This spring, Alberta MP Jason Kenney became the longest continually serving Immigration Minister in Canadian history, according to his department. With the Cabinet Shuffle, his tenure ends. What better time to review the Immigration Minister's biggest blunders on this ever important file? Perhaps this will serve as a cautionary tale to the new Minister.
Jason Kenney has ratcheted Canadian immigration to 50-year highs, and his ambitions require the public to never, ever regard this as anything but a Good Thing. But in a country where 41 per cent want immigration lowered, that's far from a cakewalk. Even Tory partisans are becoming skeptical. That leaves a scramble to suggest anyone who has problems with Canadian immigration policy must be an intolerant, racist, bigot. That's why Kenney jumped on Twitter a few days later, Kenney viciously denounced David Suzuki's "stridently anti-immigration views" as "toxic and irresponsible."
Imagine there was a policy that could reduce global poverty, conserve natural resources and help alleviate the coming retirement crisis, all while also fostering domestic economic growth. You would have to be either misinformed or malicious to oppose this policy, right? Well, this policy exists, and it's called immigration. Ironically, "progressive" hero David Suzuki has come out in favour of reducing immigration levels. Mr. Suzuki is not only providing poor policy advice, but that advice runs contrary to his stated goals of reducing carbon emissions and fostering global development.
Here in the "Canadian Mosaic," issues of race are largely stricken from the language of the everyday. We prefer not to speak openly about racism, for deconstructing it might chip away at that illusory façade of Canada as a nation of perpetual tolerance and chronic multiculturalism -- a delusion we all hold dear to our glowing hearts. Unfortunately for all those "liberal-minded" Canadians out there who view our country to be so forward thinking and accommodating that racism is a non-issue, institutionalized multiculturalism is not the same thing as social racial equality.
Should Canada not worry about acts of terrorism by Canadians occurring in different parts of the world, or hostile sentiments against Canadian armed forces? In the recent case of three Canadians found involved, and two dead, in a gas plant attack in Algeria last January, Canadian passports were used by the culprits to facilitate their free mobility across the globe. MP Devinder Shory's Bill C-425 proposes to strip the citizenship of those Canadians of dual citizenship who engage in acts of war against the Canadian Forces. In the wake of Canadians being involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, Bulgaria, Algeria, Syria and elsewhere, we should act now.
In a posh fundraiser in down town Toronto - Premier Kathleen Wynne almost conceded a must be called future by-election defeat for the Ontario Liberals...
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has joined a slew of health providers in criticizing the Harper Conservatives legislation denying refugees health care....
If you are a Canadian citizen who holds any other citizenship, you should know that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is pushing to pass a law that would render you a second class citizen. You may not feel threatened by this bill as you may never see yourself in a position where you would be accused of committing acts of terror or war, but this bill is declaring your citizenship to be worth less than your fellow Canadian.
I'm open to considering acts of terror against Canada's friends and on behalf of Canada's enemies a de facto throwing of the Canadian passport in the trashcan. But if we're going to go that route, the expatriation that follows should apply to all Canadians, not just those with a second nationality. And let's not pretend this would do anything to prevent or reduce global terrorism. Changing the passport a terrorist carries doesn't address the extremism and hate that motivate these kinds of attacks. Ultimately, our energy would be much better spent tackling these issues than worrying about the murderers' nationalities.
Adel Benhmuda is owed an apology from this country, as are his wife, Aisha, and their four children. After living in Canada for several years their refugee claim failed and Benhmuda's assertions that he would be tortured in Libya were dismissed. In 2008 the family was deported. Upon arrival in Libya, Adel was arrested and tortured. What I would like Minister Kenney to do is stand up in the House of Commons, admit that his beloved asylum system made a grave error and most importantly, apologize to the Benhmudas for what their family was forced to go through.
According to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the upcoming "Web-based 'Expression of Interest' system" for immigrants advertising their skills is "like a dating site." Like a dating site!? Is that the model Canadians favour to pick our future citizens? For every Cinderella who finds her Prince Charming on an online forum, there is a string of Chris Brown's meeting their Rihanna. Once newcomers take the bait, are there any measures to ensure the Government of Canada won't be rendered to playing matchmaker-middleman to abusive relationships, thefts, misrepresentations of employment conditions, or scams?
A designated country of origin (DCO) is a country declared as "safe," on grounds that it can provide adequate protection to its citizens and therefore not likely to produce refugees. It also discounts the treatment of some minority groups in so-called "safe" countries perhaps most particularly, the Roma in Europe.
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.