OTTAWA – In an attempt to make real proposals for immigrants, NDP Citizenship and Immigration Critic Bill Siksay (Burnaby Douglas) introduced a motion in Parliament to amend the Liberal’s vague opposition day motion on immigration. However the Liberals blocked the amendment by denying their consent to it in the House.
“The Liberals had an opportunity to introduce a motion that proposed something concrete that would benefit immigrants such as the recognition of international credentials or family reunification. Instead, they squandered their opposition day motion,” said Siksay. “They continue to dodge accountability by being vague and offering no specific proposals.”
Siksay’s amendment dealt with the many pressing issues that face immigrants and new citizens today, such as the prosperity gap between immigrants and Canadian-born people, unfair processing fees, huge application backlogs, and the need for a new Citizenship Act.
“Liberals had 13 years to address these problems. They did nothing to improve immigrants’ economic standing, or integration in our communities. Now, in opposition, when they have an opportunity to offer real solutions, they introduce a motion that offers nothing, no solutions and no results for immigrant families,” said Siksay. “Sadly, the Conservatives are adopting some of the old Liberals patterns of revolving Ministers and excusing inaction because some of the issues are tough. They’re both failing immigrants and new citizens.”
A copy of Bill Siksay’s motion is attached, as is the Liberal motion.
For more information:
Office of MP Bill Siksay, 996-5597, email@example.com
Bill Siksay's amendment to the opposition day motion.
That the motion be amended by adding the following after the word “government”:
“which should immediately remedy this situation by undertaking measures including introducing a new Citizenship Act, eliminating fees for initial citizenship applications, completely eliminating the Right of Landing Fee charged to immigrants, immediately instituting an agency for the recognition of international credentials, changing the definition of family in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to better represent the reality of diverse family relationships, immediately implementing the Refugee Appeal Division as provided for in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, reaffirming the commitment to the Private Sponsorship Programme for refugees, instituting special measures for persons fleeing militarism and who for reasons of conscience refuse to participate in illegal or unjust wars, eliminating the application fee for refugees whose status is determined in Canada and for refugees who have experienced domestic violence, ensuring the issuance of visitor visas to allow overseas family members to attend important family occasions in Canada, increasing the processing capacity at Canada Immigration to significantly reduce the application backlog, ensuring temporary foreign workers do not fill jobs for which Canadians are available and that these workers enjoy employment conditions and wages at the established Canadian standard, and placing a greater emphasis on family reunification.”
February 20, 2007 — Mr. Alghabra (Mississauga—Erindale) — That, in the opinion of the House, immigrants to Canada and persons seeking Canadian citizenship are poorly served by this government.