The 518KB PDF file can be downloaded from Statistics Canada free online publication. Just follow this link Population projections of visible minority groups, Canada, provinces and regions.
Following is a brief look into these latest findings.
Study: Canada’s visible minority population in 2017
Roughly one out of every five people in Canada, or between 19% and 23% of the nation’s population, could be a member of a visible minority by 2017 when Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, according to new ethno-cultural population projections.
Under the scenarios considered for these projections, Canada would have between 6.3 million and 8.5 million visible minorities 12 years from now.
Depending on the growth scenario, this would be an increase ranging from 56% to 111% from 2001, when their number was estimated at about 4.0 million. In contrast, the projected increase for the rest of the population was estimated at between only 1% and 7% between 2001 and 2017.
In 2001, 13% of the population identified themselves as belonging to a visible minority group as defined in the Employment Equity Act.
Data from past censuses showed that the visible minority population is growing much faster than the total population. Between 1996 and 2001, the total population increased 4% while the visible minority population rose 25% or six times faster.
The study showed that regardless of the scenario (low growth or high growth) the visible minority population would continue increasing at a faster pace than the rest of the population between now and 2017.
The same would be true for Canada’s populations of immigrants, allophones and non-Christian religious denominations.
In addition, the ethno-cultural diversity is likely to remain concentrated in a number of urban areas. As was the case in 2001, almost three-quarters of visible minorities in 2017 would be living in one of Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. About one-half of the population in Toronto and Vancouver could belong to a visible minority.
Immigration most important factor
Among the factors that account for the more rapid growth in the visible minority population, the most important are unquestionably sustained immigration along with the high proportion of visible minority people among the new arrivals.
Other factors include higher fertility and a “younger” age structure, which result in fewer deaths and higher birth rates for visible minorities than for the rest of the population.
In 2001, about 70% of the visible minority population were born outside Canada.
Despite the rapid increase in the number of Canadian-born visible minority people, the proportion of visible minorities born outside Canada would remain above two-thirds between now and 2017, according to the study.
On the basis of the immigration composition and levels set for the various projection scenarios, Canada’s immigrant population would reach between 7.0 million and 9.3 million in 2017.
This would represent an increase of between 24% and 65% from levels in 2001. Over the same period, the non-immigrant population would experience a much more modest growth of 4% to 12%.
Under the scenario based on the most recent patterns of immigration, fertility and mortality, immigrants would account for 22% of the population by 2017. This would equal the highest proportion reached during any point in the 20th Century. In 2001, immigrants made up about 18% of Canada’s population. Projections provided in the remainder of this release will be based on this scenario.
South Asian population may catch up to the Chinese
Population growth will probably not be divided equally among constituent sub-groups, according to the study. For example, the faster growth of the South Asian group between now and 2017 may put it on equal terms with the Chinese, the visible minority group with the largest population in 2001. The South Asian group has higher fertility than the Chinese and almost as big a share of immigration.
Regardless of the scenario, roughly one-half of all visible minorities in Canada would belong to two groups by 2017: South Asian or Chinese. The projections show that the population of each group would be around 1.8 million.
In 2001, Chinese and South Asians were already the largest visible minority groups in Canada, but their share of the total population differed.
According to the 2001 Census, 1,029,000 individuals identified themselves as Chinese, and they accounted for 26% of the visible minority population. In comparison, the 917,000 South Asians represented 23% of the visible minority population.
Projections show that the Black population would remain the third largest visible minority. It would reach around 1.0 million in 2017, compared with about 662,000 in the 2001 Census.
The visible minority groups that would grow fastest between now and 2017 are the West Asian, Korean and Arab groups. Under most of the projection scenarios, the population of each group would more than double.
Under the reference scenario, the Filipino population, estimated at 309,000 in the 2001 Census, would grow to around 540,000 by 2017, topping the half-million mark in four of the five scenarios.
Under the reference scenario, the number of people whose mother tongue is neither English nor French would reach 7.6 million by 2017, or 22% of the total population. That number was around 5.2 million in the 2001 Census, or 18% of the population.
Vast majority would live in metropolitan areas
Under all scenarios developed for these projections, almost 95% of visible minorities would live in Canada’s census metropolitan areas 12 years from now.
As was the case in 2001, almost 75% of visible minority persons in 2017 would be living in one of Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas: Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. Toronto would have 45% of all visible minorities, Vancouver 18% and Montréal 11%.
