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In the news: Changes to immigrant language rules on the way?

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that he hopes to make changes to language requirements for new immigrants later this year, reports the Toronto Star.

In a press conference Sunday, the Minister suggested that language requirements for skilled tradespeople may be relaxed, while those for foreign-trained professionals, such as doctors and engineers, may be raised.

“We need to be more flexible . . . skilled trades people who don’t have university degrees or who have very limited English or French language proficiency typically cannot make it through the points grid, but we have a huge and growing need for skilled trade people,” said Kenney.

The Globe and Mail quoted MP Justin Trudeau, whose father passed the first multicultural legislation in Canada, as he pointed out a contradiction in the Conservative government’s recent $53-million cuts to settlement agencies and their plans to increase the number of skilled immigrants:

“Why are they then turning around cutting settlement funding agencies, at a time when the needs are increasing right across the country?” asked Trudeau.

2010 was a record-high year for immigration, with 280,600 new permanent residents entering Canada.


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