MALCOLM: It’s time to rethink Canada’s family reunification system

The simple answer is that significant numbers of immigrants want to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada to be with them and assist with childcare, and that their votes matter in a significant number of ridings.

So apart from her over the top rhetoric, the economic concerns are valid but neglect the humanitarian aspects of the policy. The “super visa” was and is a creative way to address the demand but one that appears not to satisfy the demand.

As Malcolm notes, all major parties support this program and the two major parties also support annual levels of around 20,000. We will see if Bernier’s party includes a specific reference in its proposed immigration policies:

Why do we allow elderly immigrants to come to Canada as permanent residents?

Why do we have a special immigration program — the “parents and grandparents” category — geared entirely towards relocating retirees to Canada, putting them on citizenship track and, eventually, giving them full access to our government-funded universal health care system?

Are we insane? No other advanced economy has a program that is anything like this.

The parents and grandparents program made the news this week — not because of the sheer ridiculousness of admitting elderly immigrants as permanent residents, but because many immigration lawyers complained to the media that the 2019 program filled up too quickly and many foreigners didn’t have a chance to apply.

It’s programs like this that show the extent to which Canada’s immigration system is broken.

Canada already has a visitor visa program dedicated to family reunification and welcoming parents and grandparents — as visitors.

The “super visa” has no annual cap, no backlog and no waitlist.

It allows relatives to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time, and the visa is good for ten years. Frankly, it’s more generous than comparable programs in other Western countries.

The super visa offers the best of both worlds. It shows Canada’s openness by allowing extended family units to stay together and for the older generation to offer a helping hand in immigrant households.

But it also provides a protection for Canadians and our taxpayer-funded social welfare programs. The super visa requires visiting seniors to purchase health insurance — a basic requirement for any world travel and something most immigrants are more than happy to do.

Nonetheless, Canada maintains a bizarre parallel program that admits a lucky 20,000 elderly immigrants each year as permanent residents.

Canada has a broad immigration program for two specific reasons: one, to help boost the economy, and two, to offset declining birth rates.

But bringing in elderly immigrants directly contradicts the stated purpose behind our immigration system.

It creates an added burden on our social welfare programs from people who never meaningfully contributed to the tax base, yet will eventually displace Canadians — folks who worked their entire adult lives to fund universal health care through their taxes — in doctors offices and emergency waiting rooms across the country.

Both major parties maintain this reckless program because most Canadians don’t notice it and the ones who do — immigrants from select communities who practice vote-bank politics — vocally demand it.

Unlike Canada, most Western democracies have built safeguards into their immigration system. They have strict rules when it comes to granting citizenship, designed to protect the country’s finances and prevent free-riders from manipulating the system.

Canada has no such qualms. When it comes to welcoming elderly immigrants as citizens, we don’t even ask that they learn a little bit of English or French — enough to communicate in an emergency or spark a friendship with a neighbour.

Instead, it’s all about entitlements and handouts.

Canada has long enjoyed something of a national consensus on immigration. Canadians, by and large, recognize the economic benefits of growing our population and welcoming like-minded people from around the world who will work hard, play by the rules, join the Canadian family and contribute to our country.

But when both major parties condone a program that so blatantly contradicts basic principles of both fairness and economics, it leaves many Canadians feeling resentful towards the immigration system as a whole.

Mexican Asylum Claims Skyrocket Since the Trudeau Government Eliminated Visa for Mexican Nationals

The numbers have increased dramatically although without the IRCC background documents, we do not know whether this extent was predicted or not. But there was a clear trade-off between economic and political considerations and maintaining the visa requirement.

The previous Conservative government faced similar pressures from the EU with respect to the visa requirements then in place for Bulgaria and Romania but were defeated before they had to make a similar decision (EU visa standoff strains allies Canada needs to pass trade deal. The Conservative government did drop the visa requirement for Czech nationals facing this pressure. The Liberal government dropped the visa requirement for Bulgaria and Romania (only Romania figures in the top 25 asylum claimant countries):

After the Trudeau government changed Canada’s visa rules, the number of Mexican refugee claimants in Canada skyrocketed.

2,445 Mexican visitors to Canada failed to leave and instead applied for refugee status in Canada during the first ten months of 2018, according to new data from Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) .

The number of Mexican asylum claimants to Canada in on track to rise almost 75% above the previous year’s total, or an 840% increase from 2016’s total.

In July 2016, the Trudeau government removed the visitor visa for Mexicans travelling to Canada —  a visa imposed by the Harper government back in 2009 to end a surge of Mexicans claiming refugee status — despite the fact that the visa significantly reduced the number of asylum claims.

