Introduction – The Policy issue that I intend to examine is Immigration and Employment
History on Immigration in Canada
Canada has continuously served as a home to immigrants and refugees from decade to decade harbouring people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The first set of immigrants to settle in the country came from Britain, the United States and from other nationalities mostly including immigrants from Europe who were either desperate to escape from religious or political turmoil or were simply attracted to Canada’s economic promise. Soon after the Canadian confederation in 1867, immigrants from Irish and Chinese backgrounds who occupied most of the country were used as workers and the demand for labourers to develop the country increased rapidly as more Chinese descents were imported to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. Although, Canada opened its doors to immigrants, but the country also intended to gain human resources for work in the farms, in the forests, factories and mines but not everyone was equally welcomed in Canada.
More immigration lead to racism and fear among both English Canadians who believed immigrants were taking away their jobs and French Canadians who feared that immigrants may potentially dominate their culture. These misconceptions and fears lead the Canadian government to declare new regulations that restricted the immigration of Asian and eastern, and southern European descents as well as Jewish immigrants. Canada gave more preference to descendants of both Britain and Western Europe. Policies were then developed to grant access to the best immigrants (as it was called) who were mainly whites that possessed a wealth of skills and benefits but to exclude the non whites who were considered undesirable. It was during this period, that the Chinese Head Tax under the Chinese Immigration Act which was a tax that weighed a high cost that was fixed to increase was developed to discourage Chinese immigration and the Continuous Journey Requirement that was deliberately designed to prevent south Asians from entering into Canada existed as extremely racist policies against certain immigrants. However, during the World War II era and the years that followed, these policies were discouraged in order to encourage more skilled and professional immigrants to participate in the Canadian labour market. However, in 1967, a new policy called the Points System which was developed to meet the economic and labour needs of Canada was formed. With the existence of this policy, more non white immigrants were able to migrate to Canada. Presently, the current Immigration Act consists of both economic, family and refugee class in which immigrants enter into the country.
Immigrants today now have the privilege of entering and residing in Canada but along with this privilege, there are also barriers that impede their integration and deprive them of equal opportunity in the society. The undervaluing of...