Canada’s immigration laws and rates

Immigrants to Canada, 1860-2009I will be describing  Canadian immigration laws from 1967 to 2005. How they affected immigration and why they were made that way. Canada’s point system was introduced in the 1967 Immigration Act which gave people with higher education or certain skills a better chance of getting into Canada. The act worked by giving people points on a scale for education level, prepared employment in Canada, number of languages the person was able to speak and if a person had family in Canada. The more points a person got the more likely they were to get into Canada and if they reached a certain number of points they were allowed into Canada.

This made immigration for skilled workers easier and encouraged them to come to Canada from any place in the world. It was the first immigration act in Canada which allowed immigration due to skills and expertise rather than skin color and place of origin.

Evolution in the class of immigrantsIn the 1980s, a business class was added to the Immigration Act. This class was allowed into Canada if they had business experience, employed at least 2 people and were worth at least $300,000. The class also included an investor category for people who managed a business, have a net worth or CND $800,000 and are willing to invest CND $400,000. This act resulted in an increase in Asian immigrates mainly from Hong Kong due to its impending take by the People’s Republic of China. Thousands of business class people immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong over the next decade.

The most recent act passed is the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which is designed to make it harder for terrorists to get into Canada. This act made it harder for every race and class to immigrate into Canada and also led to racial profiling in some cases. It was passed by the government in the wake of the 9/11  attacks against the USA.

The changing composition of Canadian immigrationCanada’s immigration rates reflect its immigration policy and world events. When Canada adopted the point system in 1967 immigration from places other than Europe increased. With the business class incorporated into the immigration policy and the events occurring in Asia immigration increased again.

Canada once had an extremely racist immigration policy trying to keep out people who did not come from Europe. Canada started becoming less racist through the late 1950s and 1960s, it would take years until Canada became an accepting country for all races. The point system was Canada’s first step toward a more equality based immigration policy. Canada’s immigration laws became less racist over time and when the addition of the business class was added, immigrants from around the world came without discrimination.  For Middle Eastern immigrants, however, racism has increased due to conflict in the area and fear of terrorist activities.

– Adam Mallard

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