Alexander blasts critics of immigration bill as C-24 goes to second reading

On the eve of Second Reading of C-24 Citizenship Act revisions, a broadside by Minister Alexander against the critics of the Bill.

Not quite in the Pierre Polievre school of how to promote your Bill, but quite remarkable given Alexander’s previous career as a diplomat where language was more nuanced, to say the least (see Konrad Yakabuski’s earlier profile Chris Alexander balances his portfolio and power).

Always unfortunate when a Minister feels more comfortable attacking those opposed to legislation as hypocrites, rather than arguing the merits of the Bill.

But the opposition also has some responsibility. While active in Committee, there is by no means the same focussed attention on C-24 as there was for Bill C-23 (elections), C-13 (cyberbullying and surveillance) and the ongoing Temporary Foreign Workers controversy. Opposition parties also make choices on how hard to push issues on both policy and political grounds. Their calculation appears to favour more pro-forma opposition, albeit based upon legitimate concerns over some aspects of the Bill, rather than a more high profile effort. Unless I have missed it, have not heard either opposition leader say much on C-24:

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is accusing the opposition of “folly and hypocrisy” as the government prepares to shepherd its controversial citizenship bill over its next legislative hurdle.

“Both the Liberals and the NDP remain offside with Canadians who recognize the immense value of Canadian citizenship and the importance of protecting its integrity,” Alexander said in a statement.

“It is shameful that activist immigration lawyers, who never miss an opportunity to criticize our governments citizenship and immigration reforms, are attempting to drum up business by promoting the interests of convicted terrorists and serious criminals over the safety and security of Canadians.”

As to the “drumming up business” line, all of those supporting or opposing the Bill do so from their perspective, values and interests. This does not necessarily diminish the value of their comments, for or against.

And while some elements of C-24 may “reduce the business” for immigration and refugee lawyers (i.e., revocation for fraud at Ministerial discretion, rather than the courts), other may “drum up business”  (i.e., revocation for terror and treason). Somewhat ironic to say the least.

Last night’s somewhat perfunctory Parliamentary debate at Second Reading allows C-24 to proceed to a vote today.

We will see how the next stages proceed and whether the Government will consider any changes to the Bill (some C-24 supporters recommended some process changes). In any case, the Bill will make it through by the summer recess.

Alexander blasts critics of immigration bill as C-24 goes to second reading.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to Alexander blasts critics of immigration bill as C-24 goes to second reading

  1. Marion Vermeersch says:

    I know this government has a majority and the power to do almost whatever they want, but this is something that will affect all Canadians, Conservative or not. Just the revocation clause, alone, is worthy of much more consideration as it will, in effect, divide Canadians into two classes – dual citizenship or one single citizenship, with the dual being more vulnerable to revocation
    No longer being a Canadian citizen, I learned that you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. I really was hoping for much better than this for Canada.

  2. Pingback: Canadian Bar Association letter to CIC Minister Alexander | Multicultural Meanderings

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