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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm
Sep 6, 2019

A breakdown of the major Canadian political parties position on immigration

Ghazi Jarrar

The writ has not been dropped yet, but Canada’s political parties are already in campaign mode. Perhaps more so than usual, immigration is featuring as a hotly contested issue in this year’s federal election. To help you make sense of where the different political parties stand, the table below breaks down each party’s position by immigration topic.


On September 6, 2019, we published a table in which we summarized the Canadian political parties’ positions on various immigration topics.With the October 21 election fast approaching, we keep learning more about where the parties stand. Please find below a summary of the promises that parties have made on immigration as of October 9, 2019  ​

Conservative Party of Canada

Green Party of Canada

Liberal Party of Canada

New Democratic Party

People’s Party of Canada

Economic Immigration

“Emphasize” economic immigration and work with the provinces to accommodate their needs and priorities

No clear position

Introduce a "Municipal Nominee Program" and make the Atlantic Immigration Pilot permanent 

No clear position

Reform the point system to focus on accepting a larger portion of economic migrants

Recognition of Foreign Credentials

Improve foreign credential recognition and prioritize funding to immigration services

Remove barriers preventing recognition of foreign credentials

No clear position

Work with the provinces to address gaps in settlement services and improve foreign credential recognition

No clear position

Pathway to Permanent Residence (“PR”) for Temporary Foreign Workers (“TFWs”)

Provide “low skilled” workers with pathway to PR

No clear position but the Greens want to eliminate the TFW program altogether

Government recently introduced a pilot program to create pathway to PR for caregivers

Provide caregivers with status and family reunification

No clear position

Family Reunification

Prioritize those “who apply…through the appropriate immigration streams, especially in the family reunification program”

Speed up family reunification

No clear position

Prioritize family reunification

Limit the number of people arriving under the family category

 Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship  No clear position on total numbers but Conservatives sharply criticized the Government's 2019 parental sponsorship program Speed up reunification of Canadians with their parents   In 2019, Government increased the application cap from 17,000 to 20,000 and replaced the lottery system with a first-come first-serve basis  Eliminate caps on applications to sponsor parents and grandparents   Abolish parent and grandparent sponsorship programs

Overall Number of Newcomers

Set immigration levels at “what is consistent with…Canada’s best interest” as opposed to the current “arbitrary immigration levels”

No clear position

The Liberal Party platforms promises "modest and responsible increase to immigration"

No clear position

Lower the total number of migrants from 350,000 to 100,000 and 150,000 depending on the state of the economy

Safe Third Country Agreement (“STCA”)

Close “loopholes” (otherwise known as exceptions) in the STCA allowing asylum seekers to cross the border at unofficial entry points

​Terminate the STCA with the USA

Work with the United States to "modernize" the STCA

Suspend the STCA with the United States

Declare the entire border an official point of entry and send back to the US anyone who enters without authorization

Irregular Border Crossings

Move Immigration and Refugee Board judges to irregular entry points  

Elizabeth May has spoken about the fact that many irregular crossers are fleeing persecution and need access to ordinary due process

The 2019 Budget Bill pledged $1.18 billion in additional resources to strengthen border processing and removals

Remove the need for irregular crossings by suspending the STCA and allowing asylum seekers to cross at regular entry points

Fence off areas at the border where irregular migration takes place


Hire an additional 250 CBSA enforcement officers

Repeal the legal provisions that encourage rapid deportations

No clear position, but the Government has increased and sped up deportations in the last year

No clear position

Send back to the US anyone who enters without authorization

Undocumented People

No clear position

Establish program to deal with the 200,000 undocumented people in Canada

No clear position, but the Government introduced a program to regularize the status of some undocumented construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area

No clear position

No clear position

Refugee Determination

Prioritize those who face “true persecution”

Include environmental refugees as a recognized category

The 2019 Budget Bill introduced provisions making asylum seekers ineligible for refugee status if they made a claim in a country with which Canada has an agreement

Reduce refugee backlogs at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Stop “our reliance on the United Nations for refugee selection”

Private Refugee Sponsorship

Increase numbers or lift the current cap

No clear position

Introduce a permanent refugee stream to provide a safe haven for human rights advocates, journalists, and humanitarian workers at risk.

No clear position

Rely more on private sponsorship

UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

Andrew Scheer appears to have walked away from earlier pledge to un-sign the Compact

Support it

Support it

Support it

Un-sign the Compact

Immigration Consultants

No clear position

Toughen the regulations governing the industry

The 2019 Budget Bill introduced a self-regulating body for immigration consultants

Ensure that the industry is regulated by the Government

No clear position

Lost Canadians

No clear position

Ensure that "Lost Canadians" receive citizenship

No clear ​position

No clear position

No clear position

 Application Fees  No clear position    No clear position  Make citizenship processing free for those who have fulfilled the requirements  No clear position   No clear position 

For a more detailed analysis of the parties’ various positions on immigration issues, please see this article by Green and Spiegel’s very own Kelly Goldthorpe and Ghazi Jarrar in The Lawyer’s Daily [Subscription required].

No clear position

No clear position

No clear position

No clear position

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