TORONTO - Unfair, bureaucratic, excessively dependent on language proficiency, and unresponsive to the real needs of the labour marketplace.
Canada’s immigration system, turned on its head during nine years of reactionary policies developed under a Reform-Conservative government, continues to labour under the weight of its shortcomings – exhibiting the stresses of its limitations and shortcomings, particularly its Express Entry program.
For several years, the Corriere Canadese has critiqued the weaknesses in the system, its lack of balance, the need for a fundamental shift on the importance demanded for knowledge of either official language, and, the absurd point system that rewards “highly qualified and educated” applicants while Canada need skilled and semi-skilled workers – especially in the construction industry.
One looks for inspiration wherever it is available. South of our border, the American President, Donald Trump, be-devilled by scandals, Russiagate, reforms promised but unfulfilled, a cycle of staff turnover and mind-boggling tweets that pass for policy and run the risk of placing in jeopardy the fundamental principles of American democratic institutions, has now decided to stir the pot further by laying his hands on the immigration sector.
His planned reform package will emphasize ability in the English language as a fundamental prerequisite as well as grid based on a point system for all aspiring applicants. Initiative universally panned and decried by pundits, commentators and a large portion of the political class as likely unconstitutional, certainly non-American. They claim the proposals are headed for defeat.
Stephen Miller, special advisor to the president, in a heated and combative exchange with journalists during a press conference on the issue, admitted that Trump was inspired by the systems current in (of all places) Canada and Australia.
That’s it. If one needed a final seal of condemnation, a final bit of evidence that our immigration system is deficient and faulty, then we have it: we have become the model and justification for the Trump creation.
Fortunately, perhaps, in the United States, the proposals have already been “cut off at the pass”. Here in Canada, we have had to endure the absurd consequences of these proposals for far too long.
Meanwhile, the current government has yet to see its way clear to a path that dissociate the country form the plan and to replace it with one that is fairer, more balanced, more flexible and more responsive to the real needs of the Canadian labour market.