16 November 2011

BC Premier calls for provincial control over Canadian immigration

Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark this week called for reform of the Canadian immigration law process to allow provinces more freedom to determine their own immigration policy.

Canadian immigration

The Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark has called for provincial control of immigration policy.

Canada would benefit from an immigration system determined by the economic and social needs of its provinces, says British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, who this work called on the Federal Government to grant greater powers to provincial governments on Canadian immigration matters.

"Immigration is one of the most important economic levers government has. The fact that responsibility and control for it resides almost solely in the hands of the central government doesn't work very well," Ms Clark told The Vancouver Sun.

"We (the provinces) are closer to the ground. We know the needs of the economy better and I think Canada will do a better job of shaping immigration policy if the provinces have a greater ability to impact that," she added.

Clark has also spoken out against the cap on Canada visa grants for foreign investors imposed on the provinces by the Canadian Government.

"It is ridiculous that our investor-immigrant allowance fills up in a couple of hours - literally overnight," she said.

"So we have all these investors that want to come and create jobs in British Columbia and we say, 'No, sorry. You can't come in.' To me, that's just not smart."

The call from Clark follows comments made by Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in September which effectively ruled out a transfer of immigration policy powers to the provinces.

"We do maintain that there is an important ongoing role for the national government in immigration and we're not just going to contract out all of the immigration selection to the provinces," he said.

"That would not be responsible."

In specific response to the case of British Columbia, Kenney argues that under the federal Conservative Government, the province's immigration intake has grown by 500 per cent since 2005.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.

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