Citizenship and Immigration Canada Consultations Annual Report

Table of Contents

1.0 Introduction

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is pleased to present its second annual Report on Consultations, covering the reporting period of April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

Consultations with stakeholders and the public continue to be a critical element of CIC’s vision to build a stronger Canada – a safe and secure country with a shared bond of citizenship and values; a country that continues to support its humanitarian tradition and draws the best from the world to help build a nation that is economically, socially and culturally prosperous.

During the year, areas of focus for consultations included immigration (immigration levels, family class immigration, as well as economic immigration), settlement, citizenship and multiculturalism and admissibility.  In developing an immigration system that is faster, more flexible and focused on jobs to promote national economic growth, the Department consulted on cross-border business travel, a PhD eligibility stream for skilled workers, and the establishment of the 2012 levels plan. CIC balanced this priority with consultations on other priorities, such as faster family reunification through the Parent and Grandparent immigration program, third-party citizenship language assessment, and settlement service modernization. Engaging with interested organizations and individuals on these topics ensures that CIC programs and policies strengthen Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity.

CIC remains committed to establishing an ongoing dialogue with the public, and its partners and stakeholders through a variety of consultation mechanisms, both on a per-issue basis and through ongoing initiatives. Such initiatives allow the Department to consider diverse needs and perspectives in the development of its programs and policies. The 2011-2012 Consultations Annual Report highlights the ways in which engagement contributes to these decision-making processes.

2.0 Consultation Activities: 2011-2012

2.1 Immigration

Stakeholder and Public Consultations on a Redesigned Parent and Grandparent Immigration Program

In November 2011, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced Phase I of the Action Plan for Faster Family Reunification, a plan with three ultimate goals: to reduce the application backlog in this program, to speed up processing times, and to make it easier for parents and grandparents to visit Canada. As a part of the Action Plan, CIC committed to consulting with Canadians on how to redesign the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP).

In spring 2012, CIC launched an online consultation open to the public. The online consultation was held to discuss the challenges facing the  PGP and seek feedback on possible options for modernizing it. The consultation received over 6,400 responses.  Participants were asked for their opinion on various aspects of program design, including selection method (first-come-first-served, or a lottery option), length of sponsorship undertaking, fee payment, income thresholds, and citizenship requirements.

In addition to the online consultation, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism hosted in-person stakeholder consultations held on March 24, 2012, in Surrey, British Columbia and on April 18, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario. The two sessions were attended by approximately 23 stakeholders representing a variety of perspectives, including those of settlement provider organizations, ethnocultural organizations and economists.

Feedback from the online and stakeholder consultation activities has fed into the policy development process and a report of responses will be available in fall 2012.

Ministerial Instructions on PhD students

International students account for about one-quarter of the students enrolled in Canadian PhD programs. In order to attract and retain international talent, CIC consulted stakeholders in the development of a PhD eligibility stream under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Stakeholders were very supportive of the PhD stream, feeling that it would enable universities to better attract and retain international students pursuing advanced studies. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), a key stakeholder in the initiative, provided expertise on various aspects of the PhD stream, including the eligibility criteria.

As a result of the consultation, a PhD eligibility stream was launched in November 2011 to allow up to 1,000 international PhD students to submit applications for processing as federal skilled workers each year. CIC has continued to consult with the AUCC on a small number of implementation challenges.

Consultations on Immigration Levels for 2012 and Beyond

The current immigration system must manage multiple objectives. As a result, each year, CIC engages in an annual levels planning exercise, which is essential for balancing the immigration program’s many objectives and for meeting the Government’s priorities and commitments, as they arise. The annual levels plan must also manage these objectives and commitments within operational constraints that limit the number of admissions each year.  The plan sets out the number of persons Canada expects to welcome in the coming year, and sets ranges for each of the three classes of permanent residents (economic, family, and protected persons), as well as the subcategories for each.

