The Government has increased the allotment of parents sponsorships to 17000 per year, up from 10000 per year.  Like most anything related to immigration, this increase appears to be a compromise between those who view family reunification as benefit to Canada and Canadians, and those who think parent sponsorships invariably result in:

Joyful Family Bliss or Trojan Horse?

Joyful Family Bliss or Trojan Horse?

  1. More useless leeches draining the Canadian tax payer like a medieval corpse,
  2. A poisoning the minds of young Canadian children with antiquated ideas of the world, leading to a lack of integration into Canadian life and,
  3. Less-skilled young persons into Canada as a result of accompanying ‘dependent children’ of said parents.

The less said about the latter, the better.

The former advocates maintain that sponsored parents contribute to  happier, healthier Canadian families.  The problem in assessing the benefits of sponsoring parents is that academic studies cannot measure (with any specificity) what family dynamic is enhanced or denuded by the presence or absence of parents or grandparents (but really just parents) in Canada. For example, sponsoring more educated parents who had a history of white-collar work in their country of citizenship would more likely lead to more educated grandchildren.  On the other hand, sponsoring parents who were hard-working labourers, but uneducated, may not have the same beneficial effect on the Canadian household of the sponsor.

Similarly, concerns about cultural acclimatisation belie (at least anecdotally) the assumption that old people from the old country will make a Canadian household less amenable to Canadian mores. For example, I have seen highly educated, economically productive parents (mostly fathers) from the Persian Gulf with highly educated children immigrate and maintain a strong identity in terms of religion and culture once settled in Canada.

Canada's Gulab Jamun aka a Timbit

Canada’s Gulab Jamun aka a Timbit

I have also seen less educated Canadians who sponsor their less-educated parents who end up raising Canadian-raised children with little or no strong cultural or religious affinity to “the old country”.  The latter observation is also associated with the strong economic need to work many hours, leading to the jettisoning of cultural mores that are expensive in favour of cheaper, easy-to-access Canadian habits.   I’m thinking the adoption of mediocre coffee  and artery-clogging carbohydrate balls from the ubiquitous coffee chains that enmesh most urban centres like locusts, eschewing foreign equivalents that may take longer to prepare and are consumed in a more leisurely fashion.

Given the elevated scrutiny of parents’ health conditions when being sponsored under the family class,  the costs of parents on the Canadian taxpayer have been addressed in the law requiring a certain standard of health for sponsored parents.  Similarly, the sponsor is ‘on the hook’ for any social assistance their parent may take for 20 years after the parent becomes a permanent resident of Canada. The family cannot access the public purse in the same way that those who arrived less recently.

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