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More changes proposed to Canada's Immigration Policy


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#1 SeeSea

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:55 AM

More changes proposed to Canada's immigration policy just announced. Kenney is changing things so fast. I'm glad our app is already in.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...ers-crimes.html


Sweeping immigration changes to give new power to minister


Sweeping changes proposed in a new immigration bill would give new powers to the minister of immigration, including the ability to deny entry to visitors for public policy reasons and to override the rules to let otherwise inadmissible people come to Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney tabled legislation in the House Wednesday that would make it easier for the government to deport refugees, permanent residents and visitors for "serious criminality," crimes where the punishment is six months or more in jail.

Kenney is selling the bill based on the changes proposed to allow automatic deportation for any non-Canadian sentenced to more than six months in jail.

"I think you can call them dangerous, you can call them serious, we don't want them in Canada anymore, and that's the bottom line," Kenney told Chris Hall on CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

"If you are a foreign national and you want the privilege of staying in Canada, don't commit a serious crime.… I don't think that's too much to ask people."

But there's far more to the bill, including a measure that would allow the immigration minister to decide who can enter the country. One measure would give him the power to deny someone entry or temporary resident status for up to three years on the basis of public policy considerations.

Another measure would let him override the rules to allow entry to someone the minister wants to be allowed in. The example provided in a background document is for a head of state who satisfies the minister that the visit isn't contrary to the national interest but who would otherwise not be allowed in.

"Sometimes we have foreigners who do not have a criminal conviction and are therefore not strictly inadmissible to Canada under our current law, but who, for example, may have a long track record of promoting violence or hatred against vulnerable groups," Kenney said, giving the example of an imam who calls for the execution of gays and lesbians, justifies domestic abuse and makes anti-Semitic remarks.


Tool to be used 'sparingly'
"We have no legal tool to keep him out right now because he hasn't committed a crime in, say, Saudi Arabia. He might be committing hate crimes in Canada," Kenney said.

"We would use it sparingly, probably only a handful of cases a year, really for those folks for which there is no other legal grounds to keep them out of the country."

Jinny Sims, the NDP's immigration critic, says she has serious concerns about the bill because of the power it gives to the minister and because the House immigration committee is studying the issue now, but won't finish the study until the fall.

"We have concerns about the growing centralization of power and control into the hands of the minister," Sims said.

"We raised concerns about that in C-31 [the refugee reform bill], and those concerns are now accentuated as we see more power being given to the minister."

The proposed law would also take away humanitarian and compassionate grounds as factors in appealing a decision that someone is inadmissible to Canada and would mean the public safety minister would be able to consider only national security and public safety in deciding whether someone can become Canadian.

A spokesman for Kenney said there are 2,747 people with convictions appealing to the Immigration Appeal Division to be able to stay in Canada.

Other proposed changes under the act include:

  • A rule that would deny an appeal to those with foreign convictions for crimes that would carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in Canada.
  • A rule that would deny entry to Canada to those with a family member inadmissible for security and human rights reasons or organized crime connections, even if that family member isn't travelling with them.
  • A five-year inadmissibility period for lying on immigration applications.
  • Mandatory CSIS interviews if requested.
  • Reporting conditions for those under deportation orders.
  • Automatic inadmissibility for non-Canadians and permanent residents for acts of espionage or acts against Canada's interests.
Kenney suggested one of the reasons for the changes is that judges sometimes sentence people to two years less a day to allow them to keep their immigration appeals. The current law allows an appeal for those sentenced to less than two years.

"If you commit a serious crime in Canada, we are going to send you packing as quickly as we can," Kenney said.

In their election campaign platform last year, the Conservatives promised to streamline deportations of "foreign criminals" from Canada.

"It often takes years to deport even dangerous foreign criminals from Canada. In some cases, foreign criminals and terrorists here have evaded removal from Canada for over a decade as they exploit endless appeals and loopholes. Canadians expect that foreign criminals will get due process before being removed, but not an endless abuse of our generosity," campaign literature said.


No review of circumstances
Immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman criticized the decision to remove the right of appeal for people sentenced to more than six months in prison.

"[The change] means that there will be no review of all of the circumstances and how the deportation order might affect children or spouses, family, etc.," Waldman said in an email to CBC News. "It means deportation regardless of how long the person is in Canada."

