Unit 4 Immigration

Chapter 5 A Global Perspective


Ask yourself:

  • What are the responsibilities of the world’s nations for helping those in need?
  • What are Canada’s responsibilities?

After a look at the power and challenge of statistics, you will conduct your own research inquiries into global migration today.

Action 1  


Considering Migration

Match the items in List A with the items in List B

250,000 approximate number of displaced people worldwide
120,000 approximate population of Canada
43,000,000 number of migrant workers in Canada
140,000 population of world’s largest refugee camp in Jordan
35,000,000 population of refugees in camps in Burma

We have always migrated, even in the era of settlements, towns, cities, and states. Some of us travel in search of land, gold, adventure, and the dream of a better life.

In this unit we have explored issues around migration, especially with groups forced out of their home countries for various reasons.

Canada has been a destination for many groups in the past few hundred years. Sometimes we welcomed immigrants; sometimes we kept them out. In many case people came to Canada as a station on the way to the United States. For some groups, such as escaped slaves in the 1800s, the route was from the U.S. to Canada.

In looking at the global scene you should do an investigation as a class. Here is one way to do this using current media, both paper copy and online.

Action 2  


Clipping Thesis

Much of what we know or learn about immigration and the role governments and citizens can play in Canada and the world, comes from the media. So it’s important to learn how to analyze media treatment of any issue. A thesis is a statement about an issue supported by evidence and based on clear criteria. This can be a component of the culminating end-of-unit task to be displayed or handed in if there is a current event that has attracted the class’s interest.

A. Working either individually, in small groups, or as a whole class select a problem or current issue in Canada today you wish to explore.

B. Collect stories, pictures, or information, about the topic over a three or four-week period from the local newspaper or other media, including appropriate and online sources. Some of the websites linked to the federal government such as Parks Canada, Statistic Canada, and the National Archives may also serve as sources to investigate.

C. Prepare an analysis which might include such aspects as the following:

  • historical background to the issue (as reported in the newspaper and in the text);
  • the perspective(s) taken by the newspaper or other media examined;
  • a weighting of the different perspectives in order to arrive at a defensible conclusion on the issue in question.

The following are just some of the topics and questions that you may use for developing theses based on readings from their local paper and other media sources.

TopicCritical Question
Topic Critical Question
Refugees from Haiti Should we bring them to Canada? Under what conditions?
Emigration Why would people choose to leave their country or region of their birth to move to a new place?
Immigration Why would people choose to live in Canada?
Illegal Immigration How serious a problem is this for Canada?
Immigration Consultants Help or hindrance to newcomers?
Public opinion What does the public in your community / province / territory think of issues in immigration?
What does the Canadian public think as a whole on immigration issues?
Role of Government What is current government immigration policy?
What influence should the provinces and territories have on immigration policy?
Refugees What groups coming to Canada are claiming refugee status?
How strong are the arguments for and against admission of refugees?
Climate Refugees Do they exist or is this a made up idea with no merit?
Refugee camps Are these temporary or permanent solutions?
What makes a camp “adequate” for the refugees?
Global migration Where are the places where there is massive migration?
Why are these migrations occurring?
What can / should Canada do about the issues causing such migration?
Canada’s economy Should the health of Canada’s economy affect immigration and refugee policy?
Border security How secure are our borders? How secure should they be?
Challenges to newcomers What challenges do newcomers to Canada face?
Temporary Workers How important are they to the Canadian economy?
What are our obligations to this group?
Hopes and realities What has happened to immigrants who came to Canada in the past?
Multiculturalism Contributor or hindrance to Canadian identity?
Studying immigration Is it better to study immigrants as groups of people or concentrate on individual stories to learn more about the issues?
The brain “gain” By encouraging highly skilled and educated immigrants are we damaging the home countries by taking their “best and brightest”?

The clippings can be included as a portfolio or cited in an essay on the topic in question. Some school libraries have signed on to databases of various news media, including newspapers, magazines, television, and cable news sources. Some are free of charge such as:

You can compare daily front-page coverage from a dozen Canadian newspapers and hundreds from more than 50 countries by checking Washington’s Newseum.

The clipping thesis helps you go beyond the headline to trace the story. If the news story is the first draft of history it will not be the last.

Online selection can be part of a “media file” to develop the clipping thesis. Here you might begin by working with your classmates to develop:

  • search techniques, in addition to just “Googling”
  • questions for any online investigation or web quest
  • criteria for evaluating the usefulness of the website itself.

As you share your work, you can discuss or write position papers based on their examination of the issues shared in all of the theses.

PM Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refugees arriving at Pearson Airport, Toronto, Dec. 11, 2015 enlarge image
PM Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refugees arriving at Pearson Airport, Toronto, Dec. 11, 2015

Credit: www.citynews.ca

PM Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refugees arriving at Pearson Airport, Toronto, Dec. 11, 2015 enlarge image
PM Justin Trudeau greets Syrian refugees arriving at Pearson Airport, Toronto, Dec. 11, 2015

Credit: CP24

“Immigration is critical to job creation and long-term economic growth for the middle class. In so many ways, Canada is what it is today thanks to the entreprenurial spirit of those who chose to build their lives here.” – PM Trudeau