The government said it would replace the program with a new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund, which will require immigrants to invest money, rather than just loan it. The shift comes as part of a major years' long overhaul of the Canadian immigration system aimed at choosing newcomers who Ottawa believes are a better fit for its economy and society.

I think a major years' should be a major year's. If not, how to parse it?


You should read it as

part of a [major] [years' long] overhaul

The overhaul is big (major) and it took long (years long).

As the comments seem to agree that years' seems weird (I could read it as a possessive, but I have to admit it looks weird to me as well), I guess the best way to write it would be:

part of a [major] [years-long] overhaul

  • Why you changed "years' long" into "years long"?
    – user48070
    Feb 12 '14 at 9:54
  • Because I overlooked it :) I guess it;s a genitive "A project of many years" -> A years' long project.
    – oerkelens
    Feb 12 '14 at 10:15
  • 3
    Isn't the sentence looks better without 's and with hyphen. The shift comes as part of a major years-long overhaul of the Canadian...
    – Maulik V
    Feb 12 '14 at 13:02
  • @MaulikV Yes, I would argue that years' long is incorrect; years is a quantifier and should not be possessive. However, it might be a standard Canadian or British usage that I'm not familiar with.
    – Hellion
    Feb 12 '14 at 20:30
  • 1
    @MaulikV I agree. Writing it as years' long looks really odd to me. Writing it as yearslong or years long is much better, imho. However, years-long is probably the best alternative. Feb 12 '14 at 21:26

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