Despite the alarmist headline,“Language test spells trouble for newcomers” in the Star, Canada's decision to force all would be immigrants to take the IELTS (the Cambridge language exam) is good news. The Cambridge exam may not perfectly reflect spoken English in Canada, but it is the gold standard of English tests taken aboard and in ESL schools in Canada and it is required for foreigners wanting to go to university in Canada. One can sign up for a Cambridge study coarse in Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Seoul, New Delhi, etc. By adopting the Cambridge test as the standard, it becomes easier for Canada to attract would be immigrants. People know just what to study for, and more importantly they can easily access programs that will help them pass the test.
Whether it be allowing ESL students to work in Canada and now this, the Harper government, to its credit, is making it easier and more likely that ESL students, for one, will immigrant to Canada.
Update: The government got cold feet and dropped the idea. Shame. http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/436519