My greatest fear is that one day Canadians, as fair-minded as they may be, will close their doors to other refugees. Bill C-31 -- Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act -- is now in the Senate where it will be studied and debated. Not only is this bill unconstitutional and inconsistent with Canada's international obligations, it will change the face of Canada as we know it.
The Komagata Maru incident occurred during a time in Canadian history where there was a deep-seated prejudice against minorities and immigrants. NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu's motion today urged the Government of Canada to officially apologize in Parliament to the South Asian community in the House of Commons. I commend him.
"I seriously don't understand why this could happen, you know?" Over the phone, Kathy Sun describes how she's been waiting in...
The facts exist to support the argument that first-generation Canadians integrate successfully into Canadian society and achieve high levels of success. But how does the next generation negotiate the various pressures to succeed and integrate into Canadian society? How do they forge an identity that is both Canadian but that also preserves elements of their family's heritage and culture?
If Bill C-31, "Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act," passes in parliament, Canada will lose its reputation for fairness and human rights and, more importantly, hundreds if not thousands of people's lives will be adversely affected. Refugees would be ineligible to sponsor any immediate family members and these refugees would be second-class people in Canada.
Every year, the flow of people fluctuated according to supply and demand. Some years, a total of 60,000 people were allowed in, and some others years 150,000. This guaranteed that immigrants found work because they were screened properly to insure their success. Then in 1986 the Mulroney government opened up the floodgates.
It is not unreasonable for Canadians to demand more stringent security checks to ensure that people seeking to enter the country do not have nefarious intentions. The Economist reported recently that Iran might be constructing its nuclear facilities with ultra-high performance concrete. The article also mentioned that a graduate of Tehran University is currently studying the molecular structure of cement at the University of Ottawa.
The upcoming federal budget is expected to include major immigration reforms. Successful immigrants are happy immigrants. Successful and happy immigrants are productive members of society. Unhappy and desperate immigrants will search for jobs elsewhere or may resort to finding ways to game the system.
Ontario and Quebec should stop badmouthing the west and demand reform to the immigration mess Ottawa has perpetuated since 1986. The burden of providing healthcare, education, and other social services for new immigrants has added more costs to their budgets than interest on their debts, the Detroit bailout, and all-day junior kindergarten in Ontario or $7-a-day daycare in Quebec combined.