Minister Jason Kenney is yet again falsely saying that Canada is accepting a record number of migrants. He made a recent announcement about increasing the number of parents and grandparents visas to 25,000 in 2012.
What Kenney failed to mention was that it was actually under the Conservative government that immigration quotas were drastically dropping in the first place. According to a Toronto Star report, family class immigration has dropped by 10,000 people – which is 15% – under the Conservatives. This past year Jason Kenney made the backlog crisis of over 165,000 people worse by slashing sponsorship visas by 25%, while collecting millions of dollars in profit in sponsorship fees.
As of November 2011, Ottawa has also completely stopped accepting applications for immigration sponsorships of parents and grandparents until 2014. Instead parents and grandparents can apply for the “Parent and Grandparent (of the Rich 1%) Super Visa” which requires a minimum income and sets the dangerous two-tier precedent of requiring family members to provide private Canadian health-care insurance. Kenney also announced that the quota for spouses and children will be reduced by 4,000 per year. Our lives and our family’s well-being is just a numbers game for him.
Kenney is known as the ‘Minister of Censorship and Deportation’ because he is one of the most unjust immigration ministers. Deportations have increased, the number of skilled worker visas has decreased by about 20%, and the quota allotted for live-in caregivers to become permanent residents has been slashed by half. Instead, Kenney has increased the number of temporary workers who have no rights of residency and are constantly exploited for their labour. By shutting the door to refugees, family sponsorships, and skilled workers, Canada is ensuring that migrants are being recruited primarily as indentured labour for big business.
Without any value for the dignity of migrants or community kinship, Kenney’s model is Permanent Temporariness: of migrant worker programs and now a temporary family reunification program. The reality is that Canada depends on the stolen labour of migrants – as dangerous and low-wage labour in the formal economy and unpaid labour in the domestic sphere. We cannot allow divisive, racist, and false ideas of migrants ‘stealing our jobs and resources’ to let the Harper government off the hook for prioritizing the slashing of critical public services, bailing out banks and subsidizing corporations, destroying Indigenous lands and the environment, and sinking billions into prisons and the military. Join with people across the country rejecting Kenney and Harper’s agenda!