In 2011, significant reforms to Canada’s Family Class for immigration began with the freezing of applications for parent and grandparent sponsorship. In May 2013, a package of reforms to the Family Class was proposed, which would impose more stringent conditions for the sponsorship of parents, grandparents, and dependent children under the Family Class. In response, a coalition of civic stakeholders in Ontario mobilized through the “My Canada Includes All Families” campaign to lobby Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to stop the implementation of these changes. This paper analyzes the package of reforms and explores the impacts that past and proposed reforms might have upon the value of the family unit in Canada. This paper aims to support the “My Canada Includes All Families” campaign by presenting practical research to illustrate the benefits that parents, grandparents, and family reunification have for the Canadian social fabric in terms of social capital.
Key words: policy reform, family reunification, social capital, economic rationale, racialization