Stephen Harper’s Conservatives took power in 2006. For some 30 years prior, Canada’s immigration system was consistently viewed as of the most welcoming and generous in the world. Although not without growing pains, Canada once worked to accommodate the cultural, religious and ethnic diversity that travelled with immigrants to Canada. After 10 years of Conservative rule, the immigration climate in Canada is now darker and more exclusive than it has been since the 1970s.
The Canadian government passed Bill C-24 this week, giving itself the power to revoke citizenship of dual citizens convicted in Canadian courts or abroad of committing "acts against Canada,"including terrorism, espionage or treason. Though the government claims it is now better able to protect Canadians from "jihadi terrorism," the law does not make Canadians safer. Instead, it creates a class of second class citizens, whose status as Canadians is insecure.
On June 18, 2012, I joined dozens of health care providers and concerned citizens in Saskatoon for the 1st National Day of Action against the cuts to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program, which then offered health coverage to refugees in Canada.
Health providers in scrubs and lab coats, sporting stethoscopes and placards with slogans, marched in similar demonstrations across the country. I remember being struck then by the fact that 50 years earlier in Saskatoon, doctors had gone on strike in opposition to the introduction of universal health insurance. Now here was a movement of physicians and other health professionals taking to the streets to defend universal care for the most vulnerable.
One can think of the changes underway as renovations to what former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney liked to describe as the “house” of the Canadian nation.
Showing how seemingly disconnected floors and rooms of the "house" are related reveals a troubling blueprint of change — a renovation that will overhaul the very architecture of rights and membership in Canada.
Posted by Patti Tamara Lenard and Emma Kenyon · November 01, 2013 4:48 AM
The Speech from the Throne has come and gone. Buried in the hoopla surrounding the demise of cable television bundling were some terrifically misleading claims about “progress” towards meeting Canada’s immigration priorities.
The government claimed victory in nearly halving its application backlog for permanent residency, and for eliminating entirely the backlog for economic migrants. Absent from mention in the speech was the mechanism by which the latter backlog was eliminated— a mechanism so egregious that the matter is before the Canadian courts for the second time.
As it turns out, the means by which the government has accomplished this feat may be unconstitutional.
My best guess it that the Fraser Institute expects no one to read the report behind their newest sensationalist press release, in which they claim that the cost of immigrants to Canada is staggeringly high.
Anyone who looked at the report more closely would find false claims, deliberately misleading arguments, a naive understanding of global migration trends, and evident ignorance of what informs Canada’s immigration priorities. The report is so poor and illogical that it cannot be taken seriously as contributing to public debates about policy reform in the domain of immigration.