Parent Sponsorship Delays and the “Ethnic” Canadian Immigrant Voter

By Author: Admin | March 6, 2011

The Conservative party has a socially-conservative base.  Such a base would no doubt hold the view that family interaction and support (that characterizes an extended family) should be a major focus in the life of a Canadian family.  The Conservative party of Canada has been the beneficiary of increased support by recent immigrants, who generally hold socially conservative views.

Unfortunately, the immigration policy to accord fewer and fewer visas to sponsored parents will deny socially conservative immigrants the presumed high priority given to the three generation family, and possibly deter such immigrant families from aligning their interests with the Federal Conservatives.  Many democracies in mature economies are characterized by two or three parties with not much difference in policy.  Thus, the Liberal Party has not demonstrated any higher priority for the sponsorship of parents.  In fact, the increase in processing times for the sponsorship of parents started during the Liberal reign ten years ago.  Aside from the Conservative’s enthusiastic vilification of refugee claimants, both political parties are quite indistinguishable in terms of Canadian immigration policy.

The current Immigration Minister no doubt is aware of the ongoing need to court socially conservative immigrants, and has issued a press release dated March 3 2011, directed exclusively at Canada’s Chinese community entitled “Just the Facts: More Chinese Families Coming to Canada”.  The press release is consistent with the current government’s goal of targeting “very ethnic” ridings. Said press release stated that there was a “significant increase in the spousal acceptance rate from our Hong Kong office in 2010”.  In fact the increase was ten percent; notable, but hardly significant.  The fact is that the refusal rate for spousal sponsorships remains at almost 50%, thus exacerbating the backlog at the Immigration and Refugee Board which handles visa office refusals of spousal and parental sponsorships.

The press release added “This lower rejection rate means more moms, dads, and children will be reunited”.  This is in the most technical sense true, (in that spousal sponsorships sometimes contain children who are reunited with a parent), but is misleading given the intention to reduce the numbers of sponsored parents and grandparents under the family class.

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