"The whole point of the appeal and review [process] was to ensure that people who have committed minor offences and who have lived all their life here or who have children who will be affected, that these matters get considered so that there is a balancing done before the person is deported."

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Wednesday the government is trying to "change the channel" by introducing legislation a day before the House is expected to adjourn for the summer.

"The [Prime Minister's Office] is troubled," Rae told reporters on Parliament Hill.

"Every time they get into trouble with their agenda, they say let's go back to law and order.… We'll be studying it carefully but I think we have to understand the political game that's being played here. You don't bring in legislation at the very end of June with a view that this is something that you're going to get done. It's a view that you want to get some publicity and you want to get a headline."

The legislation is the latest in a series of changes to Canada's immigration and refugee system, including:

  • Bill C-31, which targets human smuggling and gives the immigration minister sole authority to decide which groups of refugee claimants are "mass arrivals." The bill has passed the House of Commons and is being considered by the Senate.
  • Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act contained in the omnibus budget bill, which passed the House this week, that will wipe out a backlog of 280,000 applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Applications made before 2008 would be deleted and the application fee refunded.
  • A new policy that comes into effect June 30 will cut back on the services offered to refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program, which gives temporary health-care coverage to approximately 128,000 refugees.
  • A decision by Kenney last year to freeze applications from foreign parents and grandparents to join their children in Canada, while raising the annual number of applicants allowed in to the country, in a bid to clear a backlog of 180,000 applications. He also introduced a new "super-visa" that allows family members to visit Canada for up to 10 years provided they have a minimum annual income and arrange their own health insurance.



#2 1PPCLI

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:30 AM

Just this afternoon the government has stopped accepting applicants in two classes, skilled workers and investment, while they fine tune the programs.

]

Back to Article
Ottawa to halt new immigration applications
Nicholas Keung
Immigration Reporter
Ottawa will stop accepting new immigration applications to the federal skilled worker and investor programs starting Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says.

Kenney said the skilled worker program will be reopened in January, when “important changes” will be made. However, the investor program will be halted indefinitely so the government can “make progress on processing its existing inventory.”

The news has caught prospective applicants and their lawyers off guard as they were not given advance notice to submit applications that are almost ready.

“But we’re not really surprised by anything this government does. It is rewriting the rules. It is consistent with its pattern to freeze everything to deal with the backlog,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Daniel Kingwell.

“Our concern is its shortsightedness. We are competing with other jurisdictions for the best and brightest. Immigrants are going to look elsewhere when their applications are being tossed into the garbage and the government is shutting down programs indefinitely.”

Kenney maintained that the pause would have no impact on the number of workers admitted into Canada because Ottawa continues to process applications already received.

“The temporary pause on new federal skilled worker applications will allow us to set the program on a new course as we intend to launch revised selection criteria soon,” Kenney said in a statement Thursday.

It is not known what further changes Ottawa will make to the federal skilled worker program, but Kenney has said he’d like to create a new application management system for Canadian employers to choose potential job candidates from a ready pool of pre-screened skilled immigrants.

Last year, Kenney capped the number of applications for the investor program to 700 spots and doubled the minimum investment requirements from $400,000 to $800,000. The quota was filled in 30 minutes. There are currently 25,000 investor applications representing 86,000 principals and dependents in the backlog.

Currently, the federal skilled worker program has an inventory of 463,214 people waiting for a decision. Ottawa is hoping to ramp through a new law that would allow Kenney to return and dispose the files of some 280,000 people submitted before Feb. 28, 2008.

Affected applicants are filing a class action lawsuit against Ottawa, which has agreed not to destroy or return their applications within 90 days of the bill’s passage until the lawsuit is certified by the court. A court date is expected for September.


http://www.thestar.c...on-applications

#3 SeeSea

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:26 AM

Just this afternoon the government has stopped accepting applicants in two classes, skilled workers and investment, while they fine tune the programs.


Good for them... the system is a mess right now. I'm still waiting for our visa at the back of a long, long line Posted Image


#4 1PPCLI

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:36 PM

I would strongly advise you to get your MP to look into the file, to get past whatever log jam it is stalled at.

Seems everyday something elses changes in the department, though I guess this is to expected with an active Minister and a government with a sense of direction.

