In a recent article penned in the Canadian National Post, Liberal MPs Michael Ignatieff and Maurizio Bevilacqua said that a Liberal government would deal with the immigration backlogs and Canada's labor shortages. Canada will hold federal elections on Tuesday, 14 October, 2008.
Canada's need to solve labor shortages through immigration is not in question by either Liberals or the current Conservative government. The main issues are how best to deal with the large immigration backlog and the frequent problems that skilled migrants have in finding suitable jobs.
New changes to Canada's Immigration and Refugee Act give broad discretionary powers to the immigration minister to decide on which applications for skilled immigration will be accepted. However, Ignatieff and Bevilacqua see it another way.
"In the face of labor shortages choking growth in the West, and immigrants across Canada facing obstacles to success, the Harper government has only offered a bill to give the immigration minister more power," they said.
"Stephen Harper's approach to immigration does nothing to address the real challenges facing new Canadians. And despite their rhetoric, the Conservatives are actually letting fewer immigrants into our country every year," Ignatieff and Bevilacqua claimed.
They also stated that a Liberal government would immediately reverse the changes to the Immigration and Refugee Act, modernize the immigration system, and deal with the backlogs.
"First, we know that in the 21st century, Canada needs a more efficient and fairer immigration system," they said. "That's why a new Liberal government will invest $400-million to modernize the system, process applications more efficiently and support the admission of significantly more permanent residents to Canada."