TORONTO - Debates in Canada are With the surge in support for Jagmeet Singh and the NDP, it is becoming clear that Ahmed Hussen’s days as Minister of Immigration are numbered, as should be those of his patron, Navdeep Bains. Justin Trudeau cannot afford to keep either around; it’s difficult to see if any other Leader could or would make a case for either of them on October 22.
The few times that Immigration has come up during the debates has been in a negative light – too much of it. There has been a conflating of the concept of immigration and refugee-seekers. People can no longer distinguish between the two. Emotions displace the logical, rational discussions that should enhance our understanding of the society we are still trying to fashion in Canada.
Too bad. Whether in the Agricultural, Agriproducts, Manufacturing, Petroleum, Natural Resources extraction and refinement sectors, Construction and Infrastructure or Services sectors, the Canadian economy is clamouring for willing and/or skilled Labour.
It’s available. Our immigration policies don’t appear to be in synch with the concept of supply and demand.
Either that or there has been a deliberate distortion of both the purpose and procedures to realize of the goal. In any case, Hussen’s tenure, with the assurance and backing of his senior Cabinet colleague, Nav Bains, has been marked by obfuscation, distortion and fuzzy national objectives.
The National Media and Press, always late to the game, has recently been focusing on some of the incongruencies: Southeast Asians with limited linguistic or transferable sector-related skills making them ill-prepared and exposed to predator-type employers when they land on Canadian soil.
“Students” who pay massive up-front fees for access into Colleges or Universities only to end up in the Restaurant and Trucking sectors. Again, mainly from one demographic. The appearances of abuse of the system for the benefit of a few are starting to “percolate over the rim”.
There should be room aplenty for everyone in Canada. The sad reality is that under the guidance of the duo, traditional sources for European immigration (Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Southeast Europe) has been virtually blocked to less than a trickle. Those nationals have turned to migration to Northern Europe and Britain where less restrictive language policies give them ample room to flourish.
What will they do now that Brexit looms and regressive “go back to your own home” policies make their way into the political system? What indeed will the thousands of residents in Central and South America do as governments tend toward less democratic ambience?
Hussen has not been a friend or advocate to any of these. Statistics from Refugees and Immigration Canada indicating the numbers of permanent residencies under Hussen’s watch bear that out. He spends time trying to liberate failed refugee claimants from Israel, asylum-seekers from the USA and potential refugees from the greater middle East.
His Pilot Projects turn on a dime and are seemingly invented over coffee at a local bar. The CBCand CTVhave documented their abuse and failure in the Atlantic. Premier Legault in Quebec has publicly denounced the failure of his programs to properly integrate newcomers.
Most egregiously, he has stood disdainfully, stone-heartedly, as fully integrated, undocumented workers have been ushered out of the country because he refuses to find a way to give them status. They work.
There an estimated 1,000,000 of them in Canada; approximately 500,000 in Ontario alone, according to estimates by government ocials. He demands process or deportation. Strange; he entered the country without papers and roamed freely for 5 years until HE was landed.
There are 7,155 Italian-speaking voters in his constituency, 11,565 who speak Portuguese and 8,405 who speak Spanish. They must be asking him why he will not offer the acceptance to their brothers and sisters that they offered him.