A New Era: Canadian Immigration Governance in the 21st Century

The Conference Board of Canada, 76 pages, June 19, 2017
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Which immigration responsibilities are better off being managed by the federal government or provinces and territories? This report proposes an aspirational approach to Canadian immigration governance in the 21st century.

Document Highlights

While it is under shared jurisdiction, it has only been since the 1990s that most of Canada’s provinces and territories (PTs) have joined the federal government to play a consistent role in governing immigration. As such, this report evaluates the benefits and challenges of Canada’s shared approach to selecting and settling immigrants. It explores policy reform options, and outlines the following aspirational approach to governing Canada’s immigration system in the 21st century.

First, the federal government would continue to manage admissions, enforcement, and citizenship. Second, the two levels would continue to share selection responsibilities, with the federal government maintaining its national oversight role while accommodating to the best of its abilities the selection requests made by the PTs based on their various needs (i.e., regionalization, immigrant composition, addressing labour shortages, cultural goals). Third, federally and PT funded immigrant settlement services would continue to operate concurrently with better coordination between the two parties.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—A New Era

  • Report Overview

Chapter 2—Canadian Immigration Governance: Theory and Practice

  • Constitutional Responsibilities
  • An Optimal Governance Model
  • Historical Overview

Chapter 3—Governing Selection

  • Background
  • Decentralization Benefits
  • Decentralization Challenges
  • Policy Options
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4—Managing Settlement

  • Background of Federally Funded Settlement Services Governance Models
  • Benefits and Challenges of Current Governance Models
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5—Canadian Immigration Governance in the 21st Century

  • An Aspirational Approach to Governing Canadian Immigration
  • Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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