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Conservatives Roll-back Immigration Policy

From May 29, 2008

The Conservatives have settled on a new plan for dealing with the immigration backlog into Canada. Unfortunately for Canada, it is the wrong plan.

Immigration Minister Diane Finley has put forward a bill which would replace the current system, which judges each applicant on equal ground, with a system that places all of the power in the hands of the ministry. The change would drop thousands of applicants from the lists - people who have been waiting patiently and legally for years - to give an advantage to applicants of the Immigration Ministry's choosing.

Said Alex Stojicevic, chairman of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, "The system should be transparent. It shouldn't operate by ministerial fiat. And that's what we're talking about here, a kind of decree system."

And, NDP MP Olivia Chow: "The principle of this bill is anti-democratic. ... It gives all the power to the minister to help people jump the queue. It's not accountable, it's not transparent."

The Conservatives had so much confidence in fairness of the immigration bill, they crammed it into a budget implementation bill, knowing that the Liberals would be unwilling to cause an election by fighting it there.

And more recently, they have been pushing the original Reform Party immigration doctrine, that immigration has to be based on economic benefits for Canada. As such, they have been reducing quotas for parents and grandparents under family class immigration throughout their term, since they consider elderly people to be a "burden". In particular the quota for parents and grandparents for Kiev, Ukraine has been reduced by 90% in two years: from 260 in 2009 to 25 in 2011, which effectively prevents family reunification.