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.