Over the summer of 2011, CIC held two distinct but complementary consultations related to immigration levels:

  • 2012 Immigration Levels: Stakeholder Consultation (June 21 to July 15, 2011):

From June 21 to July 15, 2011, approximately 750 stakeholder organizations were invited by e-mail to provide input on the 2012 Levels plan through an online consultation on 2012 Immigration Levels.  A total of 170 stakeholders provided feedback through an online consultations questionnaire. Respondents reported a generally positive or neutral experience with Canada’s current level of immigration.

They felt that the immigration system needed to first and foremost support the country’s economic needs while ensuring that immigrants can be properly integrated to give them a better opportunity to succeed and contribute in Canada.

  • Immigration Levels and Mix: Stakeholder and Public Consultations (Stakeholder roundtables July 12 to August 16, 2011; online consultations with stakeholders and the public from August 29 to September 19, 2011)

From July to September 2011, Minister Jason Kenney, along with Parliamentary Secretaries Rick Dykstra and Chungsen Leung, launched a series of cross-country consultations on immigration issues. The consultations aimed to gather input on the right level of immigration to Canada – how many – and the right mix between the three immigrant classes to Canada – economic, family and protected persons.

As part of this process, approximately 100 stakeholders attended in-person roundtable meetings. Participants were generally supportive of the government and its direction on immigration. The Provincial Nominee Program and International Students Program had strong overall support, and several recommendations were made in regards to programs for temporary foreign workers.

In-person stakeholder roundtables were complemented by an online consultation, which received a total of 4,900 responses. This online consultation asked stakeholders and the public to provide input on 2012 Levels, as well as offer feedback on the greater context around Canada’s immigration system and its categories. Among respondents who were members of the public, there was overall support for a decrease in immigration levels over the next five years, although a majority of respondents who identified themselves as stakeholders said that immigration levels should increase or be maintained. Overall, respondents favoured the economic class over all other immigration categories, and were most likely to say it was most important that “candidates have advanced post-secondary credentials (e.g., PhDs)” and that “candidates invest significant levels of capital or create jobs.” In line with what was heard at the roundtables, online consultation participants said that the most important factor in an immigrant’s success in the labour force would be strong skills in one of Canada’s official languages, followed by a job offer in Canada before they arrive.

CIC reflected the general views of respondents in the 2012 Levels Plan, which was tabled in Parliament on November 1, 2011 as part of the Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. A summary of the consultation results is also available on the CIC website.

Advisory Committee on Service Quality

The Advisory Committee on Service Quality is a permanent forum for cooperation and consultation between CIC, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and their main partners to promote and improve the quality of service offered by CIC and the CBSA in the Québec Region.

This permanent committee meets quarterly, bringing together Québec's main non-governmental organizations (NGOs), representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Québec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI) and the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) to meet with CIC and CBSA staff.

The committee is aware of the broader context within which the activities of CIC and the CBSA are carried out. The current context requires a reorganization of service delivery using new technologies and streamlined administrative processes, while maintaining and improving the services offered to clients.

Feedback from stakeholders has made it possible to maintain the quality of CIC services for all clients, and foster harmonious relationships with the Québec community. Stakeholders have also made it possible to keep partners informed of changes affecting CIC policies and programs. CIC’s Québec Region used stakeholder feedback to adapt its operational practices to regional realities, in accordance with the integrity of CIC programs.

2.2 Settlement

Settlement and Integration Joint Policy and Program Council

The Settlement and Integration Joint Policy and Program Council (SIJPPC) provides a mechanism for collaboration, consultation and planning between the settlement sector and the federal government as well as provincial and territorial governments. The SIJPPC provides a forum for national policy and program dialogue to enhance immigrant settlement outcomes and provides regular opportunities for information-sharing.

In 2011-12 the SIJPPC held two in-person meetings and three teleconferences, attended by approximately 20 settlement sector representatives, including Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance/Alliance canadienne du secteur de l’établissement des immigrants (CISSA-ACSEI), the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI), Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Federal, provincial and territorial representatives were also present.

Discussion focused on Federal Budget 2012, settlement-related policy including performance measurement, departmental evaluations, settlement program data analysis, employment engagement and updates related to immigration, refugees and citizenship. 

