Canadian Immigration News

Canada’s Immigration System: Some Historical Context During Crisis

3 minute read
"Historically, Canada has faced challenges to its immigration system and plans, and has prevailed in maintaining its significance by navigating difficult challenges. Here is a look at how Canada has managed its immigration historically through difficult times and crises."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 9, 2021
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Historically, Canada has faced challenges to its immigration system and plans, and has prevailed in maintaining its significance by navigating difficult challenges. Here is a look at how Canada has managed its immigration historically through difficult times and crises.

What is the Historical Context of Past Immigration Challenges?

Canada Immigration has faced similar challenges to its ability to accept newcomers before. During the first World War, Canada experienced a drop in its intake of newcomers in 1915 to 34,000 compared to over 400,000 just 2 years prior. 

Immigration levels started to rise again during the 1920s but were met with further challenges due to the Great Depression followed by World War II. Therefore, immigration levels falling due to an unprecedented situation like the current global pandemic wasn’t something that Canada hasn’t dealt with before. 

The recovery from these unprecedented situations has led to great waves of newcomers coming to the country. Thousands of people immigrated to Canada following the establishment of the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Unlike other countries in Europe, Canada has abundant land and a low population. 

After World War II, Canada emerged strong and stable, but in dire need of a skilled labor workforce to keep up the post-war economy. Over 750,000 immigrants found a home in Canada between 1946-1953 (post World War II period).

Given that Canada’s population was less than 13 million, the size and adaptability of the new population was remarkable. This immigration wave led to a significant increase in the economic development and standard of living, leading to present-day Canada having significant presence on the world stage. 

What Has Been Happening Now in the Last Year with Canada’s Immigration Levels?

Currently, Canada is not in the middle of a military war but instead, a global pandemic. The lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the Canadian economy.

However, Canada has remained confident and secure. Immigration will play a key role in recovery and maintaining stability. The Canada Immigration Levels Plan is an immigration recovery plan and set a goal of inviting over 1,200,000 new immigrants from 2021-2023.

Not only for economic benefit, but Canada has also long welcomed refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries. Canada welcomed thousands of Hungarians in 1956-57, Vietnamese in the late 1970s and Syrians in the 2010s. 

Canada still aims to continue to be a place of refuge for foreign nationals. Recently, Canada announced special measures to help and encourage Hong Kong residents to immigrate given the increasingly regressive measures placed in Hong Kong. 

Canada also aims to redouble the population in remote and rural areas with agricultural potential. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot was launched to encourage economic immigration to the rural and northern areas. Currently, 11 communities are participating in the pilot program. 

The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot was also introduced. This is an employer-driven initiative that aims to encourage economic immigration to specific food and agricultural-related industries. Of course, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several things have changed in the immigration procedures. 

Canada is gradually shifting towards digital applications from paper-based applications. Instead of a national and race-based system, Canada has installed an objective, merit-based system for economic immigration. 

Canadian provinces and territories are also taking the lead in developing initiatives to encourage and retain the best and brightest immigrants through each region’s own Provincial Nominee Program

Business immigration is also being encouraged to attract international entrepreneurs and investors. This goes to show that the situation may be unpredictable and unprecedented, but Canada has a well-thought-out and logical plan for everything.

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