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WES Weekly Roundup August 2, 2023

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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.

The Provincial Nominee Program: Its expansion in Canada (Stats Canada)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) has led to the decentralization of economic immigrants across various regions of Canada, whilst shifting the demographics of newcomers in the country. The PNP was launched in all Canadian provinces and territories (except for Quebec) between the years 1998 and 2009. It was developed to increase the number of economic immigrants settling outside of the “three major Canadian cities” and to meet the needs of employers in different provinces. Compared to immigrants coming through the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class, the PNP has brought in higher numbers of immigrants with Canadian educational and work experience. It has also led to increases in newcomers who work in skilled and technical occupations, as well as increases in newcomers coming from South Asia. As the PNP continues expanding, it highlights how the demographic and settlement patterns of provincial nominees can gradually change and impact the regional distribution of immigration in Canada.

Understanding under-representation in Canada's labour market: An analysis of definitions and approaches (LMIC)

Addressing labour market consequences of the pandemic has been top of mind for many policy makers as these consequences have not been felt equally. For example, research documents that women, newcomers, and ‘visible minorities’ experienced increased rates of job losses and slower economic recovery relative to Canadian born men. Defining under-representation is crucial to developing strategies to improve labour market outcomes, yet a clear definition or approach is rarely available in research and government publications. Lack of clarity around terms has created confusion and inconsistency on how to differentiate amongst groups and needs. Terms including 'under-represented', 'vulnerable', and 'equity seeking' have often been used interchangeably but may hold distinct significance. Researchers are offering a framework that might work to support identifying under-representation and exploring outcomes of groups affected. This framework examines underrepresentation in labour market analysis from six lenses:

  • Relative to share of population
  • Relative to the average labour force participation or employment rate
  • Relative to the average labour force participation or employment rate of a dominant group
  • Relative to a comparable group
  • Under-represented in high-earning occupations or positions of power
  • Under-represented in the available data

Refugee Resettlement Spotlight

More and more asylum seekers are coming to Canada. Is it enough to stem a global tide of refugees? (CBC)

As the number of global displacement crises continues to climb, asylum claims in Canada have been dramatically increasing. This year, Canada has processed almost 60,000 applications from asylum seekers looking to take refuge - this is the highest count in almost a decade. Experts argues that this exemplifies longstanding trends where, as the number of global conflicts rise so will the number of individuals seeking refuge not only in Canada but any safe country abroad. As of the end of 2022, the number of forcibly displaced individuals sat at 108.4 million people worldwide, with almost a third considered refugees by the UNHCR. Most asylum seekers who have come to Canada since 2018, are from a range of countries including those in the Americas, Middle East, and Africa. Despite Canada's earned popularity for welcoming larger numbers of individuals seeking protection, some experts cite that this seems to be trending downward, with IRCC decreasing government assisted resettlement targets from 23,550 in 2023 to 15,250 in 2025. Beyond continuing to open doors to the most vulnerable, advocates urge that Canada should also consider extending financial support to lower-middle income countries, particularly those neighboring refugees’ countries of origin.

Canada doubles resettlement spaces for human rights defenders (IRCC)

Former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser announced on July 26th that the global human rights defenders (HRD) stream would be expanded. This expansion includes doubling HRD and family resettlement spaces to 500. As HRDs face increasing risks of violence, injustice, and displacement, this initiative is intended to demonstrate Canada’s commitment to providing safety to those risking their lives for fundamental freedoms. For the fourth year in a row, Canada has been deemed the top resettlement country in the world, as it took in 47, 500 refugees from more than 80 countries in 2022. The HRD stream can be understood as an extension of this dedication to helping vulnerable newcomers, with Canada being one of the first countries to offer a permanent HRD stream. Moving forward, the federal government intends to work with Canadian civil society organizations to develop a temporary protection pathway for HRDs.

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