#5 Martin D

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:47 PM

Changes are needed so badly with our system. I am certain that we have fallen behind many other countries with Immigration Reform. I have dealt with immigration, and am floored by some of their rules. If one comes here on a PR Visa, they have all the same rights as a citizen, with a few exceptions. And unless they break the law, they can stay here. Even if the reason for this person becoming a PR has changed (ie marriage). The sponsor is on the hook, and can not change the agreement with the CDN Government. While other countries, like the USA have clauses in their system to remove someone from the country if there are changes, Canada keeps them here. This has led to all sorts of problems with marriage fraud. I welcome more changes to the current system.

#6 SeeSea

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 03:00 PM

Changes are needed so badly with our system. I am certain that we have fallen behind many other countries with Immigration Reform. I have dealt with immigration, and am floored by some of their rules. If one comes here on a PR Visa, they have all the same rights as a citizen, with a few exceptions. And unless they break the law, they can stay here. Even if the reason for this person becoming a PR has changed (ie marriage). The sponsor is on the hook, and can not change the agreement with the CDN Government. While other countries, like the USA have clauses in their system to remove someone from the country if there are changes, Canada keeps them here. This has led to all sorts of problems with marriage fraud. I welcome more changes to the current system.


I also welcome more changes. It bothers me that PR's who came here on a work visa have the same rights as born citizens and are now clogging up the system with their family visa requests. My case isn't even opened yet as currently it's a record 3 months for approval in the first stage of processing. My stuff is still sitting in a box in Mississauga, without a doubt I am waiting in line behind all the boat people who arrived off the coast 3 years ago, who are probably sponsoring all their families.
At least now if you were sponsored as a spouse you cannot sponsor another spouse for 5 years.


#7 1PPCLI

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:29 PM

I also welcome more changes. It bothers me that PR's who came here on a work visa have the same rights as born citizens and are now clogging up the system with their family visa requests. My case isn't even opened yet as currently it's a record 3 months for approval in the first stage of processing. My stuff is still sitting in a box in Mississauga, without a doubt I am waiting in line behind all the boat people who arrived off the coast 3 years ago, who are probably sponsoring all their families.
At least now if you were sponsored as a spouse you cannot sponsor another spouse for 5 years.

This is why you should have your MP look into your file and ask what the delay is. Once the enquiry is made, there is a set amount of time for the department to reply. Some MP's are better than others to look after constituents' concerns. Unfortunately, I have the PM as my MP, therefore he is limited in what he can get done because of apparent conflict of interest rules. C'est le vie.

#8 SeeSea

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:20 PM

I can't get him to look into the case if there's no case number yet! Your MP is the PM?Posted Image

This is why you should have your MP look into your file and ask what the delay is. Once the enquiry is made, there is a set amount of time for the department to reply. Some MP's are better than others to look after constituents' concerns. Unfortunately, I have the PM as my MP, therefore he is limited in what he can get done because of apparent conflict of interest rules. C'est le vie.




#9 1PPCLI

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:28 PM

I can't get him to look into the case if there's no case number yet! Your MP is the PM?Posted Image

Give him a call and ask him why after five months there is no case number.

Yes, the PM is my MP. Never see him hustling around any community events, like other MPs do. Not even sure, if he will be having a Stampede breakfast, he isn't much of a cowboy. When his inlaws do their cattle drive, he apparently stays at the camp cooking from what the local gossips say. :o

#10 Martin D

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 11:48 PM

Must be from Calgary South West...I think that's his riding.

#11 1PPCLI

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:04 AM

Yes, that is right. A few km's to the east, and the immigration Minister would be my MP.

Anyhow next three weeks, it is free pancake, sausage and bacon, as the Stampede starts at the end of next week. Just have to make ure to bring my own mple syrup, none of the faux syrup for me. ;)

#12 Martin D

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:26 AM

I am leaving for the Philippines in a couple days...and i have 2 one litre bottles of Maple Syrup packed...by request. (Last trip, I only took one bottle).

#13 SeeSea

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:13 AM

I am leaving for the Philippines in a couple days...and i have 2 one litre bottles of Maple Syrup packed...by request. (Last trip, I only took one bottle).


Good luck! I had a heck of a time trying to cook pancakes in a Wok. They ended up being deep fried. Posted Image


#14 SeeSea

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:17 AM

Yes, the PM is my MP. Never see him hustling around any community events, like other MPs do. Not even sure, if he will be having a Stampede breakfast, he isn't much of a cowboy. When his inlaws do their cattle drive, he apparently stays at the camp cooking from what the local gossips say. :o

Weak!





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