Canada election: What federal leaders have pledged on immigration

Federal parties vying for victory on Oct. 21 are making a range of promises on immigration.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the Conservatives’ Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and the Green party’s Elizabeth May have made announcements on how they will address the challenges surrounding immigration.

Here’s a list of pledges leaders have made.

Skip to promises made by:

  • May 28: Scheer outlines several commitments on immigration. He says he would close a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States. He also promises improved language training, better recognition of work credentials and refocusing the government-sponsored refugee program on victims of atrocities.
  • Oct. 9: Along with renegotiating Safe Third Country Agreement, the Conservatives promise to hire 250 new border-security agents and move immigration judges closer to common illegal crossing points for faster hearings.

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  • Sept. 30: In a full election platform, Liberals say they will introduce a “permanent, dedicated refugee stream” for human rights advocates, journalists and humanitarian workers. The target will be to help as many as 250 people per year. They also pledge to make the citizenship application process free for those who have fulfilled the requirements needed to obtain it. The platform also includes a plan to create a Municipal Nominee Program with 5,000 new spaces for permanent residents, plus making the Atlantic immigration pilot project permanent, also with 5,000 spots.

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  • Sept. 16: The Green party unveils its full election platform, with a range of promises on immigration, including working to formally define what entails an “environmental refugee.” The party also lists several other intentions, such as allocating greater funding for ESL services, eliminating the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. The Green party would also work to “speed up” family reunification.

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  • Sept. 15: Bloc Québécois releases its election platform, with several promises on immigration issues, including streamlining the process and hiring staff to eliminate long delays in processing Temporary Foreign Worker Program cases, and introducing a tax credit for recent graduates and immigrants who accept a job in the province.
  • Sept. 23: The Bloc also said Canada should suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. and that Quebec should have veto power over whether the federal government decides to deport people, including failed refugees.

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— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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