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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Funds for the landed, not for the limboed

Some details have been presented regarding the Liberal plan to pump $1.3B into immigration programs, and it turns out that these funds will be directed toward "settlement services" with literally not a single dime going to clear up the backlog of 700,000 awaiting the glacial progress of the CIC, according to an article published in yesterday's Toronto Star ($5B boost for workforce 2005-11-15 00:47:45).

If it wasn't clear that the Liberals are "buying votes with the people's money," then the application of these funds to the problems of immigrants proposed by Goodale and Martin should help us understand. None of this money is going to help fix chronic problems with the CIC. It is all going toward those that are already landed in Canada. I'm imagining a number of those that would benfit would be individuals who, after struggling for years to integrate into the population and job markets, are actually citizens who actually vote.

Get it? "Vote Liberal, we help."

In the meantime, there are still families that are separated, skilled workers who can't get in and business visitors who can't get more than 30-seconds of an official's time.

"But Goodale's mini-budget offers no funding to tackle the chronic problems that face the immigration system now, such as a backlog of 700,000 people caught in limbo abroad, waiting to come to Canada.

Those problems are a "work in progress," an immigration department official said yesterday.

And while the document talks about the need for more immigrants — federal Liberals have mused about boosting Canada's annual target to 320,000 a year — there's no extra money earmarked to open Canada's doors any wider."

Get it now? Goodale and Martin's plan are simply ploys to gain votes as far as I can see. Where is the leadership on immigration issues and their value to Canada? This is exactly something the Prime Minister should be addressing or at least insisting that Immigration Minister Joe Volpe develop an agenda for.

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