Sub-groups of the SIJPPC

In addition to larger SIJPPC meetings, CIC consulted with stakeholders through sub-groups of the council that were formed in 2010 and beyond:

Performance Measurement Advisory Group

Settlement Modernization Implementation Advisory Group

The Settlement Modernization Implementation Advisory Group (SMIAG) was created in spring 2010, and consists of CIC staff and service-provider representatives from across Canada. One purpose of the group is to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of settlement and integration programs. Two SMIAG teleconferences took place in 2011-12 to discuss:

  • defining the uptake of settlement services;
  • Settlement Program evaluation;
  • Plans and Priorities;
  • needs assessment; and
  • the role of the Settlement Program in preparing newcomers for citizenship.

Stakeholders also suggested improvements to procedures, forms and tools and welcomed the idea of a streamlined Call for Proposals (CFP) process.

Performance Measurement Advisory Group: Annual Project Performance Report Reporting Template

The Performance Measurement Advisory Group (PMAG) was created in spring 2010 to provide advice on the development of a performance measurement strategy for CIC’s Settlement Program. The Annual Project Performance Report (APPR) is a component of this strategy, and is designed to provide comprehensive information on the activities of organizations and individuals who have received CIC grants and contributions. The PMAG and SIJPPC were consulted in the development of the APPR template. Stakeholders within these groups generally supported the development of the reporting template and provided relevant and useful contributions towards the final version. The reports are to be compiled into a national report on funding activities and outcomes, due to be released in fall 2012.

CIC will engage the PMAG once results are available. 

Care for Newcomer Children Pilot Project

CIC currently offers child care services for clients of CIC’s Settlement Program. CIC undertook the development of a new method of delivering child care services in order to create a more flexible, efficient and responsive model for care that is more in keeping with the current approach to settlement programming.

To ensure that the new method of service delivery was effective, in March 2012, CIC consulted Childminding Monitoring Advisory and Support (CMAS) and commissioned two Toronto-area consulting firms to assess the project in two pilot sites, involving service providers in Halifax and Hamilton. The assessment involved discussion on the participation of service provider staff and newcomer clients in the project.

The consultation allowed CIC to obtain the results of the preliminary assessment of the pilot, and to discuss next steps for the pilot and for the implementation of the approach across the Settlement Program structure. Following the results of the assessment, CIC consulted CMAS to plan the next steps of the incorporation of pilot results into a longer term plan to renew child care options offered under the Settlement Program.

CIC used the information provided and the subsequent final report to receive approval to move ahead with the adoption of new child care options for the Settlement Program national call for proposals in 2012. Incorporation of pilot results into a new model for Settlement Program child care is anticipated to begin in 2012-2013.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee

In March 2002, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced the creation of the CIC Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee (CIC-FMCs Steering Committee). The creation of this committee was driven by the purposes of the Official Languages Act, which sets out the federal government’s commitment to enhancing the vitality of Francophone Minority Communities (FMCs).

The CIC-FMCs Steering Committee brings together representatives of FMCs, CIC executives, and representatives of other government departments (federal and provincial/territorial). The Committee was given the mandate of developing strategies to increase the number of French-speaking immigrants in FMCs and to facilitate their reception, integration and retention.

CIC partnered with the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (FCFA) to hold an in-person meeting of the Steering Committee in Ottawa in May 2011. The meeting was designed to provide a forum for ongoing dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders, and establish strategic directions for 2011-2012.

The majority of participants agreed that the meeting was beneficial for furthering an understanding of the challenges and priorities of the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration in Francophone Minority Communities. Participants also agreed that the interactions created meaningful dialogue and helped to establish an understanding of the roles of Steering Committee members in supporting FMCs development.

The Department maintains a fruitful collaboration with different stakeholders including FMCs under the leadership of the FCFA. CIC continues to work to ensure that 2011-2012 priorities deliver concrete results.

Metropolis Conversation on the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration to Francophone Minority Communities

As part of its effort to meet its obligations under the Official Languages Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, CIC coordinated the implementation of the Strategic Plan to Foster Immigration in Francophone Minority Communities (FMCs). The Strategic Plan was developed in cooperation with federal, provincial, territorial and community partners, with the objective of providing a targeted approach to supporting the vitality of FMCs.

