Improving Canada’s Selection of Economic Immigrants
AbstractImmigrants coming to Canada over the last two decades have been doing considerably worse in terms of economic outcomes than in previous decades and observers could be missing the real reason why. Until now, we have heard suggestions that it has to do with the changing economy, systemic racism or barriers to getting foreign work credentials recognized. But one likely possibility has not yet been seriously considered: that changes in the early 1990s to the way economic immigrants are processed may have resulted in a system that is poorer at selecting those immigrants likeliest to succeed in Canada. The good news is that this problem is fixable. There is no question that the decline in wages and labour-force participation among immigrants, and their rise in poverty rates, is striking. While, in 1980, employed immigrant men earned 85 cents for every dollar earned by employed Canadian men, that had fallen by 2005 to 63 cents. For employed immigrant women, earnings fell from 85 cents of every dollar earned by Canadian-born women in 1980 to 65 cents in 2005. While Canadian-born people saw entry-level earnings rise by 20 per cent between 1981 and 2007, wages for immigrants classified under the Federal Skilled Worker program went the opposite direction, actually falling by more than 20 per cent over the same period. In addition, the number of immigrants who live below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut off grew by more than a third since 1991, even as the number of Canadian-born people below the cut off shrank by a third over the same period. It is hard not to notice that the declines in outcomes began right after changes were made to the way these immigrants were evaluated for entry into Canada. Most significant was replacing in-person interviews with so-called “perfected applications” submitted by mail, and later, online. Under the previous procedure, an interview with an immigration officer would often flesh out important information concealed by an impersonal application. For example, the policy was to interview those applicants who fell just short of qualifying under Canada’s 1 points-based system. This was in case something was discovered during the in-person interview that gave the officer reason to add extra points or recommend admission anyway. Likewise, those applicants who looked good on paper were sometimes deemed by an officer to be less qualified than their application suggested. Today, applicants typically hire lawyers or consultants to fill out their application and those professionals know how to make an application look good. If the government wants to improve outcomes for immigrants, it should run a pilot program with two streams of applicants in one or more intake offices: assess half of them using the current procedure and the other half using the old interview method, then measure their outcomes over the years. That should be done alongside other improvements to the immigration system, including: lifting the caps on provincial nominees, who have a stronger record of success; providing Canadian Experience Class applicants a shorter route to immigration, so they don’t abandon their attempts; reintroducing a limited version of the Assisted Relative Class; and reducing larger immigration offices in overseas capitals in favour of smaller, more regional offices nearer newer immigrant pools. As the government moves to increase immigration levels, these changes could make Canada’s already highly successful immigration system even more successful.
The following is the copyright statement of SPPP.
Copyright © <Author name> <year>. This is an open-access paper distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC 4.0, which allows non-commercial sharing and redistribution so long as the original author and publisher are credited.
Publication Copyright and Licensing
The following guidelines and information, provided in six sections, are intended for authors (the “Author”) who are invited to write a paper (the “Work”) for The School of Public Policy Publications (the “Publisher”). The rights and responsibilities conveyed in the SPP Author Agreement will only apply once your paper is accepted for publication. At that point in the publication process, you will be asked to download the form and return a signed copy via e-mail to email@example.com. Please review the below information to ensure agreement with SPPP policies.
Section 1: Author’s Grant of Rights
In consideration of the Publisher’s agreeing to publish the Work in The School of Public Policy Publications, the Author hereby grants to the Publisher the following:
1.1 The irrevocable, royalty-free right to publish, reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform and distribute the Work in perpetuity throughout the world in all means of expression by any method or media now known or hereafter developed, including electronic format;
1.2 The irrevocable, royalty-free right to use the Author’s name and likeness in association with the Work in published form and in advertising and promotional materials related to the Work; and
1.3 The irrevocable, royalty-free right to license others to do any or all of the above.
Section 2: Prior Publication & Publication by Others
2.1 The Author agrees not to publish the Work, or authorize any third party to publish the Work, either in print or electronically, prior to publication of the Work by the Publisher.
2.2 The Author agrees not to publish the Work in any publication outlet which is substantially similar to The School of Public Policy Publications for a period of six (6) months after publication of the Work in The School of Public Policy Publications. Substantially similar is defined as a non-subscription, open-access publication outlet with a similar mandate/vision and intended audience.
2.3 Should the Author publish or distribute the Work elsewhere at any time or in any alternate format, the Author agrees to contact The School of Public Policy Publications to inform them of the subsequent publication.
2.4 Should the Author publish or distribute the Work elsewhere at any time or in any alternate format, the Author agrees to make reasonable efforts to ensure that any such additional publication cites the publication in The School of Public Policy Publications by author, title, and publisher, through a tagline, author bibliography, or similar means. A sample acknowledgement would be:
“Reprinted with permission from the author. Originally published in the The School of Public Policy Publications, http://www.policyschool.ca/publications/.”
Section 3: Editing and Formatting
The Author authorizes the Publisher to edit the Work and to make such modifications as are technically necessary or desirable to exercise the rights in Section 1 in differing media and formats. The Publisher will make no material modification to the content of the Work without the Author’s consent.
Section 4: Author’s Ownership of Copyright and Reservation of Rights
4.1 Nothing in this agreement constitutes a transfer of the copyright by the Author, and the copyright in the Work is subject to the rights granted by this agreement.
4.2 The Author retains the following rights, including but not limited to, the right:
4.2.1 To reproduce and distribute the Work, and to authorize others to reproduce and distribute the Work, in any format;
4.2.2 To post a version of the Work in an institutional repository or the Author’s personal or departmental web page so long as The School of Public Policy Publications is cited as the source of first publication of the Work (see sample acknowledgement above).
4.2.3 To include the Work, in whole or in part, in another work, subject to Section 2 above and provided that The School of Public Policy Publications is cited as the source of first publication of the Work (see sample acknowledgement above).
4.3 The Editors and Editorial Board of The School of Public Policy Publications requires authors to publish the Work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the Work for noncommercial purposes, and ensures the Author is credited for the original creation. This onward licensing is subject to section 2.4 of this agreement, which further ensures that the original publisher is credited.
Section 5: Author’s Warranties and Undertakings
The Author warrants that:
5.1 The Author is the sole author of the Work, or if a joint author, the Author has identified within the Work the other authors, and holds the copyright, either solely or jointly, and has the power to convey the rights granted in this agreement.
5.2 The Work has not previously been published, in whole or in part, except as follows:
5.3 Any textual, graphic or multimedia material included in the Work that is the property or work of another is either explicitly identified by source and cited in the Work or is otherwise identified as follows:
5.4 To the best of the Author’s knowledge, the Work does not contain matter that is obscene, libelous, or defamatory; it does not violate another’s civil right, right of privacy, right of publicity, or other legal right; and it is otherwise not unlawful.
5.5 To the best of the Author’s knowledge, the Work does not infringe the copyright or other intellectual property or literary rights of another.
5.6 The Author will indemnify and hold Publisher harmless against loss, damages, expenses, awards, and judgments arising from breach of any such warranties.
Section 6: The Reuse of Third-Party Works
The Publisher requires that the Author determine, prior to publication, whether it is necessary to obtain permissions from any third party who holds rights with respect to any photographs, illustrations, drawings, text, or any other material (“third-party work”) to be published with or in connection with your Work. Copyright permission will not be necessary if the use is determined to be fair dealing, if the work is in the public domain, or if the rights-holder has granted a Creative Commons or other licence. If either the Author or Publisher determines for any reason that permission is required to include any thirdparty work, the Author will obtain written permission from the rightsholder.