In 2016, the number of Mexican asylum seekers jumped to 260 from 111 the previous year, then surged to 1,515 in 2017, and continued to climb dramatically in 2018, rising to 2,445 claims in the first 10 months.

Number of Annual Asylum Claims from Mexican Nationals

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
7,153 9,454 7,581 1,197 649 321 84 80 111 260 1,515 2,445

Source: Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada

“Our Government took a pivotal step towards rebuilding and strengthening our relationship with Mexico, which was damaged considerably under the previous government,” said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s spokesperson Mathieu Genest in an email.

“The visa lift has helped expand trade and business opportunities, increase investment and tourism, and strengthen people-to-people ties that benefit both countries. In 2017 alone, the increase in business travellers and tourists generated more than $600 million in economic benefits for Canada.”

Not everyone shares the Trudeau government’s optimism.

Toronto Immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann pointed out that, “the decision was definitely not consistent with traditional immigration policy.”

“This was completely anticipated by anyone who knows anything about it. It was done for purely political reasons. Mexico is a full participant in NAFTA and didn’t want to feel like the poor cousin of the trio. The cost was anticipated and was undertaken as the ‘cost of doing (international) business,’” said Mamann in an email.

“I would bet that any report by the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) or CIC (the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, now know as Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada or IRCC) that was requested by the government at that time would have warned of a significant increase in refugees claims,” he said.

Prior to the Harper government’s policy that made it mandatory for Mexicans travelling to Canada to get a travel visa, only a small fraction of the thousands of Mexicans asking for refugee status were deemed by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to be legitimate claimants. In 2008, for instance, Mexico comprised 26% of all asylum claims in Canada.

About 90% of those claims were eventually either rejected or abandoned.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate on asylum claims before the IRB,” said Genest about the low success rate of past Mexican refugee claimants being a concern with the latest spike in claims.

“The IRB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that operates at arms-length from the government to assess and make decisions on all refugee claims. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, and those with a well-founded fear of persecution are permitted to stay and those who are found to not have a legitimate claim are removed.”

Canada’s asylum system costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

MALCOLM: The latest Liberal fearmongering – Conservatives will ‘militarize the border’?!

Fear-mongering, like virtue signalling, is all too common, whether it be from the right or left. And Malcolm, whose writings are consistent in condemning Liberal actions (and inactions), and arguably fear-mongering herself, rarely addresses some of the inconvenient truths of her critiques.

In this case, if Canada were to declare the whole border official entry points for purposes of the Safe Third Country Agreement, the implication would be that we would need to have more staff at the border to enforce it, not to mention US agreement (unlikely) to take back any person attempting to cross the border.

And should we declare Roxham Road an official point of entry (and if the US would agree), many would simply look for other places to slip across the border?

One could argue that in fact allowing Roxham Road as a loophole makes it easier for the government to know who is arriving and perform the needed security and related checks and go through the IRB process rather than being completely unmanaged:

But While accusing the opposition of fear-mongering about illegal immigration, top Trudeau government officials have stepped up their own fear-mongering campaign against the opposition.

The 2019 federal election may be nine months away, but the campaign has already begun. The latest comes from Trudeau’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen, who accused the Conservative Party of wanting to “militarize the border.”

Last week, Conservative MP and immigration critic Michelle Rempel held a news conference where she called on the government to study the issue of how Canada screens and vets migrants who illegally cross into Canada. Rempel’s proposal was mild, and well within reason.

Canada is experiencing an unprecedented and ongoing surge in illegal border crossings, which has been accompanied by stories of alleged terrorists and migrants with national security red flags slipping into Canada.

Rempel noted in her news conference that the Conservatives have been asking for a review of Canada’s immigration screening policy since the border crisis escalated in 2017.

Responding to Rempel’s proposal, Hussen dismissed the Tory position on immigration and bizarrely seemed to invent a new position for them.

“I haven’t seen anything from the Conservatives. They don’t have a plan,” said Hussen, before quickly changing his tune. “Do you know what their plan is? To militarize the border and place a CBSA official or RCMP official every 100 metres,” said Hussen.

In the same breath, Hussen claimed both that the Conservatives didn’t have a plan and that their plan includes militarizing the border.

Of course, there is no evidence that the Conservatives — or any sane person for that matter — has ever called for officials to be stationed every hundred meters along the border.

The shared Canada-U.S. border, after all, spans 8,891 kilometres. With border officials ever 100 metres — ten per kilometer — that would mean staffing the border with about 90,000 border stations, and asking our American neighbours to do the same.

If the mainstream media bothered to fact-check Liberal politicians like they do the opposition, Hussen’s wild allegation would surely fail the test.

In reality, the problem is mostly contained to one small section of the border.

