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Nature and Determinants of Changes in Immigration Flows to Canada, 1992-2012



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The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain the nature and determinants of changes of immigration flows to Canada during the past two decades. It tries to determine the volume, source, and classes of immigration flows as well as the factors that have influenced changes in these flows. In examining the factors that have influenced the immigration flows, the principal focus is on how they have been influenced by the roles and the interests of the Canadian federal and provincial governments, and to some extent also by some factors within the international political and economic systems. The analysis of domestic determinants of the flows is approached primarily from the state-centric perspective, which postulates that one of the major determinants of the nature and causes of immigration flows to Canada are the interests, imperatives and preferences of the federal and provincial governments. The major findings of the thesis are that although the federal government performs a key role in determining annual immigration flows, over time the provinces have also been performing an increasingly significant role largely through their respective immigration programs. The most influential province has been Québec. Other provinces have followed Québec’s lead, albeit to a less significant extent. The thesis further reveals that the sizes of immigration flows have been growing significantly during the past few decades. The source countries of immigrants and the number of immigrants arriving through the economic class, rather than the family and refugee classes, have changed substantially. These changes are the result of the political and economic trends that have affected the “push” and “pull” dynamics of immigration flows, and the policy preferences of the federal and provincial governments.



Immigration, Immigration flows, Roles, Federal and Provincial Roles, Interests, Political, Demographic and Economic Interests



Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies and Research


Political Science


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