Auditor-General raises concerns about Canadian immigration policy/system

Auditor-General Sheila Fraser has raised serious questions around Canada’s immigration policies and system.

Specifically, the temporary worker program (TFW) is, according to Fraser, growing in spite of internal concerns of fraud and abuse. One of the criticisms is that employers are using the program to bring in their relatives, she claims.

From the Globe & Mail: “It looks a little suspicious on the face of it,” citing a scenario in which a small business with revenues of $20,000 could sponsor an employee – who is also a relative – at a $40,000 salary.

“The report notes that Canadian immigration is moving away from a federal system in which points are awarded to applicants with high-level skills. Instead, Ottawa is handing over more responsibility for immigration to the provinces with little knowledge of who the provinces are bringing in.

“The Auditor-General also reviewed the impact of controversial new powers awarded to Canada’s immigration minister that were included and passed as part of the Conservative government’s 2008 budget bill.

“We found that the Department [of Citizenship and Immigration] has made a number of key decisions in recent years without properly assessing their costs and benefits, potential risks, and likely impact on programs,” Ms. Fraser told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. “Some of these decisions have caused a significant shift in the types of foreign workers being admitted permanently to Canada. There is little evidence that this shift is part of any well-defined strategy to best meet the needs of the Canadian labour market.”

Source: Globe and Mail online, November 3/09.

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