Would a Liberal government spell the end of the changes brought in by Bill C-50?
The controversial law changing the rules of the immigration game in Canada was enacted over the spring. Roundly criticised by all opposition parties and immigration rights advocates, the bill passed when the Liberal party abstained rather than bring down the government over the bill.
Today, the Liberal leader Stephane Dion, speaking at a breakfast with the Chinese community in Richmond, B.C., said that a Liberal government could do away with those changes.
From La Presse:
«Au printemps dernier, le gouvernement conservateur a donné des pouvoirs discrétionnaires très importants au ministre de l’Immigration, ce qui lui permet de rejeter d’office toute une catégorie de demandes, a rappelé M. Dion. Quand je serai premier ministre, je reviendrai immédiatement sur ces décisions injustes et dangereuses pour notre système d’immigration.»
[My translation: Last spring, the Conservative government gave the Immigration Ministry significant discretionary powers, allowing it to reject and entire category of requests,” Dion reminded the crowd. “When I am Prime Minister, I will immediately revisit these decisions, which are unjust and dangerous for our immigration system]
It is good to see that the Liberals have not forgotten the fact that they allowed these tighter and discriminatory laws go through. Even better would be to have voted against them in the first place, so that those who have already been affected by the government’s new rules would not have had to go through the process of finding their applications facing arbitrary rejection (although passed in May, the new laws apply to all applications since Feb. 27 2008).
An earlier post explaining Bill C-50, which granted the Immigration Ministry sweeping discretionary powers to reject or accept potential new immigrants based primarily on economic reasons.
Dion also took the opportunity to announce $800 million in promised funding for immigration and new immigrants. A detailed list of the proposal can be found in the La Presse article linked to above.