With the end of the Strategic Plan in sight in 2013, CIC invited federal and provincial partners, community members, academic researchers and consultants who worked on the implementation of the Strategic Plan to a meeting in order to consider the successes and lessons learned through the development and implementation of the Plan. CIC partnered with the Metropolis Project for the exercise, in which approximately 20 partners participated.

Recommendations made by participants for the future of the Strategic Plan included:

  • examining the impacts of Francophone immigration outside Quebec through research;
  • assessing the contributions of Francophone immigration in political and economic contexts;
  • developing objectives and actions geared toward the integration and retention of immigrants; and,
  • improving communications, both among stakeholders/governments and geared toward potential and current immigrants.

The recommendations flowing from this exercise will help decision-makers determine if a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018) is required, and how it might integrate the various initiatives of federal institutions in regard to the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act.

Consultations on the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program

The Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program provides newcomers with valuable temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments and other public and private sector organizations. After two years of expansion to the program, it was timely to undertake a consultation with partners to assess the effectiveness of the Program and obtain feedback on challenges along with suggestions for improvement.

To this end, CIC consulted stakeholders through workshops held in Ottawa and Toronto in winter 2012.  Approximately 35 organizations participated in the Ottawa workshop and 15 in the Toronto Workshop. Participants included immigrant serving organizations (ISOs) such as Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI) World Skills, World University Services of Canada (WUSC), and Service Intégration Travail Outaouais (SITO). Partner Immigration Serving Organizations in Toronto included members of the Consortium of Agencies Serving Internationally-trained Persons (CASIP).

Participant feedback included recommendations on program delivery and design, eligibility criteria (changes in length of time in Canada, mandatory language assessment), sustainability of the program (establishing a memorandum of understanding with partner departments), and communications (between immigrant serving organizations, and to partners, participants, and the public).

CIC has used the information to inform decision making regarding the future of the FIN Program.  Following recommendations from partners, CIC has developed partnerships with several private sector employers who intend to hire newcomers for the Fall 2012 program year. CIC has also established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with partner departments and agencies to solidify in-kind support for the FIN process. CIC will continue to explore changes to eligibility based on demand, capacity, efficiency and quality.

Foreign Credential Recognition Employers’ Fact Sheet for Ottawa-Gatineau

In 2011-2012, the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) created a number of products to offer—to both newcomers and employers—tools that facilitate foreign credential assessment to accelerate labour market integration. One such product was the Employers’ Fact Sheet for Ottawa-Gatineau (Sourcing Immigrant Talent in your Region – Ottawa-Gatineau) which provides user-friendly, local information on programs and services offered to employers by immigrant-serving organizations (ISOs) and post-secondary education institutions.  It includes bridging, mentoring and job-matching programs that help employers fill vacant positions.

To ensure that this product met the needs of ISOs, CIC consulted with eight stakeholder organizations, from January to February 2012. The FCRO will explore forging new partnerships with other jurisdictions to create additional regional Workbooks and Employers’ Fact Sheets.  New Brunswick officials have expressed interest in creating a regional Workbook while Prince Edward Island officials have expressed an interest in partnering with the FCRO on the development of an Employers’ Fact Sheet. These productswill continue to create a common, enhanced standard of information delivery to newcomers, and increase consistency in messaging federally and provincially.

The Employers’ Fact Sheet for Ottawa-Gatineau will be posted on credentials.gc.ca. Additionally, the distribution strategy will include collaborating with the Ottawa Chambers of Commerce, le Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale, la Chambre de Commerce de Gatineau and other employer associations.

International Qualifications Network Website Development

The International Qualifications Network (IQN) website was launched in December 2011, and is a virtual network of subject-matter partners who work together to build on international qualifications assessment and recognition practices across Canada. The website was developed in response to partners' calls for a tool to collaborate on issues related to the assessment and recognition of international qualifications. It enables registered members to share information about their own initiatives, and provide feedback on others' initiatives.

