Liberals win Election 2021: What does it mean for Canadian immigration?

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Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party has won a third consecutive Canadian election, according to news networks such as CTV and CBC.

Liberals win Election 2021

Note: This is a developing story. CIC News will keep updating it once the election results are finalised.

After 36 days of campaigning, news networks are predicting that the Liberals will form another minority government.

Final election results are expected to be delayed due to pandemic-related issues such as longer waits at polling stations and more Canadians deciding to mail in their votes. Usually the final results of federal elections are known on the same night as the election, but in this case, the final results are unlikely to be known until Tuesday at the earliest.

Of the 338 seats in the Canadian Parliament, at least 170 seats are required for a majority. A majority government enables the ruling party to implement any legislative changes without requiring the support of opposition parties. In minority governments, the ruling party must work with the opposition to pass laws and retain power.

The Liberal Party of Canada won a majority in the 2015 election but went into a minority government after the 2019 election. Last month, Trudeau forced elections two years before the end of his government's four-year term as he sought to secure another majority.

Find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada

In the 2019 election, the Liberals won 157 seats and 33.1 percent of the popular vote, while the Conservatives won 34.3 percent of the popular vote, but secured only 121 seats.

Early 2021 election results indicated that the Conservatives would finish second, as expected, with the Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party (NDP) vying for third place.

Liberals and Conservatives have traded spots in national polling throughout the campaign, running very close. They are the only two parties to have ruled Canada since the country's founding in 1867.

Throughout the campaign, immigration left behind issues such as climate change, affordable housing and economic recovery. However, both liberals and conservatives promised to increase immigration, address the backlog in applications, and improve credential recognition.

What do the election results mean for Immigration to Canada?

The election result should result in some major policy changes and surprises for Canadian immigration in the coming years. Another moderate minority should also have little direct influence on the immigration system. Since 2019, liberals have been able to implement their immigration agenda without much controversy or opposition. Instead, opposition parties have focused the government on addressing other issues such as the response to the pandemic, economic and fiscal policies, and foreign affairs issues such as Canada's response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

Thus, we should expect the Liberals to continue the immigration agenda that has been implemented since 2015. That means an ongoing commitment to welcoming high levels of immigration to support Canada's post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as a commitment to reunite families, help refugees, and other global talents such as temporary foreigners. Welcoming workers and international students.

The Liberal Party's platform holds many promises relevant to newcomers and future citizens. For example, he reiterates his 2019 election campaign promise to end the citizenship fee.

They also promise to support Francophone immigration both in and out of Quebec. However, they did not provide further details on their "ambitious national strategy".

They say they will reduce processing times that have been reduced from COVID-19 to less than 12 months, although their platform does not explain how. They say they will introduce electronic applications to improve applications for family reunification.

Liberals want to expand the avenues of permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and former international students through the Express Entry Point System (known as the Comprehensive Ranking System).

For refugees, the Liberals promise they will work with employers across the country to welcome 2,000 skilled refugees to address labor shortages in demanding sectors such as health care. At the same time, they want to double their commitment to Afghan refugees and increase the resettlement target from 20,000 to 40,000.

Liberals say they will support temporary foreign workers and Canadian employers by establishing a credible employer stream, which will streamline the application process. They also pledge to improve the global talent stream by simplifying permit renewal, maintaining a two-week processing standard, and setting up an employer hotline to allow companies to attract and hire employees.

What are the next steps for immigration to Canada?

Events following the 2015 and 2019 elections give us a feel for what we can expect on the Canadian immigration front

Ifor the next six months or so.

Within 1-2 months, we should know the members of Trudeau's new cabinet. It is possible that current immigration minister Marco Mendicino will continue in his role. The Prime Minister will hand over a mandate letter to each minister. The mandate papers will contain key policy priorities that each minister has to follow. For example, the Minister of Immigration will receive a mandate that will shape the trajectory of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's priorities, and these priorities will have a direct impact on the provinces, territories and the immigration system as a whole.

The next big event to watch is the announcement of the 2022-2024 Immigration Level Plan. The Level Plan guides the IRCC's immigrant entry goals, the number of immigrants to be targeted under each entry category (economic, family, refugee and humanitarian), and allocations for each province and territory. This announcement should happen in the first quarter of next year and latest by March 2022. Should next year's announcement be the norm, liberals are likely to remain committed to their plan to increase immigration by more than 400,000 new people each year.

Around that time we should also see the government table budget 2022. It will outline the Canadian government's economic and fiscal outlook. Budget announcements sometimes include new immigration policies, programs and projects that the government aims to pursue. For example, Budget 2021 states that the government intends to invest about $430 million to upgrade its IT infrastructure so that it can improve the way it processes immigration applications.

Slowly throughout 2022, we should see the new Liberal government begin to adopt and implement new immigration policies and programs.

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