The Development of Canadian Immigration Policy

Alan B. Simmons, York University

Canada has one of the world's highest pro-active immigration rates; its three largest cities (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) have very high proportions of foreign born, similar or higher than found in Los Angeles and Sydney, for example. This paper examines developments in Canadian immigration policy that promote large inflows. Particular attention is given to a comparative explanatory framework and to contrasts with policy developments in the United States and other major immigrant receiving nations. The framework gives particular attention to national immigration responses to global transformations in labor markets, international security, and culture. Canada is placed comparatively as an intermediate player on the global political-economic stage. Its immigration policies play an important role in national efforts to maintain and improve its international standing.

Presented in Session 5: Immigrant Adjustment and Adaptation: Comparative Experiences for Canada and the United States (Sponsored Jointly by the Canadian Population Society)