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Canada largely successful in managing economic immigration: OECD study

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immigration minister

OTTAWA — A glowing international review of Canada’s economic immigration system should serve as a factual counterpoint against anti-immigration sentiment, the federal immigration minister said Tuesday.

The report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that Canada is a world leader in how it selects and retains foreign labour, to the benefit of national and regional economies alike.

The OECD study comes as Quebec debates whether to slash the number of immigrants it accepts, and ahead of a federal election in which the immigration file is expected to be a major point of discussion.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said what he hears from employers, local governments and Canadian citizens does not reflect the anti-immigrant opinions that routinely circulate both on social media and on the streets.

Just this week, the federal Conservatives scrambled to distance themselves from a woman who was filmed in downtown Toronto yelling racial slurs while holding a sign expressing support for leader Andrew Scheer.

The federal government has a responsibility to fight misinformation about the role immigrants play in the economy, Hussen said.

“The best weapon against that is to fight fear with facts, and the fact is immigration continues to be extremely beneficial to Canada.” 

The OECD reviewed how Canada recruits foreign labour — from the Express Entry program that sees the government effectively “invite” people to come to Canada permanently, to programs geared towards temporary workers.

Their analysis is that the system functions well, despite flaws such as the fact that the screening policy leaves room for political tinkering and that too many professional credentials from outside the country are not recognized in Canada.

Some of the changes the Liberals have made to the system since it was introduced by the previous Conservative government — reducing the number of points an applicant received for having a job offer, for instance — have helped better align what the labour market requires and who is applying for entry, the report found.

The study suggests, however, that there are still mismatches. For example, what gets an applicant into the pool of potential invitees doesn’t align with what leads to an invitation to immigrate, making it harder for areas with labour shortages to get the candidates they need. 

About 85,000 economic immigrants a year settle in Canada and whether that number is too high, too low, or just right is a frequent political flashpoint, linked at times to whether newcomers integrate successfully into the country.

This week, Quebec politicians are debating an immigration proposal for that province that would see levels cut by 20 per cent this year. It was part of a campaign pledge by the Coalition Avenir Quebec which argued unemployment levels among immigrants are too high, and too few immigrants spoke French.

The idea is being fiercely contested by business groups in Quebec, among others, who say more immigrants, not fewer are what the province needs.

Hussen agrees.

“We think now is not the time to cut skilled economic immigration numbers, now is the time is to continue to grow our economy responsibly.”

The OECD report did not specifically review Quebec’s immigration program. It operates independently of the federal system and other existing provincial systems for selecting economic immigrants.

But the OECD did find in general that newcomers directly recruited and settled by the provinces often have better outcomes than those who are welcomed via federal programs.

 

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press



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Alberta

Alberta production Pipe Nation seeking to tap musical talent for soundtrack

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January 13, 2021

Edmonton-AB, CANADA-One of the largest independently funded tv-series in Canada, Pipe Nation, is seeking talented musicians to round out its soundtrack as the pilot episode nears completion.

The director, Raoul Bhatt, and executive producer, Dan Svedberg, are seeking submissions from Canadian and American artists to collaborate on the show’s soundtrack.

The dramatic series is told through the experiences of a single mother working in the male-dominated, oil and energy industry. The pilot was filmed in August and September of 2020 in the picturesque mountains of Canada and the Edmonton area. 18 scenes and 180 takes were captured in Sundre, Alberta, which was transformed into the fictitious town of Hardwell. A great deal of effort has been put into this pilot including a $300,000 built for the show pipeline, a medical helicopter, and a long list of heavy equipment worth $180 million.

The scenes are now in editing, where the crucial process of pairing beautiful scenes with dramatic music is underway. Several genres of music including, rock, blues, country, electronic dance music, and classical will be used in the series. The show’s soundtrack will be released on Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify and Google Play Music in the coming months. Director, Raoul Bhatt and his team have been in post-production for the last three months​. ​The pilot tv-series is expected to be complete by February 2021.

Musicians, labels, bands looking to collaborate or submit their work, please contact Executive Producer & Sound Designer, Daniel Svedberg, and Director, [email protected]

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Alberta

The Challenge Of A Diversified Economy

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The Challenge Of A Diversified Economy:

Harrie Vredenburg   Professor U of C, Suncor Energy Chair

HARRIE VREDENBURG: “…Alberta and a diversified economy is always a question that comes up, and it’s come up time and again throughout the history of Western Canada or the history of Alberta.  And the challenge is, of course, that our oil and gas or natural resources here in Alberta are the biggest thing that we have going here.

And so the commodity industries that we’re involved in here do have ups and downs; they are cyclical.  And when things are on an up cycle, everything gets sucked over to the commodities industry, and that’s where the wages are highest, that’s where the returns are the best, and everything goes there, and it’s hard to keep anything else going.

And governments over the years have said, oh, we have to diversify, we have to diversify, and attempts to diversify always fall on the rocks when we get an upswing in the commodities economy, so it’s a challenge.

But having said that, it is important to now not only diversify, but to transition the Alberta economy and the Western Canadian economy to a lower carbon economy…”

 

Producer’s note: What a beautiful shot around 30 seconds into that video of the oil derricks with the orange sunset. It’s such a beautiful sight to see industry. At work, no people, just these solid No people just oil derricks and solidarity pumping away like one of those little toy cranes that you have on your desk that dips its beak in there in your glass of water is just such a beautiful thing to see.

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january, 2021

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