In 2018, 19,419 migrants illegally entered Canada in between official ports of entry, 18,518 of them crossed into Quebec. This is in line with the Trudeau government’s claim that 95% of all illegal crossings occur along Roxham Road.

The problem does not span Canada’s nearly 9,000-kilometre border. It’s isolated to a very small location — making it much easier to tackle.

Canada could drastically reduce the flow of illegal migration by taking a simple step: closing the border at Roxham Road and stopping migrants from crossing there. Instead, the Trudeau government has done the opposite.

First, they built a land bridge so migrants wouldn’t have to walk through a ditch.

Second, they permanently stationed RCMP officers at this unofficial crossing point (which is less than five kilometres from the official crossing at Champlain, NY) to register incoming migrants.

Third, they set up makeshift refugee camps so that asylum seekers could start their paperwork and quickly become eligible for government handouts.

Finally, they began shuttling migrants to Montreal or Toronto — their choice — and setting them up in government-funded housing.

Not only has the Liberal government helped to facilitate illegal immigration, they’re normalizing it and thereby encouraging more of it.

Perhaps that is where Minister Hussen is coming from. When you believe in open borders, everything else begins to look like “militarization.”

Source: MALCOLM: The latest Liberal fearmongering – Conservatives will ‘militarize the border’?!

John Ivison: A most convenient misstep for the Liberals in Burnaby South – and other related articles

A good example of ethnic politics going wrong.

First, an interesting political analysis by Ivison:

Occam’s razor, the problem-solving principle dating back to the 13th century friar William of Ockham, states that, other things being equal, simple explanations are generally better than more complex ones.

A medical equivalent, Zebra, guides doctors to reject exotic medical diagnoses in favour of more commonplace explanations.

“When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras,” runs the logic.

It’s a good guiding principle for analyzing politics too. It is more often incompetence, rather than scruples, that makes the simplest explanation most likely. The relationships underlying political events are so complex that predicting outcomes from any action is a dubious business.

Yet sometimes, a case comes along where the more complex theory cannot be ruled out.

Take events in the riding of Burnaby South in British Columbia. The Liberals hemmed and hawed about running a candidate in the Feb. 25 byelection there, conscious that if they did so, they might inadvertently win and put paid to the political career of Jagmeet Singh, the federal NDP leader who is seeking a seat in Parliament.

Singh has found the learning curve in federal politics particularly steep, making numerous missteps in the full glare of the national media.

This past weekend, he failed to answer a question on a topic that had been all over the news. He claimed he hadn’t heard the question, but he left the impression that it is only the hard questions that he mis-hears.

Singh remains Justin Trudeau’s preferred opponent in October’s federal election and there was the very real prospect that, if defeated, he might be replaced by someone more seasoned.

The Liberals had the option of not running a candidate in Burnaby South — Elizabeth May’s Green Party decided to respect the old tradition of “leader’s courtesy,” not running against a federal leader trying to win a seat in the House of Commons.

Yet there were local pressures to run a Liberal candidate in the byelection, and it was decided it would be bad form for the ruling party to be so brazen about its preferences.

Step forward Karen Wang, a local daycare operator, who edged biotech scientist Cyrus Eduljee in a contested nomination.

Wang’s candidacy put Singh’s political future very much in doubt, given the seat was won by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart by just 600 votes over his Liberal rival in 2015.

It went unsaid by everyone that a Chinese-Canadian candidate might have extra cachet in a riding where nearly 40 per cent of voters are of Chinese descent.

At least, it went unsaid until Wang said it. Not only did she point out on a Chinese social media platform that she was “the only Chinese candidate,” she identified Singh as being “of Indian descent.”

It was a pretty blatant case of racism from the party that claimed so often in the last election that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Since Trudeau’s main line of attack in the next election will be to accuse the Conservatives of fomenting the “politics of division,” it was clear that he would not support a candidate emphasizing differences and playing on intolerance to get elected.

Wang said the “phrasing should have been different” and removed her Chinese language post but it was too late.

Early Wednesday Pacific time, the party issued a statement saying that Wang’s comments “are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party of Canada” and said it had accepted her resignation. “The Liberal party has a clear commitment to positive politics and support for Canadian diversity and the same is always expected of our candidates,” it said.

Wang issued her own statement, apologizing to Singh, and saying her choice of words about his cultural background “was not well-considered and did not reflect my intent.”

Her resignation has left Singh alone on the left of the political spectrum in Burnaby South, facing Conservative Jay Shin and People’s Party candidate Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson. His victory would seem assured, if the Liberals don’t replace Wang. And yet they seem in no hurry to do so. When asked if there would be another Liberal candidate, Liberal communications director Braeden Caley said: “We’ll have more to discuss on that in due course.”

