The spatial relocation of labour across
international boundaries has been a
fundamental aspect of capitalist development
since the Industrial Revolution.
Migration flows are structured by the relationship
between economic, political, and ideological
relations with capitalism as the driving force.
People migrate mainly because of economic
The process of capital accumulation contributes
to the formation of relative surplus populations.
Capital accumulation also propels or forces
certain groups of people to join the relative
surplus population and to migrate because of its
associated economic dislocations.
Migration is an aspect of nation-state formation.
Assessments of potential migrants are based not
only on their expected capacity to extend labour
power, but also on whether they can become
part of the nation’s imagined community.
Migration to Canada has been broadly linked to
the business cycle.
Historically, immigration policies in Canada have
been characterized by racist and discriminatory
In the mid-19th century, the Chinese were
encouraged to immigrate to Canada for the
construction of the railway.
When the construction was completed, the
Chinese Immigration Act (1885) was introduced.
Head Tax Receipt
From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th
century, the immigration policy was highly
selective and intended to maintain a ‘white
During the World Wars and the Great
Depression, immigration restrictions were
In 1947, Mackenzie King suggested that the
immigration program should be structured by the
interests of the ‘national economy’ and select
only those who would be desirable ‘future
citizens.’ In 1952, the Immigration Act
concretized these criteria. This resulted in a
highly skewed flow of people to the country.
‘Non-white’ people defined as unsuitable and
thus restricted from entering the country.
Since 1962, the deracialization of immigration
policies because existing controls were
embarrassing for government officials, and a
shift in labour-force requirements.
Points system introduced in 1967.
Presently, there are number of options when
applying for permanent residence status .
Business Class Immigration
Family Class Immigration
Skilled Worker Class Immigration
The Self-Assessment tool will indicate if you
qualify to immigrate to Canada as a Skilled
Worker. Your score on this test will show you
how your skills and experience could be
assessed on your application.
The current pass mark is 67.
Each of the 4 groups has a different
scenario/perspectives. Complete the test from
your given scenario/perspective.
Is the points system effective and beneficial to
Canada? Is the distribution of points
You are an unmarried 35 year old male medical
doctor from Sri Lanka. You attended medical
school in the United Kingdom at a prestigious
university in London. You have been offered a
well-paying position at Mount Sinai Hospital in
Toronto, Ontario. After 5 years, you intend on
sponsoring your mother and father.
You are an unmarried 20 year old female with an
ECE diploma from an Australian college. You
intend on joining your 25 year brother who has
been in Montreal, Quebec for 2 years.
You are a 55 year old male living in Rwanda. You
have been able to learn some English and
French from you employer for whom you work
for as an agricultural labourer alongside your
wife. You would like to join your brother and his
family who have become well-established in
Vancouver, British Columbia.
Please complete the Self-Assessment collectively
from your own perspective.
2 demographic processes that are expected to
have implications for future immigration levels:
Canada’s declining fertility rate.
The aging of Canada’s population.
Possible solution – expand Canada’s
immigration program, especially in the
recruitment of young workers.
What are advantages and disadvantages of this
The Canadian government continues to allow
the entry of workers on a seasonal, contractual
basis, as migrant labour.
Employment authorizations provide nonresidents of Canada the right to employment in
Canada, usually in a specific job for a specific
period of time.
The advantage of admitting temporary workers
to fill specific kinds of jobs is that when those
jobs end, the workers must leave the country.
Migrant farm workers are presented as part of
the government’s package of development aid in
the Caribbean – flimsy justification.
Much of the money they earn is used to
sustain their capacity to work while in
Funds earned have had little impact on
development in the Caribbean.
In reality, the importation of Caribbean
workers under contract allows Canadian
employers the opportunity to exploit the
labour power of Caribbean workers without
threatening the imagined community of the
1. What is the definition of relative surplus
People who are economically displaced by the
process of capital accumulation and who are
therefore unemployed or irregularly employed.
2. __________ is both a cause and
consequence of the process of capital
3. Who does Marx refer to as the floating
Workers who are displaced from the production
4. When were capitalist relations of production
established in Canada?
The mid 19th century.
5. Whitaker says that the political selection of
immigrants was premised on the perceived
existence of an external enemy. Who was
6. When was the points system introduced?
7. People defined as ‘non-white’ (Asian,
African, Caribbean) were thought to be
suitable permanent residents and thus
encouraged to enter the country.
True or False?
8. The process in which explicitly racist terms
and concepts are replaced with apparently
non-racist ones, but with the meanings
a. Net migration
d. State formation
9. What are 2 demographic processes that
have implications for future immigration
Canada’s declining fertility rate and the aging of
10. Why are the funds earned through
employment in Canada not benefiting
development in the Caribbean?
They are used by workers to sustain their capacity
to work while in Canada (food, shelter,