This year in October, Canada is going to hold elections and decide its future path. The official announcement of it came after the meeting of the prime minister Justin Trudeau and the governor-general Julie Payette in which he officially requested him to dissolve the parliament. The federal elections in Canada will be carried on 21 October which will decide the fate of the political parties. This time the competition is fierce. The election campaigns of all parties are in full swing. Among the significant issues, immigration is one on which liberals, conservatives, and others are competing. Every year, a lot of foreign nationals come to Canada in the hope of a better life. Many of them are international students who are worried about their PR prospects due to upcoming elections.
Immigration is essential for Canada. If we look at history, both liberals and conservatives had supported it when they were in the government. From 1996 to 2005, when liberals were in power, the total number of immigrants that came to Canada increased to 2,25,000. After that from 2006 to 2015 when Conservatives were in government, the number went up to 2,60,000 per year.
Although conservatives and liberals agree on letting aspiring people come and settle in Canada, their policies differ. During the term of conservatives, out of total immigrants, 63% were from Economic Class, 27% were from Family Class, and 10% were from Refugee Class, but when the Liberals formed the government the composition of immigration changed. During their time, Immigrants from Refugee Class increased to 15% while immigrants were from the Economic Class decreased to 58%. There was no change in the percentage of Family Class which remained 27%.
For Canada, International students are strategically crucial for its economy and competitiveness. In 2018 alone, International students who opted to study in Canada contributed approximately $21.6 billion to its economy and supported nearly 1,70,000 jobs for its middle class. Indeed, both parties will not like to lose this significant contribution.
Even Mr. Ahmed Hussein, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship mentioned the importance of international students in Canada’s International Education Strategy (2019-2024). Moreover, he considered international students ideal for permanent residency. He wrote, “In 2018, more than 721,000 international students studied in Canada, sparking new ideas, strengthening innovation and building people-to-people ties that are crucial to international trade and the global economy. As most international students are young, have Canadian educational qualifications and in-demand labour skills, and are proficient in one of our official languages, they are often ideal candidates for permanent residency.” This indicates that it seems highly unlikely that if the government changed, there would be any adverse change in the policies for international students.