What was it like meeting the national defence and multiculturalism minister of Canada? | CanIndia NEWS

Interview with Minister Kenney with Indo-Canadian media. He provided the best government explanation for the removal of pre-Permanent Resident time credit towards citizenship to date (the explanations by both Minister Alexander and officials during C-24 hearings were unconvincing):

He spent about forty-five minutes in the Can-India office as we quizzed him on important issues—national security, immigration (he was previously immigration minister) and of course jobs and multiculturalism which are my pet peeves. The minister was well-prepared and easily navigated the tough questions we had.

No, he said foreign students will not reduce the job opportunities available to our kids. Nor will attaining PR status be easy for them. I was both surprised and happy to hear Mr. Kenney acknowledge that some institutions have made education a business and want to increase enrolment of foreign students but it didn’t assuage my fears that it would happen anyway. The government knows, I thought to myself, now when will they do something about it. It’s a huge concern that many parents with college and university-going kids like me, have today.

He brought up the subject of many new Canadians not even being aware that a federal election would soon take place because they were not engaged. Naturally I asked how the Conservative Party had planned to address that. Mr. Kenney’s answer was neat though evasive and a bit contradictory. He said today immigrants were more aware and that jobs and economic progress was the best way to engage them. I agree with his philosophy a successful person will integrate better and naturally be more engaged. While it is largely a game of chance, it is my observation that it takes newcomers at least five years to find their groove (if they are lucky that is). What happens to political and community engagement in the meanwhile? What about the hundreds who have been here for years and are still disillusioned, will they ever be brought into the fold?

He dwelt on how communities create ghettoes that prevent new Canadians from fully integrating and assimilating. It’s what I have gone about at length… how ethnic ties are stronger and far outweigh loyalty to Canada. I support his staking a stand on the matter. Why is it a party ideology and not a national strategy? Current trends indicate that many politicians seem to have adopted the approach of businesses towards their multicultural clients—that of trying to cater to communal needs and sentiments in order to ‘hook’ them.

Source: What was it like meeting the national defence and multiculturalism minister of Canada? | CanIndia NEWS

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.

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