Under four of the five scenarios, more than half the population of Toronto would belong to a visible minority group. The visible minority population of Toronto would range between 2.8 million and nearly 3.9 million in 2017.
Of these visible minorities in Toronto, more than 1.0 million would be South Asian people and more than 735,000 Chinese. This means that more than half of Canada’s South Asians and about 40% of Canada’s Chinese would be living in Toronto in 2017.
The majority of the population in Vancouver would be visible minority persons in 2017, under three of the five scenarios used for these projections. Nearly one-half of the visible minority population would be Chinese.
The visible minority population of Montréal wo
uld still be quite different than that of Toronto or Vancouver because of the high proportion of Blacks and Arabs. By 2017, Blacks could represent 27% of Montréal’s visible minority population and Arabs 19%.
Provincially, the visible minority population would be over-represented in 2017 in two provinces (Ontario and British Columbia) as was already the case in 2001 compared with the national average.
Ontario would have a visible minority population of nearly 4.1 million, or 57% of the total, while British Columbia would have 1.4 million, or 20% of the total. Nearly one out of every three people living in British Columbia would belong to a visible minority group in 2017.
Visible minority population would remain younger
The visible minority population should remain younger than the rest of the population 12 years from now. However, it too would be an ageing population with proportionally fewer young people and more seniors.
Projections show that the median age of the visible minority population would be an estimated 35.5 in 2017, about four years more than it was in 2001. In contrast, the median age of the rest of the population would be 43.4 years, nearly six years more than it was in 2001.
This differing age structure could have an impact on the working-age population.
In 2017, for every 100 visible minority persons old enough to leave the labour force, that is, people aged 55 to 64, there would be 142 old enough to join the labour force. These people would be in the group aged 15 to 24.
In the rest of the population, there would be only 75 potential entries for every 100 potential exits.
The publication Population Projections of Visible Minority Groups, Canada, Provinces and Regions, 2001 to 2017 (91-541-XIE, free) is now available online. From the “Our products” and services page, under “Browse our Internet publications”, choose “Free”, then “Population and demography.”
For further information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact our Media Relations Hot Line (613-951-4636; email@example.com).
Note to readers
This report is the result of a project initiated in 2004 by the Multiculturalism and Human Rights Program at the Department of Canadian Heritage. Its goal was to prepare a portrait of the ethno-cultural diversity of the Canadian population in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
One facet of this project was to produce population projections that would be used to generate a demographic profile of Canada on the basis of variables such as visible minority status, immigrant status, religious denomination and mother tongue. Under the Employment Equity Act, members of visible minorities are persons, other than Aboriginal persons ‘who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color’. The ten groups include Chinese, South Asian, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian, Arab, West Asian, Japanese and Korean.
This report projects the ethno-cultural diversity of the Canadian population using five scenarios. A low-growth scenario assumes relatively low immigration and fertility, along with levels of migration inside the country that are consistent with those found by the 2001 Census. A high-growth scenario assumes relatively high levels of fertility and immigration.
A third scenario, the reference scenario, reflects the effects on projected population of recent trends in the components of demographic changes, while a fourth uses slightly different assumptions on internal migration.
A fifth illustrates the impact that a higher level of immigration (equivalent to 1% of the total population) might have on the size, age structure and ethno-cultural composition of the population.
There are also two other resources that I think would benefit you as immigrants in Canada or person with social and demographic interests:
- Book: Boom, Bust & Echo – Profiting from the Demographic Shift in the 21st Century by David K. Foot, Stoddart Publishing Company, 313 pp.
- Canadian Immigrant Forum: Current Opinions on Immigration and Systemic Racism
As part of my essay assignment in Fall 2003, I also raised this issue, titled ‘White-Collar Refugees’ in Their Own Country. As you can see there are a lot of problems rising from the Canada’s immigration policy especially towards highly-educated and highly-skilled immigrants.
On March 13, 2005 The Chinese Canadian National Council, Chinese Professionals Association of Canada, and Canada-Hong Kong Link and many concerned people and organizations held a community roundtable on citizenship and immigration policies. The objective of this roundtable was to facilitate the exchange of views and analysis on immigration issues of major concern to our Chinese Canadian community and to prepare ourselves for the Toronto Hearing of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that will take place on April 13 and 14.