The most recent opinion poll in Burnaby South by Mainstreet Research suggested the byelection was turning into a two-horse race between Singh, with 39 per cent support, and Wang, with 26 per cent. The Conservatives will be more alarmed by the pollsters’ estimate of People’s Party support, at nine per cent, than the failure of their candidate to win the seat (Shin had the support of 22 per cent of the 740 people polled.)

Even with a margin of error of nearly four per cent, it’s clear that Burnaby South will stay orange if there is no Liberal in the race.

So back to Occam’s razor. Was this just a case of a reckless candidate gambling that if she played dog-whistle politics, it wouldn’t be heard beyond the Chinese community?

Or was the plan all along to throw the fight?

Nine times out of 10, it would be the former but the outcome of this electoral rumpus is extremely convenient for Trudeau. He has polished his own halo as the great unifier who will forge consensus and bridge divides.

And he has all but insured that an NDP leader yet to find his feet on the national stage staggers on to fight the general election.

This may be the rare occasion when the hoofbeats are made by zebras.

Source: John Ivison: A most convenient misstep for the Liberals in Burnaby South

Secondly, revelations by Michelle Rempel, not substantiated but believable, that Wang wanted to run as a Conservative but was rejected:

The Conservative Party of Canada rejected Karen Wang as a potential candidate before her short-lived Liberal Party candidacy in the Burnaby South byelection, according to MP Michelle Rempel.

Rempel said Wang approached her party, wanting to run in the 2019 federal election.

“The Conservative Party of Canada said no to this candidate over a year ago,” she said. “There was a reason for that.”

Rempel would not specify what that reason was.

“My understanding is that there were some discussions with this particular individual and the party decided for reasons regarding her judgment, that became clear today, to not allow her to run for us,” she said.

Rempel made the comments at a press conference in Burnaby Wednesday afternoon. She was joined by Conservative candidate Jay Shin, who is running in the Feb. 25 Burnaby South byelection. The Calgary-based Parliamentarian called the press conference to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to initiate a review of Canada’s immigration screening process.

Rempel’s comments came just hours after Wang dropped out of the race. She came under fire for a WeChat post in which she identified herself as the “only Chinese candidate” in the byelection and pointed out that her opponent, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, is of Indian heritage. The post was translated from Chinese and reported by StarMetro Vancouver.

“My choice of words wasn’t well-considered and didn’t reflect my intent, and for that, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Singh,” Wang said in a statement. “I have deep respect for him as the leader of his party and for his public service – and I would never want to diminish that in any way.”

Rempel condemned the WeChat post, calling it “racism plain and simple.”

Shin said he was shocked by Wang’s comments.

“I’m offended as a Korean person, as a Korean-Canadian,” he said. “There’s no place for that.”

The NOW has reached out to the Liberal Party and a representative of Wang’s for comment.

Wang ran for the B.C. Liberal Party in the 2017 provincial election, losing to New Democrat Anne Kang. When the NOW asked her earlier this month why she had chosen to run with the federal Liberals after running for a party often aligned with the federal Conservatives, she said she had always been a supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada due to its core values, including diversity, liberty, multiculturalism and national unity.

Source: Conservatives rejected Karen Wang before her short-lived Liberal candidacy, MP says

Third, two different columns in the Toronto Sun, the first by Candice Malcolm, not acknowledging similar practices by the Conservatives, the second by Brian Lilley basically a plague on all their houses with respect to courting ethnic votes:

This is what a postnational multicultural state looks like.

On Wednesday, the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South by-election resigned after sending a controversial message through the Chinese social media platform WeChat.

In a Chinese-language post, Karen Wang told her supporters to vote for her because she is “the only Chinese candidate” in the race, and to vote against NDP candidate and party leader Jagmeet Singh, noting that he is “of Indian descent.”

This sort of crass appeal based solely on race and identity is off-putting and unwelcome to most Canadians. But it should come as no surprise that race-based ethnic politics takes place across Canada.

And while the Liberal Party can try to back away from Wang’s message, her appeal to identity politics is straight out of the Liberal playbook and echoes the politics and policies promoted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In late 2015, Trudeau was interviewed by The New York Times magazine about his vision for Canada.

The American publication fawned that “Trudeau’s most radical argument is that Canada is becoming a new kind of state, defined not by its European history but by the multiplicity of its identities from all over the world.”

Forget about our traditions of ordered liberty that date back to the signing of the Magna Carta. And forget about our constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy — arguable the most successful form of government in human history — or our commitment to Western liberal ideals.

That type of “European history” is unimportant in Trudeau’s Canada.

Instead, Trudeau said “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada… those are the qualities that make us the first postnational state.”

