|Vancouver hosts thousands of new comers to Canada|
We in Canada are facing an opportunity of unprecedented proportions. People from every country under the world, with every kind of religious background, are being welcomed to our country. For Christians who understand the power of hospitality, who are able to live through the ambiguities of misunderstanding, we have never had a better time to show the love of Christ. We intend to return to this topic about profound social change in Canada.)
"The reason cabinet ministers have communications departments is so they can brag about themselves, and Jason Kenney is no slouch at the game.
A steady diet of self-congratulatory missives flows from the office of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, alerting Canadians to yet another example of political triumph, usually accompanied by a canned comment or two and a reminder that “Photos of Minister Kenney are available.”
Three such notices have recently informed members of the media (who, it is hoped, will pass on the news to Canadians at large, and especially to potential Conservative voters), of yet more examples of
"Without getting too overheated in the rhetoric department, it’s fair to say Mr. Kenney has fairly revolutionized Canada’s approach to new citizens. Among other initiatives he has toughened laws on human smuggling, frozen applications from grandparents and parents seeking to join children in Canada, eliminated a backlog of 280,000 would-be immigrants, cracked down on immigration consultants, tightened language requirements for new arrivals, introduced harsh penalties for people who lie on immigration forms and revamped citizenship documents to increase emphasis on Canadian culture and expectations.
Mr. Kenney’s mission to remake immigration as we know it. On Feb. 22 the ministry noted that, after just two short months, the number of asylum claims had plummeted, thanks to the introduction of stricter assessments.
Four days later it was revealed that the number of international students lured to Canadian universities had topped 100,000 for the first time, proof that Canada was “attracting and retaining the best and brightest immigrants from around the world.”
On Feb. 28 we learned that “Canada’s fastest growing immigration stream,” – which lets professionals and skilled workers cite Canadian experience as “a key selection factor” in applying to immigrate — brought the country more than 9,000 newcomers with needed skills last year. Photos of the minister available on request.
Mr. Kenney’s alterations are having a profound impact. How you react to that impact depends on how you view Canada: as a country that should open its doors and ask as few questions as possible, or as a culture that welcomes newcomers but sees membership as a privilege to be earned.
Under Liberal governments, Ottawa tended to view it as unseemly and selfish to probe too deeply into the personal affairs of newcomers, as if we had no right to ask. The result was lengthy waiting lists and a system internationally recognized as a soft touch.
The Conservative approach is unquestionably more demanding, but has also made Canada less open to abuse, and emphasizes that citizenship carries responsibilities as well as benefits.
The Liberals saw their no-questions-asked approach as a great way to win the loyalty of ethnic voters, and for a long time it was exactly that.
But Mr. Kenney also happens to be the man tasked by Mr. Harper with reversing that situation, and has managed to pull it off even while raising the bar on entry.
Mr. Kenney has established himself as perhaps the most important member of the government not named Stephen Harper. With the possible exception of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, there is no other minister whose decisions will have as profound an impact on Canada, in both the short and long term.
When analysts debate whether Mr. Harper has forever altered the Canadian landscape, many of the most critical changes originate either with Mr. Flaherty or Mr. Kenney. Even if he quit the portfolio tomorrow, it’s fair to say the changes introduced to Canadian citizenship and immigration will shape Canada for a generation or more."
From "National Post" newspaper, March 1, 2013