The discussion mainly focused on the three topics outlined by the Standing Committee namely:
- What a new Citizenship Act should contain,
- Recognition of foreign experience and credentials of immigrants,
- Family reunification issues.
Detail arrangement of the community roundtable is as follows:
Community Roundtable on Citizenship & Immigration Policies
Date: March 13, 2005 (Sunday)
Time: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Place: CPAC Office
First Commercial Place
4168 Finch Avenue East, Room PH28
(between Kennedy & Midland)
Tel: (416) 298-7885
Indoor parking available
Messages from the Standing Committee Chair:
Cross-Canada Hearings of the Standing Committee
on Citizenship and Immigration
An Opportunity for your voice to be heard
Ottawa, November 30, 2004 – The Honourable Andrew Telegdi, PC, MP (Kitchener-Waterloo), Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, today tabled the Committees latest report in the House of Commons, entitled Updating Canadas Citizenship Laws: Issues to be Addressed.
In the Speech from the Throne of October 2004, the government indicated its intention to introduce new citizenship legislation, stating:
“What makes our communities work is our deep commitment to human rights and mutual respect. The Government is committed to these values. It will modernize Canada’s Citizenship Act to reaffirm the r
esponsibilities and rights of Canadian citizenship and our values of multiculturalism, gender equality and linguistic duality.”
Although the former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Judy Sgro had indicated that new citizenship legislation would likely be tabled in Parliament in February 2005, the government is not yet prepared to introduce a bill. Rather, in light of the Committee’s preliminary advice provided in a report tabled in November 2004 entitled Updating Canada’s Citizenship Laws, the new Minister has requested that the Committee consult Canadians with respect to the following issues:
- Should new citizenship legislation include a preamble setting out the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?
- Should there be limits placed on the way citizenship can be obtained by birth?
- What should be the criteria for granting citizenship to newcomers?
- What are the appropriate reasons to remove citizenship and what process would be most appropriate?
- What should be the text of a new citizenship oath?
- What sort of citizenship engagement strategy does Canada need to make sure that citizenship is recognized and celebrated?
Witnesses are encouraged to use these questions and the Committee’s November 2004 report as a basic guide when crafting their submissions. They should not, however, feel limited to these specific topics. The Committee encourages Canadians to express their concerns regarding all aspects of Canada’s current Citizenship Act, as well as recent efforts to revise the legislation.
Subject: CITIZENSHIP COMMITTEE WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU
Please be advised that the Standing Committee for Citizenship and Immigration will be traveling across Canada in March and April to hold hearings that will address the topics of:
- What a new Citizenship Act should contain
- Recognition of the international experience and credentials of immigrants
- Family reunification issues
This presents a unique and important opportunity for you to express the concerns of your community or organization and to influence the content and regulations of new citizenship legislation.
The current Citizenship Act that was enacted in 1977 predates the Canadian Charter of Rights an Freedoms and it is crucial that a number of its sections be brought into compliance with the provisions of the Charter.
I urge you all to contact the Clerk of the Standing Committee in Ottawa (see contact information at the bottom of the News Release below) and apply to appear as a witness or send a written submission.
Hon. Andrew Telegdi, P.C., M.P.
Cross-Canada Hearings of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration: An Opportunity for your voice to be heard
Ottawa, December 20, 2004 – The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will be traveling to the following cities in March and April 2005: St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. Hearings will be held at each location on the following topics.
In the Speech from the Throne of October 2004, the government indicated that its actions will be guided by its commitment to defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to be a steadfast advocate of inclusion. An intention to introduce new citizenship legislation was also affirmed:
“What makes our communities work is our deep commitment to human rights and mutual respect. The Government is committed to these values. It will modernize Canada’s Citizenship Act to reaffirm the responsibilities and rights of Canadian citizenship and our values of multiculturalism, gender equality and linguistic duality.”
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has indicated that new citizenship legislation will be tabled in Parliament in early 2005 and that it will be referred to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration after first reading. At her appearance on 2 November 2004, Minister Sgro told the Committee: “Give me your suggestions on those areas that are most contentious. At that point, I would ask the department to put them into the legislation, introduce the legislation in February at the first opportunity, and bring it back here and you could do your travels, and so on.”