The race-based message from the Liberal candidate mirrors this type of thinking. Wang’s appeal is the inevitable conclusion of Trudeau’s identity politics and his dream of a post-national Canada.

For instance, in her WeChat message, Wang does not call herself “Canadian” or even “Chinese-Canadian.” Instead, she identifies as “Chinese” and calls Singh “Indian.”

Just like Trudeau said, there’s no mainstream, no core identity in Canada. Newcomers don’t have to change anything about themselves when they move to Canada, so why would they bother to adopt a Canadian identity?

Likewise, Trudeau has downplayed the emphasis on language — eliminating the citizenship language test for many newcomers. It’s no surprise, then, to see politicians pandering in different languages to various ethnic communities.

Trudeau’s fixation on identity politics led him to appointing cabinet positions based solely on gender. While 26% of MPs are women, Trudeau promoted 50% to his cabinet.

But why stop at gender? The next logical step is to expand this thinking to other identities, like ethnic background and language groups. Why wouldn’t a postnational Canada have quotas to proportionately represent every ethnic group?

In November, Trudeau said he rejected Canadian nationalism, seemingly conflating it with ethnic nationalism found in Europe and throughout the world.

Canadian nationalism, however, is not based on race or ethnicity, since Canada has always been pluralistic and racially diverse. Instead, our nationalism is defined by patriotism — a love of country and commitment to our heritage and shared values.

Patriotism is the glue that holds our diverse country together, and without it, we devolve into tribalism — divided by bloodlines and ancient feuds from foreign lands.

Trudeau has engineered these changes and created a toxic brew in Canada: lax integration policies juxtaposed with a forced multiculturalism that downplays Canadian values and divisive identity politics that demonizes Canadian heritage and identity.

Source: MALCOLM: Raced-based politics natural outcome of Trudeau’s ‘postnational state’

Karen Wang’s career as a Liberal Party of Canada candidate came to disastrous end on Wednesday as the party dumped her over stupid, and quite frankly racist comments.

It was such a change for a woman whose Twitter profile bragged about being the Team Trudeau candidate in the Burnaby South byelection. The party itself had just the evening before tweeted its support of her.

The official Liberal Party account tweeted “Add Women Change Politics” and called Wang an incredible candidate just hours before this story broke.

Now she’s out, brought down by a crass attempt to use race and tribal politics to win the byelection.

In a posting on Chinese social media platform WeChat, Wang spoke of the size and importance of the Chinese community, then she made the stupid, racist comments.

“If we can increase the voting rate, as the only Chinese candidate in this riding, if I can garner 16,000 votes I will easily win the by-election, control the election race and make history! My opponent in this by-election is the NDP candidate Singh of Indian descent!”

I love the flourish with the exclamation point on Singh’s Indian heritage, she is screaming loud and clear that she means don’t vote for the brown guy.

Well that wouldn’t work for Justin “Diversity is our Strength” Trudeau and after about 15 hours of hand wringing, Wang was fired.

The official line is she resigned, I’m sure her resignation was what I call “voluntold.” Give us your resignation or else.

In her statement, Wang apologized to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, kind of.

“My choice of words wasn’t well-considered and didn’t reflect my intent, and for that, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Singh,” Wang said in a statement.

In its own statement the party said Wang’s comments, “are not aligned with the values of the Liberal Party.”

No kidding, they shouldn’t be aligned with anyones values.

Yet in some ways Wang thrust into the open the kind of ethno-politics that all the parties have played for years.

Every party has pandered to ethnic, religious or linguistic communities for votes. They will make sure certain ridings have candidates from a specific group if that group is a large enough voting bloc.

I’ve always found it off-putting and wished the parties would stop.

Voters should be picking candidates to vote for with the best policies for their riding, not the same skin colour or ethnic background.

Parties should pick policies to run on that align with their values and are in the best interests of Canada, not so they can attract certain ethnic voting blocs.

Ms. Wang was in many ways playing the game that has been played too long in Canadian politics, albeit more crassly.

Her statement and apology are weak and she needs to say more.

If this were a white candidate, especially a white male candidate, the fury over these comments about not voting for Singh because he is of Indian descent would be deafening.

Wang cannot be allowed an easy escape, nor can the Liberal Party be let off the hook, simply because she is an Asian woman.

There is the idea that I have heard from anti-racism activists that racism only comes from white people. It’s a foolish claim. Anyone can be racist and Wang’s comments show that.

Saying, “My choice of words wasn’t well-considered” does not gloss over the fact that she told supporters vote for me, I’m Chinese and he’s not.

Wang’s initial reaction to the media stories on this also shows she doesn’t understand why it was wrong, she told the Toronto Star it was just bad communication.

