Alexandra Miekus - 16 August, 2021
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, called a federal election on August 25.
The announcement of the election, which will take place on September 20, was expected.
In recent months, Trudeau’s Liberal Party has been ahead of the other parties in the polls, and the leader has been making funding announcements across the country. The context is favorable for the Liberal leader, who is seeking a majority government again. The Liberals lost their majority in 2019 and have led a minority government since then.
The 36-day campaign period will be an opportunity for Canadians to vote on significant government spending during the pandemic and in the years to come. In addition to the generous emergency relief programs deployed during the crisis, the Trudeau government announced $101.4 billion in new spending over three years to stimulate the economy in its 2021 budget.
The Liberals hold the view that immigration helps make Canada more diverse and more prosperous. The Liberal Party sees immigration as the best way to offset aging population challenges and meet Canada's growing labour needs. If elected, the Liberal Party is likely to maintain Canada’s high levels of immigration to stimulate the economy and address the demographic problems the country faces.
The country’s current opposition party, the Conservatives, also supports immigration and oversaw higher immigration levels and the launch of Express Entry in their last mandate.
Each of the political parties will release their official election platforms over the coming weeks, providing further insight into the immigration policies they would pursue if they were in government.
Canada’s current immigration strategy encompasses skilled workers, businesspeople and essential workers, as well as the family sponsorship category for spouses, children, parents and grandparents. If the Liberals win again, we can expect similar immigration policies to those implemented by the governing party over the past five years.
In the context of world events and the pressure for international action, the government’s attitude and policies towards refugees may also become a major issue in the September 2021 federal election.
In response to the recent alarming advances of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Friday that the Canadian government would welcome 20,000 Afghan refugees. Priority groups currently include women, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the LGBTQ+ community and family members of previously resettled interpreters.
Afghans who have already found refuge in another country or are about to leave Afghanistan will be able to apply under the government-assisted refugee and sponsorship programs, Mendicino said.
Between 2001 and 2021, Canada welcomed 23,000 Afghan refugees, according to IRCC statistics.