The Committee has already provided preliminary advice regarding this legislation in a report tabled 30 November 2004. That report was based on evidence received in the 36th and 37th Parliaments during our study of Bills C-63, C-16 and C-18, all citizenship bills that died on the Order Paper.
The Committee will be asking Canadians to once again comment on citizenship issues. While detailed legal analyses of the legislation are sought, we are also asking Canadians to comment more generally on the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. As we noted in our November 2004 report, two important aspects of the new law must strive to reflect the importance attached to belonging to the Canadian community and we invite Canadians to express their thoughts regarding a preamble for the legislation and the oath of citizenship.
The best immigrant selection system in the world will ultimately be of little benefit to Canada if economic immigrants are unable to work in their trade or profession. The Committee realizes that this is a complex and multifaceted problem involving many levels of government and literally hundreds of professional and trade organizations. During the Committee’s travel, we intend to meet with provincial counterparts to discuss this issue and we also invite individual Canadians and professional and trade organizations to make submissions and recommendations
Specific questions that will be addressed include the following:
- The Committee would like to see a process in place whereby immigrants will be able to obtain the Canadian equivalency for their professional and trade credentials. What would such a process look like for your profession or trade?
- What would be the costs and challenges of implementing such a process?
- In which occupational fields has there been progress with respect to skills and credential recognition?
- Are problems in labour force integration evidence of shortcomings in Canada’s immigration programs? If so, what changes should be made to federal policies relating to skilled worker recruitment?
- Do other countries offer better models for the integration of newcomers?
One of the immigration objectives listed in section 3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is “to see that families are reunited in Canada.” Similarly, section 4 of the Act states that one of the objectives with respect to refugees is “to support the self-sufficiency and the social and economic well-being of refugees by facilitating reunification with their family members in Canada.” The Committee invites witnesses to discuss their concerns relating to family reunification and welcomes recommendations for improving the current system
The following general topics have been identified as being of particular interest to the Commi
- The family class sponsorship program;
- Delays in reuniting the families of refugees who have been granted Canada’s protection following the Immigration and Refugee Board determination process; and,
- Family reunification issues arising in the context of the private sponsorship of refugees program.
For more information, please contact: William Farrell, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Tel: (613) 995-8525 The Honourable Andrew Telegdi, P.C., M.P. Tel: (613) 996-5928 E-mail: CIMM@parl.gc.ca
Chinese Canadian National Council
The Chinese Canadian National Council (“CCNC”) is a national non-profit organization with 28 chapters across the country. Our mandate is to promote the equality rights and full participation of Chinese Canadians in all aspects of Canadian society.
As a national organization, we believe that Canada’s immigration and refugee policies must reflect the humanitarian values that are commonly shared by Canadians, and that such policies should enhance the ability of immigrants and refugees to make an important contribution to the future of this country.
We are concerned that Bill C-18 creates different and unequal classes of citizenship, and makes it easier to lose citizenship. It creates draconian new powers, resulting in an attack on fundamental legal and procedural rights of all Canadians.
Our submission on Bill C-18 focuses on five areas that are of major concern to the Chinese Canadian community: residency requirements [s.7(1)(b)], adoptees [s.9(1) & (2)], automatic loss of citizenship (s.14), revocation and annulment of citizenship (ss.17, 18), and power to refuse and prohibitions for granting of citizenship (ss.21-22, 28).
Residency Requirements (section 7)
The current Citizenship Act addresses the issue of residency at section 5(1)(c), which states as follows: “accumulated at least 3 years of residence in Canada”. There is currently no reference to physical residence. Proposed section 7(1)(b) does not use the word “physical” residence but rather the words “resided in Canada”, which the Minister would likely interpret as physical even though it can be argued that one can reside in Canada without being in Canada physically.
The strict need for physical residency in Canada is not necessarily a good determinant of who will be a good Canadian. While there is a general desire for permanent residents to live amongst Canadians before they are granted Canadian citizenship, it is also important to take into account the changing global economy, which requires people to travel frequently in order to be globally competitive. Canada must balance the need to rub shoulders amongst Canadians and the changing world economy and as such there is a need to maintain a flexible definition of resident in Canada.
The failure to maintain a flexible definition of resident will discourage people who function in the global economy from becoming permanent residents of Canada and Canadian citizens.
