadians now primarily viewing immigration negatively. Conversely, those with a positive view have dipped by 3% to 42%. The undecided remains at 14%, dropping by three points. Interestingly, younger Canadians (18 to 34) hold a more positive view (55%) than their older counterparts, with only 37% of those over 55 and 32% of those between 35 and 54 expressing positive sentiments.

The poll also found that 46% of Canadians advocated for a reduction in legal immigration, a seven-point increase. Just 31% of those polled preferred to maintain the current level of immigration, while a mere 15% favoured an increase. Unsurprisingly, support for reducing immigration was highest in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, at 53%. On the other hand, Quebec showed the least support for a reduction, with just 34% in favour. Despite a rise in negative sentiment, 66% of Canadians still recognize the positive contributions immigrants make through their hard work. Additionally, 65% are in favour of immigration, provided that newcomers embrace Canadian values.

Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers bring their vast experience and expertise to help individuals immigrate to Canada. We guide clients through the complex immigration process, ensuring all documentation is correctly prepared and submitted on time. Whether it is for study, work, or permanent residency, Abramovich & Tchern Immigration Lawyers are committed to facilitating a smooth transition to life in Canada.

Lev Abramovich

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern and a skilled litigator, Lev focuses exclusively on immigration and refugee law. His immigration practice is focused on complex corporate and personal immigration and refugee law matters.