General

The Bull Meter: Jack Layton on the Conservatives' immigration record

[mac_quote person=”Jack Layton” date=”April 12, 2011″]One of the most disturbing aspects of what the Harper government is doing is that they’re encouraging more and more people to come here as temporary foreign workers… What we’re seeing is more and more of this focus on the immigrant as some kind of an economic unit.[/mac_quote]

Layton is right here. The face of Canadian immigration is changing, and it’s tilting toward economic considerations. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) if you look at permanent residents by category between 2006 and 2010, the only class that grew was the economic migrant class, from 138,251 in 2006 to 186,881 in 2010. Compare that to the number of refugees admitted: there’s been a decline since 2006, from 32,499 back then to 24,693 last year. Family reunification migrants have also been falling away, from 70,517 in 2006 to 60,207 in 2010.

Layton is also speaking no bull about the fact that temporary foreign workers have been a growing presence in Canada. According to CIC, in 2000, there were 116,540. In 2005, pre-Harper, there were 122,694, and then in 2009, there were 178,478. Last year, Statistics Canada reported that the number of temporary foreign workers admitted to Canada has been rising faster than the number of people admitted temporarily for other reasons with “three consecutive years of double-digit growth.” Whether or not this is “disturbing,” as Layton says it is, is a matter of interpretation. But the man’s got his facts straight.

Heard something that doesn’t sound quite right? Send quotes from the campaign trail to macbullmeter@gmail.com and we’ll tell you just how much bull they contain.

Sources:

Citizenship and immigration Canada Facts and Figures

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Permanent and temporary residents, 2010

Statistics Canada, temporary foreign workers

Statistics Canada, foreign nationals working temporarily in Canada

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.