TORONTO - Good governments are normally distinguished by their sense of vision, maintaining unity of purpose, efficiency and defensible policies related to growth.
Yes, sound fiscal management of the Nation’s Balance Sheet always remains a priority.
If it were the only, or even the most important, issue determining favourability extended toward any government, then Paul Martin’s would surely still be in power: nine balanced budgets in a row a legacy of surpluses and a debt-reduction of twenty five percent during his tenure as Finance Minister and Prime Minister.
That being said, the most impactful policy initiative for Canada and other Western democracies is Immigration.
Here, Canada seems to be stumbling in the dark recesses of ignorance or indi.erence. The current Minister, Ahmed Hussen – a former “irregular entrant” into Canada – would appear to have parked his compassion for fellow man at the door, once he received his Permanent Residency.
By any analysis of his term in office, his leadership is marked by a distinct adherence to the business of “process and service delivery” – to the exclusion of any others.
In other words, Immigration issues are dealt with as “talking points approaches” to themes that may, or may not, elicit the emotional responses associated with cultivating political support or drawing political di.erentiation.
Last week, for example, Minister Hussen made a big deal of his announcement in the House that the government was extending its previously announced five-year immigration plan by one more year.
Was there a point to this fanfare? On the surface, it gave the government the opportunity to extol the values of immigration to the economy, to the maintenance of pension benefits for retirees and for the survivability of smaller communities dependent on an inflow of human capital in an era of declining birth rates.
It also allowed the Minister to “double down” on Canada’s commitment to accommodate Refugees as a show of its sensitivity to International obligations. How nauseous.
The government’s Citizenship and Immigration website admits that it is incapable – one should read unwilling – of delivering timely service to applicants for entry into Canada.
Remember, the government is NOT recruiting potential immigrants, merely receiving and processing the applications. They recruit “low-hanging fruit” – students and migrant workers with an immediate return to their sponsors.
Their partners are provincial governments, post secondary institutions and farmer’s groups. Meanwhile. Other employers – real or potential – are put through the rigorous and time-consuming processes of Labour Market Impact Assessments that do little more than encourage both employers and potential employees to seek immediate (non-conventional) remedies to social and economics necessities.
They use an “irregular” approach to entry. They become “undocumented” – ghost workers who show up on a job, always on the run from government trolls at CBSA. There are over a million of them in Canada.
Has Hussen concerned himself with the foregone remittances to the National Treasury that the regularization of this cohort could materialize?
Has he acknowledged the precarious position of the thousands of students if his colleague Goodale and the CBSA were to sweep into the elementary schools of the GTA and remove the kids and their parents?
He coaxed another caucus colleague, Peter Fonseca to introduce a Motion in the House instructing the House Committee on Human resources to “study the matter”. Ironically, outside the House, he admitted that he is being sued for already having made some sort of commitment to the “regularization of undocumented workers”, then broken that commitment.
How his announcement of the increase in the annual numbers alleviates the problem of the million plus undocumented workers is anyone’s guess.
It is also a poor example Canada’s vaunted compassion to “leave in the lurch” hundreds of thousands of people living in Canada and gainfully employed.
It is even worse planning to ignore the underground economy and its dynamics one’s inattention fosters.