In July 2011, the FCRO completed a first round of IQN early adopter sessions to ensure that the website contained stakeholders’ initiatives before the website launch. A second round of early adopter sessions was undertaken in February 2012 to increase representation of stakeholders located in St-John’s, Fredericton, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Calgary, and to capitalize on the high demand for additional sessions in Toronto and Winnipeg.

The early adopter sessions solicited stakeholders’ feedback about the website’s functionality and explored their thoughts for future enhancements. Because the IQN site’s success depends on stakeholders’ willingness to become a member and upload their foreign credentials recognition (FCR) initiatives to the website, stakeholders were also encouraged to request a membership and input their initiatives and events.

To date, stakeholder support for this initiative has been strong, and the IQN website’s development continues to necessitate strong stakeholder engagement.

2.3 Citizenship and Multiculturalism

Citizenship Language Regulatory Amendments

In October 2011, CIC announced a proposal to change the Citizenship regulations on how language proficiency of citizenship applicants is assessed. Under the proposal, adult citizenship applicants would be required to provide objective evidence of language ability with their citizenship applications. From April 2011 to May 2012, CIC engaged a variety of stakeholders to gather input on the regulatory change.

In October 2011, CIC issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Canada Gazette with a 30-day comment period to make the public and stakeholders aware of the Department’s intention to change the Citizenship regulations requiring applicants to provide objective evidence of their language proficiency.

The proposed regulations were then pre-published in the Canada Gazette on April 21, 2012, and a 30-day comment period followed.

During the NOI posting period, 68 comments were received; 14 comments were received during the pre-publication period, the majority of which were requests for more information.

The majority of those who responded were in favour of the proposal, in part because language proficiency in one or both of Canada’s official languages is seen as a critical success factor for newcomers. However, concerns were expressed for vulnerable groups who may be negatively impacted by the change. These concerns had been taken into account during development of the proposal, and feedback from these consultations assisted with implementation planning for the regulatory change.

Consultation with provincial and territorial governments took place to discuss the impact that this regulatory change would have on provinces and territories. Discussions centered on whether evidence of language proficiency from provincial/territorial training programs could be used as evidence for citizenship. CIC continues to collaborate with provincial and territorial governments on this issue.

Consultations with stakeholders were done to inform them of the regulatory change and gather feedback. CIC consulted third party testing bodies, immigrant settlement service providers, representatives of the Canadian Bar Association and representatives of immigration consultants’ organizations.

Final publication and implementation of the regulatory changes is planned to occur in fall 2012.

2.4 Refugees

CIC-CBSA-CCR Roundtable

The Canadian Council of Refugees (CCR) is a non-profit umbrella group of over 180 organizations across Canada, advocating for the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada. CIC officials have regular interactions with CCR representatives on a wide range of subjects.

CIC organizes a regular roundtable with the CCR, together with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), to discuss areas of mutual interest. In September 2012, the CCR-CIC-CBSA Roundtable focused on four agenda items: 1) Privately-Sponsored Refugee (PSR) Quality Assurance Review; 2) CCR updates on the Youth Network Speak up! Project (countering myths about newcomers); 3) Working Conditions of Temporary Foreign Workers; and 4) C-11 (The Balanced Refugee Reform Act) implementation updates.

CIC also participates in the CCR’s annual spring and fall consultations with its membership on various subjects pertaining to refugees. These have been beneficial to the Department to inform policy and program development and in enhancing services to refugees.

2.5 Admissibility

Temporary Resident Biometrics Project

The use of biometrics offers an accurate and reliable tool to verify the identity of immigration clients, thereby significantly reducing the chance that one individual could pose as or be mistaken for another. Implementing biometrics would strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and increase CIC’s confidence in clients’ identity.

Building on 2009 consultations with a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and a 2010 meeting with the Cross-Cultural Round Table on Security (CCRS), CIC continues to engage with stakeholders to inform the implementation of the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project (TRBP). In 2011-2012, stakeholder engagement was focused on providing stakeholders with an update on the status of the TRBP and obtaining input and feedback on operational and implementation issues of the project.

Stakeholder engagement activities in 2011-12 consisted of face-to-face meetings with 13 NGOs, private organizations and crown corporations that have an interest in helping visitors, international students or foreign workers come to Canada, or that have an interest in Canadian immigration policy and law.

