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Friday, March 14, 2008

What would Gomery think? An open letter to Stephane Dion

Dear The Honourable Mr. Dion,
Just yesterday, retired Justice John Gomery stated that the growing concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office must be challenged because it is threatening the very democracy that Canadians enjoy.

Now, a day later, Immigration Minister Diane Finley proposed legislation that would revamp the entire immigration program, focusing power where? Why in the PMO, of course. And democracy certainly doesn't look like it's going to find a home there.

The Toronto Star reports today:

"Embedded in a budget-implementation bill tabled Friday in the Commons are landmark amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which would:

– Allow the government to deny papers to applicants otherwise ruled admissible by immigration officers.

– Allow the minister to set limits on what types of immigrants – ``by category or otherwise" – can enter each year."

Can you read between the lines? What the Conservatives are attempting to do to solve the backlog of immigration requests is to put a cap on the program, anywhere they choose, anytime they choose and on anyone they choose.

History remembers when the Conservatives tried to put a cap Italian immigrants who came in the family class in the late 1950's. That attempt failed, but everything old is new again in "Canada's New Government."

Its troubling to note that, "...waiting times have continued to expand since 2005, and the number of new, permanent residents has fallen since the Conservative government took office." In other words, the backlog has been growing, and more people are getting rejected while the Conservatives came up with their new plan.

"Our government has two objectives," Immigration Minister Diane Finley said.

"The first is to bring more newcomers here to fill the jobs and be reunited with their families. The second is to do it faster."

...to bring in those newcomers they approve of, no matter what those in the CIC have already ruled.
...to fill jobs in areas that don't threaten their supporters.
...to reunite families who's structure middle-aged white folks can understand.
...to do it faster by purging the rolls of who they will consider.

I for one am looking the the Opposition to take this bill and shove it up the PM's backside. If there were ever a measure that stood for the kind of Canada each party has a vision of, this one is it. And if ever there was a reason to question the confidence of a government to lead the country in a way that was in keeping with the hard won rights and freedoms it now enjoys, this is that reason.

Stephan Dion - roll over on this issue at your own peril. This is an historic moment.

Sir - take this government down!

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