“The phrasing should have been different,” she said.

It wasn’t the phrasing that was the problem Ms. Wang, it was the intent of your post.

This kind of politics has no place in Canada. I’d like to say I hope we never see it again, but that is wishful thinking.

The best we can do is call it out when we see it.

Source: LILLEY: Wang’s resignation shows dangers of playing ethno-politics 

Lastly, some good on the ground reporting on the reaction of the Chinese Canadian community in Burnaby South: ‘It makes us look bad’: Burnaby’s Chinese-Canadian community reacts to Karen Wang’s resignation over WeChat post

Wang’s effort to rescind her resignation was rightly rejected: Ousted candidate’s story takes another strange turn, this time into a parking lot

ICYMI: Some parties matter. The Islamic Party of Ontario doesn’t.

Good column by Michael Coren:

It’s not difficult to establish a political party in Canada. A few forms and signatures, a handful of supporters, and any of us can pretend to be aspiring premiers and prime ministers. Some parties matter, while others simply don’t. I’m reminded of Monty Python’s “Election Night Special” with its Silly Party, Sensible Party, and Very Silly Party. Now we have something called the Islamic Party of Ontario, which, according to the usual suspects on the political hard right, is an existential threat to all we hold sacred.

Well-known journalist Tarek Fatah wrote a column in the Toronto Sun about the new party, claiming that its founder, Jawed Anwar, had previously condemned him as an enemy of Islam who therefore deserved to die. If this is so, it’s deplorable. The column was syndicated throughout Canada, and picked up and commented on abroad. But it all seems a little tenuous, and the so-called party something of an illusion.

When this story broke, Anwar had a derisory 60 followers on Twitter, most of them conservatives, anti-Muslims, and bots. After Fatah’s column appeared, and various conservative writers and hard-right social-media warriors had screamed about this terrible foe of Canadian values, his followers increased to 160, including bizarre nationalist Faith Goldy, other well-known right-wing figures, and even some branches of the Conservative Party.

It all seems rather curious and odd, especially since Anwar has publicly and aggressively supported Ontario Premier Doug Ford. It’s also significant that Anwar and his party seem to be largely anonymous within the Muslim community, and when Muslim leaders have been informed about the new organization, they condemn it, not support it.

There is something else, and something that is deeply disturbing. A video purporting to be in support of this new party suddenly featured on social media, and was viewed numerous times. It labels itself a “Message for LGBTQ from the Islamic Party of Ontario,” and is hosted by a man dressed in what appears to be cartoon Muslim dress. He speaks of murdering gay people by fire or by sword, or throwing them from the tops of tall buildings. He purposefully mispronounces English words, and declares there is nothing to fear from Islam.

Truly awful stuff. But this man is actually someone called Eric Brazeau, a notorious Islamophobe who has long appeared at demonstrations and meetings, and who has even served time in jail for his dreadful and hateful activities. For this, he’s considered a martyr by some anti-Muslim zealots. They surely must have recognized him from the video, but said nothing about his true identity.

Yet none of this prevented a number of leading alt-right commentators from blogging and broadcasting about this new party and about the danger it posed to Canadian peace and democracy. Candice Malcolm, for example, is the founder and a senior fellow of the True North Initiative. She wrote, “Let’s talk about the Islamic Party of Ontario. They’re already threatening journalists and dissenting Muslims,” then broadcast about what she saw as impending doom.

It’s all a tempest in a teacup, really, and while the party’s ultra-conservative policies are grim, hardly anybody has even read them, let alone given them any credibility. It’s worth noting that the Christian Heritage Party has existed for more than 30 years, opposes abortion, euthanasia, and equal marriage, wants to eliminate secular education and to introduce “biblical values” into Canada. Very few people vote for it, which is what democracy and the right to choose and decide is all about. Perhaps it can form a working alliance with the Islamic Party of Ontario!

It’s one thing to expose and condemn the very real threat of genuine Islamist violence, but another to insist that support for such violence is ubiquitous, and to imply that the vast majority of Muslims support it. This is horribly unfair, downright racist, and plays into the hands of the authentic zealots who want to divide society and convince Muslims they’re not welcome in the West. There is nothing new about such politics, and it stinks of the approaches taken by historical despots against various ethnic and religious scapegoats.

By the way, in Monty Python’s political parody sketch, the Silly Party and the Very Silly Party split the silly vote. Someone should alert right-wing commentators; it could be a story.

Source: Some parties matter. The Islamic Party of Ontario doesn’t.

Andrew Coyne: Andrew Scheer steers hard to right on UN migrants pact

Some good contrasting articles from Andrew Coyne and John Ivison on the Conservative opposition to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, with Andrew Coyne’s, in my view, being the stronger.

