Rather than move past insular policies that devalue experience acquired abroad, Canada is going forward to perpetuate the increasingly common attitude that only “Canadian Experience” is welcome inside its borders.
On August 17, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) quietly unveiled a major overhaul of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the main economic immigration program commonly known as the “points system”. This announcement solidifies the changes to the immigration system CIC has been releasing for the past several months. In a recent report for the Maytree Foundation, Naomi Albiom and Karen Cohl argue that the new system implements a “two-step process” for potential immigrants, who are now required to enter Canada as temporary foreign workers and pass language and “Canadian Experience” tests before being eligible to become permanent residents. While the new FSWP targets a younger and more “flexible” workforce that is presumably able to adapt to Canadian society, these changes effectively disguise how the government is simultaneously admitting more and more foreign workers into Canada through temporary visa programs. Rather than somebody chosen on merit acquired abroad, the new immigrant in Canada will be selected based on country of origin, race, religion and culture. It sounds like the government is betting that employers are more enlightened than the rest of society as to who will make the best Canadians.