Immigration policy has been used by the Canadian government as a tool to shape this country. From Acts and regulations, Minister's permits and Orders in Council, to less documented government decisions and the discretions given representatives in the field, Canada's immigration policy has been used to encourage and to restrict entry of specific groups of people, to fill labour shortages, to respond to political and economic pressures and security concerns, and to meet international humanitarian commitments.
Although primarily a federal responsibility, the provinces and territories have some jurisdiction as well and some have become more involved in setting immigration policy in the last half of the twentieth century.
Some resources on the related issues of refugee policy, citizenship, and to a lesser degree multiculturalism policy, may also be included here, but are not the focus of this guide.
NOTE: The general sources for contemporary Canadian Government and Politics covered in the main portion of this guide should also be used for this topic. The more specialized sources listed here provide additional information.