World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.
This report examines immigration and the labourforce from 2010 to 2021. Some of the findings include:
In 2019, over 1 million workers were employed in Canada’s health occupations and immigrants accounted for a quarter of these workers. At the same time, Canada is a signatory on the Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel (at the World Health Organization). The Code aims to reduce the active recruitment of health workers from countries facing critical shortages and provides ethical principles regarding international recruitment in a equitable manner that strengthens the health systems of all countries. The author argues that Canada’s active recruitment of internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) is in breach of the Code and a wasted opportunity for Canada. In particular, credential recognition while important for IEHPs to acquire in order to practice in Canada, it is a major contributing factor to the underutilization of immigrants with healthcare education. Furthermore, Canada has neglected health workforce planning issues and lacks basic information about the supply and demand for health workers in the country. This has led to disjointed information and data available to truly address labour shortages nationally. Recommendations include coordinated data (including diversity of the health professional workforce), long term planning with the inclusion of the multiple stakeholders in this landscape, and embedding an ethical responsibility to create systems that will allow for the full participation of IEHPs and their skills in Canada.
Canada's humanitarian response for Ukrainian refugees is unique and admired globally for expanding critical protection for vulnerable and displaced individuals. Under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET), Ukrainian nationals are exempt from standard visa requirements, with no cap on applications. The CUAET also mitigates several logistical barriers that are typical in standard refugee responses. These include exemption from biometrical examinations overseas and extension of work and study permits. These features are unprecedented when compared to the most recent humanitarian responses for Syrian and Afghan refugees for example. Advocates have pointed out inequities between the responses and have also highlighted that limiting the CUAET to Ukrainian citizens misses an opportunity to guarantee aid to other vulnerable populations who remain in Ukraine. Although humanitarian responses are not motivated by the economic potential of migrants, refugees enrich Canadian society economically, culturally, and socially. Furthermore, advocates are calling on the federal government should expand the CUAET to apply to other humanitarian emergencies to ensure adequate supports for all seeking refuge in Canada.
An estimated 16,000 Afghans refugees have arrived in Canada since IRCC announced commitments to welcome 40,000 Afghan nationals under specialized streams. As backlogs climb, there are increasing fears from nationals and advocates alike that application will soon close for Afghans awaiting protection, with spots speculated to be filled by summer. Thousands of Afghans who have assisted the Canadian government through serving on Canadian mission and supporting key projects - and their families, remain stranded in Afghanistan. In addition to these, at risk groups including women's rights defenders, human rights activists, journalists, and persecuted minorities were granted access to these streams but await approval. Currently there is no indication of a plan to renew or extend the current specialized immigration programs. In the near future, IRCC is expected to extend application invitations to individuals referred by Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defense.