Immigration: The Economic Case

Immigration: The Economic Case

In this enlightening book, Diane Francis looks at immigration in Canada from an economic perspective. Tracing the country’s experience with immigration from the nineteenth century through the installation of the point system in the 1960s to the adoption of Bill C-11, “The New Immigration Act of 2002,” she shows how originally sensible policies have developed unintended consequences that threaten the economic and social well-being of our country. In particular, lax procedures and a lack of clear thinking and economic vision on the part of both conservative and liberal governments have turned immigration policy away from the laudable goal of helping to increase the living standards of Canadians and newcomers alike.

Herself an immigrant, the author is sensitive to the vital role that immigrants play in weaving the fabric of the nation. But the statistics she has collected tell a story of declining welfare among the new arrivals and of their insecure place in the new economy. She quotes numerous immigration officials past and present who are as concerned as she is with the current ragged state of the system. After laying out in vivid detail the troubling problems that this system currently generates, she offers eighteen sensible suggestions as to how it should be reformed. This timely book should help fuel a constructive debate on the direction that immigration policy should take in Canada in the twenty-first century.