Do the Means Change the Ends? Express Entry and Economic Immigration in Canada

Research output: Articlepeer-review


The relationship between economy and community is a constitutive tension in the Canadian immigration state. With the rise of the knowledge economy, Canada mediated this tension through the concept of human capital, internalized in the points system. Introduced in 2015, Express Entry transformed the landscape of economic immigration in Canada. Express Entry is an online permanent residence application system. In this article, I argue that Express Entry is more than a change in form and process; it is a change in substance that shifts Canada’s skilled immigration regime toward a neo-corporatist model. By shifting partial decision-making authority to the provinces and territories, on the one hand, and to the labour market, on the other, Express Entry rebalances the relationship between the federal government and private and sub-state parties. Furthermore, it accomplishes this rebalancing through the use of Ministerial Instructions, themselves a unique instrument which raise democratic transparency and accountability concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-124
JournalDalhousie Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

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