Fundamental change on immigration - Macleans.ca

Fundamental change on immigration

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The Prime Minister talks to the Globe about his government’s immigration reform.

“We are making profound, and to this point, not fully appreciated changes to our immigration system,” Mr. Harper said in an interview with The Globe and Mail as he was preparing for a brief visit to the Philippines, Canada’s top source for immigrants in recent years.  Mr. Harper says Canada must increase its efforts to recruit skilled immigrants because industrialized countries are turning to foreigners to make up for a shortfall in population growth and the fiscal pressures of supporting aging societies. “The world is going to shift,” he said.

For decades, Canada has been among a small group of countries that accept immigrants. “There aren’t many. There is Canada, the United States, Australia, Israel and historically there are only about a half dozen,” Mr. Harper said. “But we’re seeing as the demographic changes I’ve talked about, the aging population, start to bite, in many developed countries, we’re seeing their immigration needs and their actual immigration intakes beginning to increase.”

The Harper government’s usual modus operandi is to play down the extent of the changes it is making, so it is interesting to see the Prime Minister suggest that the extent of the change to immigration policy aren’t being fully appreciated.