Recommendation: Amend section 7(1)(b) to maintain the current wording, “accumulated at least 3 years of residence in Canada”, as this allows for the interpretation that one can be resident in Canada without having to be physically resident.
Maintain the increase from 4 to 6 years as the relevant time period to determine if residence in Canada can be counted towards Canadian citizenship. This longer period provides greater freedom and mobility for those who have to travel or work outside of Canada.
Adoptees (section 9)
Proposed section 9 seeks to grant citizenship to a person who, after February 14, 1977, was adopted by a citizen while the person was a minor child. The adoption must meet the following criteria:
- was in the best interests of the child;
- created a genuine relationship of parent and child;
- was in accordance with the laws of the place where the adoption took place and the laws of the country of residence of the adopting citizen; and
- was not intended to circumvent the requirements under any enactment for admission to Canada or citizenship.
Proposed section 9(2) also takes into account adoptions after February 14, 1977 with respect to person 18 years of age or older if the following factors are satisfied:
- the adoptive parent stood in the place of a parent in relation to the person before the person attained the age of 18 years; and
- the adoption meets the criteria set out in paragraphs (1)(1) to (4).
There is currently no equivalent section in the current Citizenship Act with reference to adoptees. Currently one must be a Canadian permanent resident before applying for Canadian citizenship. Given that this section would mean that an adoptee would no longer have to apply for permanent residence first before applying for Canadian citizenship this would make it easier for adoptees to become Canadian citizens. This also means that adoptees do not have to pass medical checks which would benefit the adoptee and his or her family.
In determining whether an adoption is for the best interest of the child, there is no right to an oral hearing to make one’s case. If the adoption is determined to be for convenience sake then it appears that the only way to appeal the matter is to the Federal Court of Canada, which is a long process. Given that adoptees are currently recognized in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, it is assumed that the right to apply for permanent residence is not taken away and would remain a parallel process.
Recommendation: Maintain this section which will be beneficial to adoptees and their families.
Automatic Loss of Citizenship (section 14)
Section 14 in Bill C-18 already exists in the current Citizenship Act. The section governs the automatic loss of citizenship for those individuals born outside of Canada of foreign-born Canadian parents, who have failed to reside in Canada for the requisite period before applying to retain their Canadian citizenship. Before the age of 28, these individuals must apply to the Minister to retain their citizenship and reside in Canada for at least 1,095 days (3 years) during the 6 years before they make this application.
It is CCNC’s position that this provision should removed entirely because of the potential problems that could arise through its implementation. It is submitted that the existence and implementation of Section 14 contradicts Section 12 of Bill C-18 which guarantees that all citizens will have equal rights and obligations regardless of how they have acquired their citizenship. CCNC recognizes that one of the goals of the Bill may be to limit the transmission of citizenship to second-generation Canadians born in other countries who may not have any demonstrated attachments or ties to Canada. It is our position that Section 14 is neither an effective nor an efficient way of ensuring that this objective is met. The creation of different “classes” of citizenship who are differentiated by whether they were born in Canada or abroad of Canadian-born or foreign-born parents would be an affront to the aim of section 12 of the legislation assuring equal rights to all citizens.
CCNC is further concerned by the potential violation of rights guaranteed by the Charter as a result of the arbitrary restrictions i
mposed by Section 14. Mobility is an increasing reality that affects migrant populations in the 21st century. This is particularly the case within the Chinese community. The demands and obligations of work, study, or family may require frequent travel to and from other countries. Such demands and obligations may not entirely be controlled by the individual concerned.
CCNC is concerned by the restrictions on mobility placed on second-generation born abroad individuals. For these individuals it will be imperative that they ensure that they are present within Canada for at least 3 years during the 6 years before applying for citizenship. Thus for these 3 years their mobility rights will be restricted contrary to rights guaranteed under section 6(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Should they choose to ignore the residency requirement they would do so at risk of their citizenship status and at the risk of becoming stateless. As such, CCNC submits that such limitation of mobility rights is an infringement of the Constitutional guarantees that all Canadians enjoy. It is our submission that the objectives accomplished through the implementation of Section 14 do not outweigh the potential Charter and human rights infringements that could arise.
