Listening to the Conservatives you would think that past governments – Liberal ones anyway -- have horribly bungled the immigration issue. This is simply not true. Canada is rare among Western countries in that there is no large segment of society is calling on the government to close the doors to immigration. As a result, there is no Canadian Le Pen, Joerg Haider or SVP. Indeed, the main Conservative criticism thus far is that Canada is not processing the large number of people wanting to immigrate to Canada fast enough. Faced with a looming demographic crunch, European politicians must be asking themselves why they are not as lucky.
Still there are problems. Canada lets in far more refugees and humanitarian cases than it needs to and should, rules governing family unification are ridiculously stupid, the points system favors older immigrants over younger ones, the government needs to do a better job ensuring that foreign credentials are recognized and yes skilled worker applications need to be processed faster.
Conservative reforms might help, but no one really knows and that is the problem. Rather than tackling the more nettlesome issues head on the Conservatives have thrown out the rules and have instead said they make them up as the go along. It is hard to imagine a worse way of approaching the issue. The cure is promises to be far worse than what currently ails the patient.
Incidentally, the only thing that will speed up the rate at which current applications, some 926,000, are processed is to increase the number immigration officials and Conservatives have been cutting the number of officials and not adding more. Cherry picking a small segment of those already in line is hardly what your average Canadian imagines when they hear the Conservatives claim that they are going to reduce the current backlog, but that is all that Conservatives are doing.
Even more troublesome than the Conservative’s just trust us approach to immigration is their willingness to let in more guest workers. There is ample evidence that armies of disenfranchised workers, whether they be illegal or guest, are a recipe of disaster. It is great way to, create an underclass, suppress wages, encourage black marketing, increase xenophobia and racism.