Campbell Clark also, correctly I think, how the Conservatives are playing this as a wedge issue, similar to M-103 on Islamophobia, and possibly to counter Bernier, who will be attending a rally organized by the far right on Saturday on Parliament Hill:

Starting with Coyne:

Since he became Conservative leader, it has been a matter of speculation: how far would Andrew Scheer go to pander to the populist-nationalist right, specifically on the matter of immigration?

His predecessor had pulled in both directions at once, one minister building bridges to immigrant communities even as another was blowing them up. But candidates who had courted the pop-nats during the leadership race had not attracted many votes. Perhaps their moment had passed.

But then came the influx of asylum seekers crossing our border. After that came Maxime Bernier’s dramatic departure to found his own party, the one-time libertarian wonk rebranded as an immigration skeptic. And the question returned: how far would Scheer go to keep  from being outflanked on the issue?

Well now we have our answer: as far as it takes. Exploiting Liberal discomfort over the border-crossing issue was one thing. But with the Conservative leader’s embrace of far-right fear-mongering over an anodyne UN agreement on immigration, we are deep into the fever swamp. It is disturbing and frankly embarrassing to see.

The document in question is the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Negotiated and drafted over a year and half, the text was agreed to in July by all but one of the UN’s 193 countries, the lone hold-out being the United States. It’s to be formally adopted later this month.

That so many countries saw the necessity for such an agreement is in recognition of the international dimensions of the issue, especially as migration has expanded in recent years. With so many people on the move — some 258 million now live outside their country of birth — there is a pressing need for states to work together. If countries attempt to deal with the pressures of immigration by dumping migrants on each other’s doorsteps, no one’s interests will be served.

Accordingly, the compact sets out a few basic principles to guide states’ actions, with the aim not just of facilitating “safe, orderly and regular migration,” but “reducing the incidence and negative impact of irregular migration.” That’s right: the agreement is as much about reducing immigration as it is facilitating it, specifically by addressing the “structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin.”

Among the 23 “objectives” are such not-terribly-shocking ideas as that states should “collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies,” that they should “ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation,” “facilitate mutual recognition of skills, qualifications and competences,” and so on.

Some are admittedly a little more contentious. Maybe not everyone believes states should “provide access to basic services for migrants,” or “establish mechanisms for the portability of social security entitlements.” But here’s the thing. Suppose Canada, or any country, does not live up to these or any other of the agreement’s objectives. What happens then? Answer: nothing. The agreement is entirely and explicitly non-binding, non-enforceable, and non-justiciable.

This point is made at several points in the document. “The Global Compact is a non-legally binding cooperative framework,” it says, whose “authority rests on its consensual nature.” How does it affect national sovereignty? Not at all: “The Global Compact reaffirms the sovereign right of States to determine their national migration policy and their prerogative to govern migration within their jurisdiction in conformity with international law.” It could not be any clearer.

And yet in the months since it was agreed upon, the compact has become one of those bizarre objects of fascination among the conspiracy-minded, in which it has been elevated into a fiendish plot to dictate immigration policies to national governments, if not to eliminate them altogether. As in previous such episodes, what begins on the outer fringes of debate migrates inward: from racist websites to the right-wing press to opportunistic political leaders.

Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm [MALCOLM: The UN Migration Compact – the details are truly worrisome] handily sums up the theory in one breathless sentence: “This dystopian UN plan seeks to erase borders, destroy the concept of citizenship, undermine the rule of law and circumvent state sovereignty.”

It seeks, she claims, “to make immigration a universal human right,” while blurring “the distinction between refugees and migrants.” After all, doesn’t it say right there in the preamble: “Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms”?

Yes it does. And in the next sentence says: “However, migrants and refugees are distinct groups governed by separate legal frameworks. Only refugees are entitled to the specific international protection as defined by international refugee law.” The compact is a statement of broad principles, not a body of law.

And yet there was Scheer on Tuesday, claiming the agreement could “open the door to foreign bureaucrats telling Canada how to manage our borders.” The Conservatives, he said “strongly oppose Canada signing” the compact and would “withdraw” Canada from it if elected. To which I suppose the best answer was supplied by Louise Arbour, UN envoy for international migration and former Supreme Court of Canada judge: “There’s nothing to sign. It’s not a treaty.”

Still, Scheer would put us in select company in rejecting the compact: not only Donald Trump, but the right-wing nationalist parties in Europe, such as now govern Hungary, Austria and Poland. I had not thought I would ever see the Conservative Party of Canada among their number, but you learn something new every day.

