Federal Conservatives: Immigrants Welcome to Canada (Skilled Only)
By Author: Admin | January 23, 2011
Democracy in Canada is a political system that serves those groups that have both financial ability and political connections. Thus, worthy, and necessary programs, like those which help new immigrants to settle in Toronto have had their funding cut by the Conservative government. New immigrants are not as a whole, financially powerful, or politically connected.
Toronto is a Federal Liberal stronghold. Most of Toronto lacks swing ridings and as such, shall remain Liberal into the foreseeable future. This fact means the current federal Conservative government need not worry about competing for votes in Toronto. As a consequence, federal funding for programs need not be determined by what is actually good for a large Canadian city like Toronto, but rather, by which ridings may vote Conservative in the next federal election. This explains why settlement agencies are being established in areas other than Toronto.
The funding cuts are consistent with this current government’s obsession with the ideal, and somewhat rare economic immigrant, who integrates quickly and seamlessly into the Canadian economy. By cutting off funding, the current Federal government seeks to reinforce the idea that many immigrants have been getting some sort of free ride on Canadian society – this perception is common in the online comments section of Canadian newspapers where anonymous xenophobes have their say on Canadian immigration. However, this perception ignores the fact that the purposes of immigration to Canada are not exclusively economic . Other purposes of Canada’s immigration laws include the reunification of families (immigration Refugee Protection Act at section 3(1)(d)), as well as to honour Canada’s international legal obligations to refugees and to assist in their re-settlement.
There is no doubt that cutting of funding to immigrant settlement agencies will achieve the opposite effect mandated by the re-settlement aspect of Canada’s immigration laws. It is thus arguable that immigrants are being used as a political football to reinforce the government’s agenda which includes proposing controversial legislation on refugee claims ; the cutting off of funding would precipitate a toxic debate on the alleged drain on Canadian society at the hands of immigrant settlement agencies, and reinforce the idea that the aforementioned controversial legislation is in Canada’s interests.
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