Canada’s Federal Election: What’s the Impact on Canadian Immigration?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for a Federal election on Sunday and Canadians will head to the ballots on September 20, 2021. Recent polls show strong favour towards the Liberal Party, making it an opportune time to try for a majority government.

The party with a majority government has the lion's share of the Canadian parliament’s 338 seats and can therefore make more independent decisions about new laws and policies. This naturally raises many questions about how the Federal elections will affect Canadian immigration, the annual immigrant intake quotas, and eligibility requirements.

Take a look at the 2019 election results below:

The two major parties are the currently elected Liberal party and the Conservative party led by Erin O’Toole. Trudeau’s Liberal Party lost a majority government in the 2019 elections. The good news is that both parties are in favour of economic immigration.

2019 Election Results

  • Liberals won 157 seats;
  • Conservatives won 121 seats;
  • Bloc Québécois won 32 seats
  • New Democratic Party (NDP) won 24 seats
  • Green Party won 3 seats
  • An Independent candidate won 1 seat

Canadian Immigration After the Elections

Group of students with Canadian flags sitting near color wall

Don’t expect any drastic changes to occur right after the new governing party is elected. The process follows a cabinet reshuffling and the Prime Minister will then provide ministers with mandate letters outlining the government’s policy priorities. In the meantime, the Canadian government will be guided by the immigration mandate letters Trudeau provided to Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino.

What do Canada’s major political parties have to say about citizenship and immigration?

Canada’s Liberal Party

Canada’s COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly and approximately 61% of the total population is fully vaccinated. The promising pandemic outlook can be traced back to the Federal government of Canada’s quick response to close borders for non-essential travel and social distancing measures put in place to protect citizens. The government also implemented an Economic Response Plan to provide financial relief to workers and businesses amidst the pandemic.

If the Liberals win again, we can expect similar immigration policies and high immigration targets as those they have set since 2015. Here are abstracts taken from the 2021 Supplementary Mandate Letter for immigration purposes.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Supplementary Mandate Letter

  • Immigration target 2021-2023: 1.23 million immigrants.
  • Continue to implement measures that create pathways to permanent residency for those who have provided health care in long-term care homes or medical facilities or performed other essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Continue exploring pathways to permanent residency and citizenship for temporary foreign workers.
  • Continue working with provinces and territories to support high-quality settlement services and facilitate the successful settlement and integration of new Canadians.

Canada’s Conservative Party

The Conservatives led by party leader Erin O’Toole have shown strong support for immigration. In fact, it was the Conservative Party who launched the Express Entry system when they were in power. This year, Canada plans to invite 108,500 skilled foreign workers through the Express Entry system alone. The party also committed to increasing the number of points needed to enter Canada through the Express Entry Program.

O'Toole says that if they form the next government, they'll make it easier for newcomers to Canada to find work in their fields while transforming Canada's role in promoting international human rights.

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