Kenney to UN: Shut up! (Canada’s Integration of Skilled Workers into the Canadian Economy)

By Author: Admin | March 22, 2010

The current occupation list for Federal Skilled Worker immigration to Canada does not include journalists.  This is unfortunate, given the dearth of independent news reporting in Canada.  More foreign-trained journalists in Canada would perhaps increase the points of view about things immigration.  Editorial diktat over Canadian journalists is at times very transparent places such as the Canwest News Service.  Coverage of minority and Canadian immigration issues is often a victim of such subliminal editorializing.

A glance of the March 17 2010 article Kenney disputes UN report on Canada’s treatment of minorities, reveals nothing about the UN report, authored by Gay Mcdougall except its conclusion: “although diversity is celebrated in Canada, minorities are victims of disproportionate levels of poverty, discrimination in the workplace and job market, and racial profiling by police.”  The balance of the article can be characterized by stenography for Jason Kenney, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, who bashes the United Nations:

“Kenney said that rather than taking Canada to task over its treatment of minorities, the UN should be looking at the “dozens of regimes around the world that are engaged in widespread and systematic violation of minority rights.”

Canada’s immigration Minister knows, or should know, that the United Nations does in fact deal with other regimes and their human rights records, such as in Darfur, and Tibet, not to mention a whole host of other countries and vulnerable groups as can be seen here.

Reading the article, one gets the impression that Ms. Mcdougall took a leisurely vacation in Canada and then composed her conclusion.  This is apparent in the sentence,

“McDougall, who spent 10 days travelling across Canada last fall, said that although diversity is celebrated in Canada, minorities are victims of disproportionate levels of poverty, discrimination in the workplace and job market, and racial profiling by police.

The above quote is no doubt true, but does not capture the fact that Ms McDougall’s office requires her to do more than ‘travelling’.  Some other tasks announced by the UN for her project include to consult on legislation, policy and practice relating to minority communities and a wide variety of issues relevant to diversity, equality and minority rights in Canada.

Canada’s immigration minister conceded some validity in Ms. McDougall’s report when he stated, “We always need to make more progress in creating opportunities for members of our cultural communities, for newcomers, for visible minorities.”  Indeed Mr. Kenney has spoken out about the gatekeeper attitude amongst some professional regulatory bodies which prevents foreign-trained professionals from working in their intended careers once in Canada.

Mr. Kenney also “acknowledged domestic reports from such agencies as Statistics Canada have said immigrants are worse off than their Canadian-born counterparts.”  Similarly, when the Minister of Immigration for Canada states, “All levels of government and many agencies have taken up the challenge,” Mr. Kenney is conceding that Canada must take more steps towards integrating skilled immigrants into Canada’s labour force.

However, since one element of the article was to express disdain for the UN’s position that Canada has a problem with its minorities, Mr. Kenney added, “We’re not perfect, but we’re pretty darn good,” and “I just think they (the UN) have got their priorities wrong.”  These latter two sentiments are synonymous with stating that the UN’s mandate should only encompass brutal dictatorships because Canada is generally ok as it is.


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