I understand their complaint. These are the ones trying to enter Canada in the most respectable manner, patiently waiting for the opportunity to do so only to see their application returned and told to reapply. This, while watching less needed people enter Canada quickly and on taxpayer largesse as either "refugees", sponsored family members, nannies, or temporary and seasonal workers.The door to Canada will soon be shut for them with the Conservative government’s recent announcement it plans to return all skilled worker applications received before 2008 and wipe out the lengthy backlog.“It is absolutely unfair,” said Songqiao’s mother Yan Xu, a high school English teacher in Suzhou, China. “What we lost is not only money, but our youth, our life and our dreams.”The applicants, many from China, India and the Philippines, wonder why those who patiently followed the rules and queued up for their rightful turn to come to Canada are now being unfairly punished.Ottawa says they can re-apply under the new skilled immigration program implemented after Feb. 27, 2008, where new regulations limit applications to a small number of occupations in need of highly skilled labour.But the new qualifying job fields are so narrowly defined that many affected applicants, like Xu, will automatically be shut out.
Still, it makes no sense to bring people in for whom no job is waiting especially in a less than hospitable labour market. Many have immigrated to Canada only to quickly discover it was career suicide to do so. With that said this just might be the best thing to happen to them. And labour markets change over time. What skills may have been in demand five years ago may be outdated or in surplus today. Besides, immigrating to Canada is not a right.
Perhaps this is a sign the Conservative are working to return the immigration system to a tap-on/tap-off approach that worked reasonably well enough in the past. Arbitrarily pegging immigrant intake quotas on a percentage of the current population (it being 1% of the population for some unexplained reason) ignores many factors that can determine the success of immigrants when they land in Canada as well as the effects mass immigration can have on Canadian society. Immigration then just becomes a numbers game.
Of course we can expect lawsuits.
Some applicants said they are considering legal action against the government in a déjà vu of a 2002 class action lawsuit, which saw Ottawa lose after changing the immigration system to reduce the backlog.I believe it is referring to the time when the Chretien Liberals increased the number of points an immigrant needed to immigrate to Canada as a way to reduce the backlog in one fell swoop by disqualifying an increased percentage of applicants. Threatened legal action stopped that and the madness continued, the backlog kept growing, and we Canadians were basically told by non-citizens that we have no legal right to control our border.
So, colour me impressed. I am surprised Jason Kenney and the Conservatives did something like this. They have, after all, inherited a mess of an immigration system that has wound itself into a Gordian Knot and someone has to wield that sword sooner or later. While I applaud this move it still does not address the main problems of too many immigrants coming to Canada and too many coming from too few source countries. If reforms are to be made it is not only in cutting the numbers we accept each year in total but also the mix as well.