Are you outraged yet over The Harper Government's handling of immigration?
According to a report in today's Globe and Mail, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney knows no boundaries in remaking Canada's immigration system in his party's image. Forget the near 1-million individuals who are currently in the backlog: they don't exist if the Tories pass legislation saying they don't. Forget the immigration system that covers a broad range of applicants, from family class to refugees - the Tories are only interested in those who come to work. Let's have employers decide who comes to Canada with a "just in time" immigration system that they design for their own needs.
Under Harper, Canada's immigration system has deteriorated exponentially. What was a backlog of 600,000 has grown to nearly 1-million people. What was a 1-2 year wait for a decision has deteriorated to an up to 8-year wait. While the Tories played the immigration card in the last election, temporarily increasing the number admitted into the country to around 265,000, they have now reduced the yearly number to 225,000 and cut the Skilled Worker class application allowance in half. They are remaking the refugee claim system into one with no appeal. And family reunification? Well that only costs Canadians money - how could it be good for us?
Minister Kenney: you can't break a system by your policies and inaction and then blame the same system for being broken. Your mismanagement is more than a threat to the Canadian economy - it threatens the fabric on which the nation was built and continues to be grown. Deny if you want the research that shows Canada's population growth cannot sustain social programs. Deny if you want the best and brightest the globe has to offer because they don't line up with your political master's goals. Your leadership on the immigration portfolio is a shame on this nation.
If you are one of the 1-million currently waiting for a decision on your case, this is not a time to remain silent. While you are not Canadians, you can still make your voice heard by the government. I want to encourage you to get active now, by writing to Prime Minister Harper, Immigration Minister Kenney and members of Parliament in the part of Canada where you plan to live when you arrive.
Let the Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister and your member know what you think of these immigration proposals. Let them know your stories: the years you have waited, the expense you've gone to, the separations you've endured; the dreams you have for Canada. Don't stop there - write the Globe and Mail, The Star, and other publications.
Make your voices heard. If you don't stand up for yourselves now, you may lose the chance in the future. You'll forever be on the outside, looking in.