Moderato Cantabile

Moderato Cantabile Book

Toward principled governance for Canada’s immigration regime

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Canada has engaged in an immigration policy experiment of momentous importance over the last 25 years: it has almost doubled the flow of new immigrants. This has not only strained Canada’s absorptive capacity and the common public culture, and increased the costs of immigration for Canadians, but it has also led the more recent cohorts of immigrants to experience much greater difficulty integrating into their new homeland, causing them to fall more and more below the level of income of the Canadian-born.

Canadians have been disinformed by officials, the intelligentsia and the media about the real impact of mass immigration on the economy and about its potential capacity to counter the effect of the aging of Canadian population. Canadians have been hoodwinked into accepting that maximum diversity is optimum diversity.

This book questions certain toxic myths in good currency about immigration, points to grievous administrative pathologies about the selection process of immigrants, and proposes new guide posts to shape a principled Canadian immigration policy – based on fair play and rules of hospitality – that include a clear understanding that permission to become a member of the host society must not be granted unconditionally. Moral contracts with newcomers should define the expectations of the host country as the quid for the quo represented by the entitlements that are afforded to the newcomer.

Gilles Paquet is Professor Emeritus at the Telfer School of Management, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Governance of the University of Ottawa, and Editor in Chief of, an electronic journal on public governance and management that reaches some 10,000 subscribers. For more information, visit his website



Chapter 1 Dumbfounding Aspects of Canadian Immigration Policy

  • Introduction
  • Some stylized facts
  • The baffling ‘Canadian consensus’ reversal after the mid-1990s
  • A frontal attack on this wicked problem may be counterproductive
  • Scheming virtuously on three fronts: a brief sketch
  • Conclusion

Chapter 2 Immigration and the Solidarity-Diversity-Security Nexus

  • Introduction
  • The SDS nexus
  • Citizenship and the SDS nexus
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3 Toward Fair Play and Hospitality as a New Frame of Reference

  • Introduction
  • Moral revolution -> social transformation
  • Frame of reference I
  • Common public culture under threat
  • Frame of reference II in the making
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4 Toward Principled Governance of the Immigration Regime

  • Introduction
  • Basic philosophy .
  • A circumspect appraisal of the state of play by officialdom
  • Toward a new Canadian immigration regime
  • The moral contracts with newcomers
  • Terms of integration and default settings
  • Conclusion



Quality Paperback with tables, 5½×8½” 115 pg, Publication date: May 2012, ISBN 978-0-9877575-6-2: $15.95

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One Comment

  1. Jenny
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Canada’s immigration policy is truly unique. Still, it is not without reason. Their current population and age distribution is a big factor in this. I’m pretty sure they also studied the policies of other countries, through sites like