It seems irrational that in a situation where a woman, born abroad to a Canadian parent who is also born abroad, who returns to Canada to spend most of her life and then leaves again, before the age of 28, for reasons of study or work but fails to apply to retain her citizenship before the age of 28 years old or applies, but does not realize that she has to fulfill the 3 year requirement in the 6 year period before her application for retention, would automatically lose her citizenship. For all intents and purposes this woman would have ties to Canada. It is CCNC’s position that the application for retention of citizenship is an onerous process that discriminates against second-generation born abroad Canadians.
CCNC recommends the removal of Section 14. In the alternative, CCNC proposes that the should Section 14 remain in the legislation it should be amended to provide for an appeal process in situations where there are in fact strong ties to Canada, when an individual becomes stateless or where an individual has failed to apply for retention of their citizenship before they turn 28 years old through no fault of their own. The creation of an appeal process would ensure that the principles of fundamental justice are not violated through the implementation of Section 14. Further, it is often the case that for at least the first 16 years of an individual’s life their choice of what country to reside in and for what reason may not be entirely be their own. The proposed legislation does not allow for such realities. Only with the necessary checks and balances included in the new Citizenship Act can we ensure that the implementation Section 14 (automatic loss) will not infringe Charter rights or tarnish Canada’s long-standing role as a protector of human rights.
Recommendation: Delete Section 14. Alternatively, amend Section 14 by providing an appeal process through which individuals can contest their automatic loss of citizenship.
Revocation and Annulment of Citizenship (ss. 17 and 18)
Bill C-18 creates new powers to revoke and annul citizenship in ways that are contrary to principles of fundamental justice.
Section 17 of the Bill provides that a Federal Court judge can revoke citizenship without disclosure of the evidence against the person and without their presence if “injurious to national security or to the safety of any person”. This evidence can be received even if inadmissible in a court of law. Such decisions are final and cannot be appealed or judicially reviewed.
These provisions breach rights fundamental to Canadian society and principles of natural justice, including the right of a person to have reasonable notice of the case against them, and the right to respond. Without such protections this power is too broad and open to abuse, especially in the current atmosphere of fear in response to the threat of terrorism. Chinese and Japanese Canadians, who suffered discrimination such as the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act, deportation and internment, know too well the importance of upholding the basic human and legal rights which are violated by this section, especially in times of fear and turmoil where they are most under threat. This provision is fundamentally unjust.
Recommendation: Delete Section 17.
Section 18 creates a new power to annul citizenship. It provides that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration can order that the citizenship is void if acquired under prohibited grounds (e.g., certain criminal convictions) or under a false identity. This order can be made within five years of the grant of citizenship.
This section is unnecessary due to the stringent process of CSIS/security checks during the lengthy process of obtaining citizenship. If there are concerns that the process is not working, the application process itself should be improved instead of creating this draconian new power. It is unfair to create a process where, if the Minister changes his mind, despite the rigorous process leading up to the grant of citizenship, he can do so. This provision results in the creation of a class of “probationary” citizens who don’t have the same rights as other citizens.
Further, procedural rights under this section are insufficient. While the person affected is entitled to make written representations opposing the order, it is not an independent decision-maker but still the Minister who makes the final decision to annul citizenship.
Recommendation: Delete section 18.
Power to Refuse and Prohibitions for Granting of Citizenship (ss.21-22, 28)
Section 21 of Bill C-18 provides the Cabinet with power to refuse citizenship on the basis that “a person has demonstrated a flagrant and serious disregard for the principles and values underlying a free and democratic society”. There is no clear definition of what these “principles and values” are, and thus it could result in inconsistency in interpretation by Cabinet and different governments over time. This vague section provides Cabinet with a wide power to refuse citizenship that we submit is subject to abuse, especially in times of fear and uncertainty. Section 28 already includes an expanded list of prohibitions against grant of citizenship. If required, additional prohibitions can be added to Section 28 instead of providing such a broad, undefined special power to Cabinet.
The lack of due process and right of appeal after the order is given is also of concern to us. Under a free and democratic society, a person who has denied citizenship should have access to due process and should be treated fairly under the law.
Recommendation: Delete Section 21 and 22.
Section 28 contains a long list of prohibitions against grant of citizenship. Of particular concern to us are paragraphs (c) and (d) that deal with charges and convictions outside Canada. It is a common tactic for some undemocratic and bureaucratic governments to frame and convict political dissidents of crimes they have not committed. Many refugees seek protection from Canada exactly because they flee persecution of their home countries as a result of these unfair charges and convictions.
