Where the Conservative Party of Canada Stands on Immigration

On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are three political parties that may form government. One of them is the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada has made the following election promises regarding immigration:

  • Continue to make the immigration system faster, flexible, and more responsive to the needs of Canada’s economy.
  • Continue to be a world leader in refugee protection.
  • Increase the intake of applications for the parents and grandparents sponsorship program, as the backlog and processing times continue to decrease.
  • Provide increased funding to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to clear the citizenship backlog over a two-year period.

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I previously wrote in Policy Options on how the Conservative Party of Canada completely overhauled Canada’s immigration system.  Looking at their 2015 platform, I guess they’re done.

Below you can find their 2011 commitments, for comparison’s sake.

 

On May 2nd 2011, Canada will have a federal election. There are four political parties that will likely win seats in Canada’s Parliament. One of them is the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada is currently the governing party.  Accordingly, pretty much every policy announcement discussed on this blog in some way reflects where the Conservative Party of Canada stands on immigration.  During this election, the Conservative Party of Canada has made the following new election promises regarding immigration:

  • Re-introduce Bill C-49;
  • Expedite the deportation of foreign criminals, putting the top priority on executing existing and new deportation orders against individuals with criminal records, or connections to terrorist organizations or organized crime;
  • Streamline the multiple levels of appeal available to individuals ordered deported for serious criminality or connections to terrorist or organized crime;
  • Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Criminal Code, and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to permit sentencing courts to order deportation immediately on reaching parole eligibility or on completion of sentence;
  • Develop a National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking; and
  • Help ensure female immigrants aged 15 to 21 who arrive in Canada alone are not subjected to illegitimate or unsafe work by providing for regular contact with the Canada Border Services Agency.

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Compared to the NDP and the Liberal platforms, the Conservative Party of Canada reveals a markedly different tone.  While the NDP and the Liberal platforms focus on family reunification, their platform is based entirely on cracking down on the less benign side of immigration.

The shady and corrupt side of immigration does exist.  I receive numerous phone calls and e-mails from people that have paid thousands of dollars and received no service.  I have met an individuals that took the passports of her employees in order to prevent them from quitting.  I have spoken with a young girl who was put on a bus to the British Columbia interior to go work for an employer that she had never met, and who was told that she would be paid half of what she was promised in order to pay off a ghost consultant.

Having said all that, I am not convinced that these proposals are the best way to solve this issue.  I think 99% of female immigrants aged 15 to 21 would find regular contact with the Canada Border Services Agency to be nothing but a huge inconvenience.  This would especially be the case if they were required to report in person.

And do we really want to empower criminal courts with the power to deport individuals?  This is currently the purview of the Canada Border Services Agency and the Immigration and Refugee Board.  Both of these organizations have expertise in this area.  These organizations have the ability to order the removal of people who are in detention.  And, as I’m sure the Conservative Party would find out, they are probably much more willing to execute that discretion than criminal courts.

I have previously criticized Bill C-49 on this blog, and will only note that the bill is a massive transfer of power from Parliament to the Minister, that it will create two-tiers of refugees, and that it will strip permanent residents of numerous rights.

Mr. Harper, I applaud your determination to rid the immigration system of its more shady elements.  I am not sure, however, that this is the way to do it.


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