Immigration and New Canadians

Canada's multicultural diversity is an essential part of our identity. It's one of the keys to Canada's success in the twenty-first century. But it's also under threat from knee-jerk federal reactions that put the civil liberties of Canadians at risk, to under-funding of integration programs, to doors that remain slammed shut as new Canadians pursue their dreams. Immigrants and refugees come to Canada in search of a safer, more fulfilling life for themselves and their families, and to be full participants in a uniquely successful and diverse society of cultural communities. The Canadian tradition of welcoming newcomers and embracing social and ethnic differences gives us a unique opportunity to exert a positive influence on the rest of the world. Canada owes it to itself to embrace the energy and creativity of all our cultural communities. The Green Party understands that Canada must do more than congratulate itself for its "tolerance". Canada owes it to all new Canadians to ensure genuine equality of opportunity and equal treatment of all Canadian citizens, regardless of origin. Recent reforms to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act have fostered a culture of fear and discrimination. Today, five Canadians are being held under security certificates and are threatened with deportation without any formal charges being laid. Canadian citizens, like Maher Arar, have witnessed their rights as Canadians discarded by allies who are too willing to ignore international law for their own domestic agenda. Our immigration policy is a multicultural work-in-progress that must focus on ensuring that Canada's image around the world is also its reality, by investing in the incredible human potential that 300,000 new Canadians bring to our country each year. Green Party MPs will work to:
  • Work to remove unnecessary barriers recognizing the professional credentials of immigrants.
  • Support multicultural communities by assisting cultural organizations to obtain charitable status.
  • Improve cultural and business links with the home countries of new Canadians.
  • Work with municipalities and provinces to improve the integration of new Canadians into the multicultural fabric of our country.
  • Toughen the regulations governing the practices of immigration consultants; ensure enforcement and increase penalties for those convicted of human smuggling.
  • Conduct a full and open review of the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Public Safety Act to eliminate security certificates and the release of the five people detained under them unless formal charges are brought against them.
  • Regularize the estimated 200,000 people living in Canada without official status.
  • Open an investigation into allegations by the United Nations Human Rights Committee of Canadian officials cooperating with foreign agencies known to use torture.