The Canada Border Services Agency just announced that it had deported 16,511 people in 2011-2012, dubbing it a "milestone year." Every year tens of thousands of migrant workers are coerced to leave after getting hurt on the job or because their work permits are revoked or have been completed. This is euphemistically called "repatriations." Canada is implementing a revolving door immigration policy, with high deportations and a shift to migrant work. It is clear to see who is paying the cost of these policies. Are we okay with this? It's time we slow this down.
In introducing Bill C-43 -- the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act -- the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration offered several justifications for this legislation, which on first impression, appear warranted. But the very title of the legislation suggests that Canada is overrun with foreign terrorists, escaped convicts, war criminals and the like. That's only the tip of the iceberg for this highly problematic piece of legislation.
For the average elector, the substance of a politician's argument is secondary to that of his or her delivery or style. That might explain why Mitt Romney won the first of three presidential debates last night. He was able to simplify everything. Obama failed to answer these accusations and shrugged them head on. At best, he failed to use soundbites that are easy to take home or quote. For an average American elector who is more concerned about Jennifer Aniston and who is leading in American Idol, Obama failed to capture their imagination.
Toronto, is seen as "some kind of paradise" to Roma in Hungary, who face daily persecution. This brought on a nauseating feeling as I thought of the current government's portrayal of Hungary as a "safe country" for the Roma people, who are themselves portrayed as bogus claimants. I thought of the Roma refugee claimants I have seen in my clinic, who are simply trying to find safety for themselves and their families, like anybody would.
On Monday, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced that the federal government had started the process of revoking the citizenship of 3,100 people suspected of lying to immigration officials in a highly publicized press conference.Fiscally conscious Canadians, who appreciate arithmetic, can see through this ideological contrivance.
Canada is finally moving toward a smart, two-step immigration policy -- like Australia and others have -- that will recruit talent through a targeting policy of foreign student education. Most foreign students in Canada get their degrees and never come back. Most Australians apply to remain and the majority stay.
As a Canadian, I often balk at examples of racism and discrimination so explicit in American politics.In the fallout of Toronto's recent shootings, however, Mayor Rob Ford and Minister Jason Kenney's comments about reviewing "immigration law" (Ford) and "foreign gangsters" (Kenney) are guilty of exactly what members of Mitt Romney's team have done -- attempting to turn certain communities into "others" who are somehow less American or Canadian because they are racial minorities.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that the federal government would no longer offer work visas to immigrants applying for positions in the sex trade. While this is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of moderating the oldest profession in the world, it's not enough.
So I'm standing outside "The Barn" restaurant ("It's called The Barn because all the animals go there" I was once told), having a smoke, and some hapless soul walks up and asks me for a cigarette. That'll teach me to open up a full pack on Queen Street. As I hand this guy his smoke, he looks at me, and in all sincerity asks "Do you know Tony?".
Just over a decade ago, the UN declared June 20th as World Refugee Day. But in Canada today, we are losing our noble traditions of welcoming refugees and giving them full benefits. Thankfully, there are organizations like the Canada Centre for Victims of Torture that are trying to help out these immigrants in any way they can.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney set off a frenzy in Ottawa after he accidentally sent an e-mail in which he described Alberta's deputy premier as a "complete and utter asshole" to a larger audience than he intended. Such is the problem of the "reply-all" function in e-mail. This simple mistake shows how we have devalued communication and correspondence. Yet, it also exists as the ultimate communication tool.
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.
Doctors witness the impact of bad public policy on the health of individual patients and their families. When physicians, health workers and community members take a stand on June 18, we stand in solidarity with those affected and fighting for the right to health for all refugees and refugee claimants. This is about some of the most vulnerable people in our society becoming even more so.
Recently, Jason Kenney has proposed drastic changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) -- the program that has allowed many refugees to receive health care. These changes aim to deny access to essential medicines for all refugees and claimants, deny basic healthcare to those deemed to come from a "safe country," and are a poor policy decision.
It is June; summer is here, although Ottawa's weather might make you doubt that. Outside of media-types and pundits, are Canadians breathlessly debating whether or not Bob Rae should break his previous commitment and run for the Liberal leadership? Somehow which brand of mustard to use on your hot dog or hamburger takes on more importance than the leadership of the third struggling party.
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.