Family Reunification

Blog, Commentary, Poverty, Steve Lafleur

Recently I wrote an Op-Ed in the National Post where I argued that the family re-unification program has a number of benefits that are difficult to quantify. Critics of the immigration status quo often claim that there is a “net fiscal transfer” from native born Canadians to immigrants, and family re-unification is certainly a large part of that cost. My suggestion was to make up this gap through entrance fees on parents and grandparents of immigrants. Unfortunately the number I arrived at was based on an annual, rather than a lifetime calculation. I apologize to readers for the mistake. It was an unfortunate error because it distracted from my central point. The crux of my argument is that we need to ensure the immigration system is both robust, and self-financing. Family re-unification is an important part of the system. As I mentioned in the article we should look for ways to reduce the cost of family re-unification in addition to levying fees. An example would be lengthening the amount of time for immigrants to receive pensions. The key is to find a solution that is broadly accepted both by native born Canadians, as well as new Canadians.