Most stakeholders were generally supportive of the Government of Canada using biometrics as an identity screening tool in the temporary resident program. Through engagement, CIC was also better positioned to understand concerns such as the privacy and protection of applicants’ personal information as well as potential impacts on the tourism industry so that these issues can be considered for biometrics implementation plans now and moving forward.

Air Consultative Committee

The Air Consultative Committee is a government-air industry stakeholder engagement forum chaired by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the Assistant Deputy Minister level. CIC participates in this forum along with Transport Canada and other government departments. This forum provides air industry stakeholders, such as Air Canada and Vancouver International Airport Authority, with the opportunity to provide input on CIC programs and activities and for CIC to engage the air industry on new or upcoming policy developments and directions.

Through the Air Consultative Committee (ACC), discussions between air industry stakeholders, CIC and other federal partners have focused primarily on broad program and policy issues related to air travel and migration management and control (such as discussions around the Transit Without Visa program and China Transit Trial).

2.6 Ongoing Mechanisms for Engaging Stakeholders

Senior Management Outreach Program

In 2011, CIC introduced a Senior Management Outreach Program, an initiative which sets out to actively leverage ongoing senior management activities to reach out to key stakeholder groups that are involved in or affected by the Department’s policies, programs or issues. Deputy Minister regional roundtables are a key component to this outreach program, linking the Deputy Minister and Associate Deputy Minister with key stakeholders during regular regional travel.

In 2011-2012, the Deputy Minister hosted roundtables in Halifax and Vancouver, with a focus on hearing from regional employers and business associations to inform the Department’s economic immigration reforms. Service Canada also attended, for clarification as needed on relevant government processes such as Labour Market Opinions.

  • Halifax, Nova Scotia –  February 9, 2012

The Halifax roundtable was attended by 17 stakeholders from regional business associations and sectors including construction, transportation, aquaculture, hospitality/tourism, healthcare, information technology, energy oil and gas, aerospace and manufacturing.

Topics discussed include: immigration levels, labour market conditions and shortages, as well as regional unemployment rates; foreign credentials recognition, including pre-arrival credential assessment and impact on regulated occupations; the Temporary Foreign Worker program including Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) and temporary work permits; the Federal Skilled Worker program, including trades; and visa issuing and processing times.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia – February 28, 2012

The Deputy Minister met with a group of 13 employers representing key industries across the region, including retail, health care, tourism, mining, construction, film/TV and technology.

Stakeholders discussed the labour market and skills shortages, including reliability of labour market information; the Temporary Foreign Worker Program including responsiveness, transitioning work permits and renewals, and LMO processes; recruitment and retention of high skilled professionals; small/medium enterprises, services for newcomers and planning and infrastructure; modernizing the Federal Skilled Worker Program, language requirements and the value of international and specialized experience; and the potential of an “Expression of Interest”-type pool of applicants for recruitment.

Overall, the roundtables were an opportunity for employers to voice their interests and challenges in using the immigration system. They have allowed CIC to better understand the needs and perspectives of employers who hire or anticipate an increasing reliance on internationally-trained workers, and to discuss the Department’s economic immigration agenda first-hand with those who are affected.

Deputy Minister’s Advisory Committee

The Deputy Minister’s Advisory Council (DMAC) has met quarterly since it was established in December 2010. The Council is a group of individuals drawn from across sectors, including labour, business, civil society and academia, which provides the Deputy Minister with strategic advice and diverse perspectives concerning immigration, refugees, multiculturalism and citizenship.

With the goal of exploring program and policy issues from a broader perspective, the Council responds to specific issues identified as a priority by the Deputy Minister. The role of the Council is limited to an advisory capacity; it does not a have decision-making role.

In 2011-2012, DMAC discussed issues ranging from the level and mix of immigration to Canada, to temporary foreign workers, settlement services and barriers to economic integration including foreign credential recognition. The Department has benefited from the Council’s discussions on the broader economic and social impact of initiatives currently being contemplated by the Department, and in hearing from experts outside the government on regional research and on the needs and realities of business.

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