Answers Demanded as Immigration in Canada Discussion Continues
Immigration in Canada is an important and hot topic as of late. This is certainly thanks in no small part to the Syrian refugee crisis—dubbed the worst of its kind since World War II—and our government’s reaction to it. As the election gears up, political candidates are demanding answers from immigration lawyers in Canada and concerned families alike. It’s destined to be a serious election issue, one that many candidates are attempting to tackle, some more effectively than others.
In particular, immigration minister Chris Alexander has faced some harsh criticism from the public for what many are describing as his “flat-footedness” on the subject. As a result, Mr. Alexander has suspended his campaign for re-election as Conservative candidate for the Toronto-area riding of Ajax, Ontario.
Mr. Alexander’s position is a stark contrast of former Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney, who had more of “… an iron grip over the immigration system, in terms of knowledge, experience, and control over the bureaucracy,” as said by Richard Kurland, one of many concerned immigration lawyers in Canada and publisher of the Lexbase newsletter on immigration in Canada.
While Mr. Alexander’s background is certainly one filled with hope and potential (he was even touted as a possible successor of Stephen Harper), many immigration lawyers in Canada feel his educational acumen has not translated into his political career. Apart from the inexplicable comments he made about the CBC not covering the refugee crisis in a sufficient manner, much of his criticism was also drawn last year when both Mr. Alexander and Mr. Kenney were tasked with revamping the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. Though both ministers were assigned to the project, the dynamic of the duo was evident. Immigrations lawyers in Canada watched as Mr. Kenney took over the project, rewriting the rules and fielding questions, while Mr. Alexander opted for a less engaging and prominent role.
As we navigate one of the biggest and worst refugee crises in the world’s history, it's clear that immigration in Canada and acceptance of more refugee claims by Canada needs further discussion. It also needs leadership to take initiative to help our country do its part—the part it pledged to do—to help resettle those individuals who have had their homes taken from them. Immigration in Canada needs reform to support those in need, and as Mr. Alexander heads back to Ottawa to review the circumstances surrounding the tragic case of Aylan Kurdi and the refugee crisis, the public can only hope that things are going to change.