Recommendation: Amend Section 28 (c) and (d) to include an exception where the charges and convictions are reached in an unfair process outside Canada.
Chinese Canadian National Council
302 Spadina Avenue, Suite
Tel: (416) 977-9871
Fax: (416) 977-1630
Chinese Canadian National Council
The Chinese Canadian National Council (“CCNC”) is a national non-profit organization with 28 chapters across the country. Our mandate is to promote equality rights and full participation of Chinese Canadians in Canadian society.
We believe that Canada’s immigration and refugee policies must reflect the humanitarian values that are commonly shared by Canadians, and that such policies should enhance the ability of immigrants and refugees to make an important contribution to the future of this country.
Many of CCNC’s local chapters are community-based organizations serving immigrants and refugees. We strongly believe that settlement and integration services are vital to the success of Canadian immigration and refugee policy. Appropriate and timely delivered settlement and integration services accelerate the process by which immigrants and refugees integrate into our society and contribute to the building of our nation. Our submission covers four areas of concern:
- The continued success of service agencies in meeting needs of immigrant and refugee communities depends on adequate, ongoing operational or core funding from government. However, the current funding level does not reflect the actual costs incurred by agencies. As indicated by the Inter-Provincial Report Card on Immigrant Settlement & Labour Market Integration Services, a survey conducted by the BC Coalition for Immigrant Integration, federal per capita funding on settlement and integration programs has been declining in recent years. We are concerned that this gap may become even larger as arrivals approach CIC’s target number. The insufficient funding problem is particularly severe in provinces where provincial core funding grants for immigrant and refugee serving agencies are being phased out. Ultimately, settlement and integration is the responsibility of the government of Canada. No matter what province immigrants or refugees choose to settle and work in, two-thirds of their personal income tax is paid to the federal government. Therefore the federal government has the mandate and a greater ability to draw on the financial resources to fulfill that mandate.
We recommend that the federal government commit to a significant increase in sustaining operational and core funding for settlement and integration programs.
- There is a lack of coordination and consensus among federal departments about the social, economic and political integration of immigrants and refugees in the context of settlement and integration programs. The departments of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), Heritage Canada and Industry Canada should enhance their interdepartmental coordination and cooperation in this regard. Similarly, there is also need for dialogue and collaboration among federal, provincial and municipal governments to address gaps and inconsistencies when designing and funding settlement and integration programs.
We endorse OCASI’s recommendations regarding the need for dialogue and collaboration among federal departments and the three levels of governments to address gaps and inconsistencies in the provision of settlement and integration programs.
- Settlement programs funded by CIC generally remain very generic, with emphasis on initial orientation. They do not meet the adjustment and integration needs of immigrants and refugees who seek meaningful and in-depth services facilitating access to employment, trades and profession. Citizenship education is alarmingly lacking. There is no plan to facilitate the meaningful participation and contribution of immigrants and refugees in Canadian society.
We recommend that CIC take a more innovative and consultative approach toward settlement and integration service delivery providing frontline agencies with greater flexibility in organizing programs that will meet the specific needs of immigrants and refugees, and allowing diversity in programming.
- Language training is an essential building block of a prosperous, innovative economy and a healthy population involved in all aspects of social, economic and political life. It enhances intercultural and inter-racial understanding and racial equity within Canada that has just confirmed its standing as one of the most diverse nations in the world. Lack of official language skills has long been regarded as one of the major barriers to successful integration of immigrants and refugees in Canada. However, the current language instruction services are not accessible to naturalized citizens and refugee claimants in many provinces. As well, the language programs are very generic and not addressing the specific language need of immigrants and refugees accessing the labour market. In some provinces, federally funded language instruction services being offered are up to Level 3 or 4 only. Occupation-specific and bridging-to-employment programs have not been incorporated into the language programs. The government’s evaluation of language instruction services is based on number of newcomers served rather than the appropriateness and effectiveness of the services in helping them integrate.
We therefore support the recommendation of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance that federal funding for language instruction services be increased to accommodate innovative models of delivery that will meet the diverse needs of immigrants and refugees. We also recommend that the eligibility for language instruction services be expanded to include naturalized citizens and refugee claimants.
Chinese Canadian National Council
302 Spadina Avenue, Suite 507
Tel: (416) 977-9871
Fax: (416) 977-1630