Immigration Act, 1976


Immigration Act, 1976

A new Immigration Act in Canada was created in 1976 by then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. It focused on who should be allowed into Canada, not on who should be kept out. This Act came into force in 1978 along with new Immigration Regulations. This Act gave more power to the provinces to set their own immigration laws, and defined "prohibited classes" in much broader terms. Individuals who could become a burden on social welfare or health services would now be refused entry, rather than specific categories of people, i.e. homosexuals, the disabled, and so on; created four new classes of immigrants who could come to Canada, which are refugees, families, assisted relatives, and independent immigrants. While independent immigrants had to take part in the Points System, other classes did not have to take part in this test so long as they passed basic criminal, security and health checks. This Act also created alternatives to deportation for less serious criminal or medical offences, since deportation meant the immigrant was barred from entering Canada for life. After 1978, the government could issue 12-month exclusion orders and a departure notice, if the cause for a person's removal wasn't serious.


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