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Pathways to Prosperity 2019 National Conference Immigration at the Crossroads
The HIPC team is pleased to be joining hundreds of professionals who are working towards creating a more welcoming settlement experience for newcomers at the 2019 Pathways to Prosperity National Conference. The conference is looking at how research, policy, and practice supporting the attraction, settlement and integration of newcomers, with success stories and lessons learned from across the country. It is a gathering of settlement workers, public servants, and researchers dedicated to fostering and promoting the integration of immigrants and minorities across Canada. Our Senior Project Manager Sarah Wayland was the Chair of a plenary session that focused on attraction and retention of immigrants to smaller, rural and northern communities. The HIPC team is thrilled to share the Hamilton experience with our fellows and to bring back the latest immigration data, ideas and new connections to our city. 
Immigration in the wake of the Federal Elections 
Despite predictions, immigration did not turn out to be a big focus of the recent federal election. The People’s Party of Canada, which advocated reduced and restricted immigration, did attract some attention but only 1.6% of the vote and no seats in Parliament. The two largest parties, Liberal and Conservative, share the view that immigration is essential to the country’s economic growth and support ongoing, gradual increases to immigration levels.

In his article Canada Election 2019: What to expect from the immigration system in the coming years, Kareem El-Assal argues that Canadian immigration will remain stable as long as the Liberal minority government remains in power. It will need support from at least one other part to pass any legislation, but the parties share similar views on immigration, so immigration policy is unlikely to bring down the government. Indeed, the settlement sector can expect ongoing growth to support increased immigration levels.

The Liberals have promised some innovation in immigration policy, most notably with its proposed Municipal Nominee Program (MNP), for which there are few details. Under the MNP, “local communities, chambers of commerce, and local labour councils” will be able to directly sponsor new immigrants. It has hoped that the MNP will attract immigrants to locations beyond Canada’s largest cities by supporting immigration to meet local labour needs.

Finally, the Liberals propose waiving citizenship fees beginning in 2023. At present, an adult application costs $630. El-Assal believes that this fee change will encourage many permanent residents to delay applying for citizenship until this change takes effect.

Nothing is certain in politics, but the outlook for immigration and those who support newcomers looks promising at present.
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Issue #28

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City of Hamilton · 28 James Street North · Hamilton, On L8R 2K1 · Canada

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