A final note: on one of the agreement’s objectives, that urging states to “(stop) allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants,” the critics have a point. The threat to press freedom is obvious.

But the answer to this concern is not to give public funding to media outlets — on any side — not to pander to hysterical fears about open borders and shadowy world governments.

Source: Andrew Coyne: Andrew Scheer steers hard to right on UN migrants pact

Ivison urging caution:

The late Christopher Hitchens called conspiracy theories the “exhaust fumes of democracy” — the unavoidable result of large amounts of information circulating among a large number of people.

The latest conjectural haze drifting in from the fringes of the political spectrum is that the United Nations’ agreement on migration, which Canada is set to sign in Morocco next week, will see this country lose control of its borders.

The Rebel’s Ezra Levant called the UN’s global compact on migration “dangerous” — “a done deal cooked up by unelected bureaucrats with no regard for national sovereignty.”

Andrew Scheer, the Conservative leader, said his party strongly opposes Justin Trudeau’s plan to sign Canada onto the compact, saying it will open the doors to foreign bureaucrats to direct immigration policy. He was specifically concerned about an objective in the compact that deals with how media report on migration issues. The section calls for an effort to eliminate “all forms of discrimination” in public discourse about migration issues — which, if enforceable, would be an existential threat to The Rebel.

After question period on Wednesday, Scheer asked for unanimous consent for a statement that urged the government not to sign the compact and which blamed the UN for the torrent of refugees that has crossed into Canada from the U.S. Not surprisingly, he did not get it.

For now at least, Scheer’s fears are overdone. The potential limitations on media reporting, for example, are not enforceable. Chris Alexander, a former Conservative immigration minister, pointed out that the compact is a political declaration, not a legally binding treaty. “It has no impact on our sovereignty,” he wrote on Twitter.

Trudeau made the same point on Wednesday, as he boasted about Canada’s “global leadership” and its adoption of “open policy.”

It’s hard to find anything particularly offensive in the compact — it says refugees and migrants are entitled to universal human rights; that countries should improve co-operation on international migration to save lives and keep migrants out of harm’s way. It is explicit that it is not legally binding and the sovereign rights of states to determine their own migration policy is re-affirmed.

Still, I remain unconvinced that Canada should sign on. The compact also says that states should “determine their legislative and policy measures for the implementation of the global compact.” The very act of signing creates an expectation that the signatories will take action. It’s not nothing.

We have heard in the past about UN declarations being merely “aspirational.” As it turned out, they have become much more than that.

Take the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was also sold as a non-binding, aspirational document.

When it was introduced in 2006, the Harper government opposed the declaration’s 46 articles, on the practical grounds that previous court decisions had referenced the work of UN bodies and used them to interpret the laws of Canada. One article in the draft version could have been interpreted to mean military activities could not take place on land that had traditionally been Aboriginal.

The late Jim Prentice, who was then Indian Affairs minister, said the declaration was inconsistent with Canadian law and refused to sign. The declaration only received the Canadian government’s unqualified support in 2016 under the Trudeau government. The new prime minister had already agreed to “fully adopt and implement” the UN declaration, even though his justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, called it “unworkable” and a “political distraction.”

Whatever your views on the declaration, it is beyond dispute that it is not merely an “aspirational document.”

In fact, it is now the law, after NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s private members’ bill was passed by the House of Commons last May. The bill required that Canada’s laws be consistent with the declaration.

In the coming months and years, legislation and judicial interpretation will determine whether Canada’s existing jurisprudence on the duty to consult is sufficient to meet the UN declaration’s requirement on the need to secure “free, prior and informed consent” in any given area of policy. Critics argue that the passage into law of the declaration gives Indigenous Canadians rights not enjoyed by other Canadians.

What was presented as a nice thing to do to be onside with a global consensus has now evolved into a situation that could yet result in legislative gridlock, if the declaration’s provisions on the “rights of self-determination” are taken at face value.

The global compact’s intentions may be pure, but there will be consequences to its adoption that could over time impact Canada’s ability to set its own course on migration.

It won’t erase the border but it could erode sovereignty on immigration. You don’t have to inhale the exhaust fumes of the online conspiracy theories to believe that signing the UN global compact on migration is not a great idea.

Source: John Ivison: The UN’s global pact on migration sounds nice — but don’t sign it

Lastly, Campbell Clark on the politics and similarity with M-103 tactics:

The Global Compact for Migration is the new motion M-103, held up by anti-immigration right-wingers as a scary monster that is going to radically change Canada even though it won’t do much of anything at all.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stepped out on Tuesday to warn, wrongly, that the Global Compact, a document negotiated by many countries under UN auspices, would force Canada to cede its sovereignty and cede influence to shadowy “foreign entities.”

In fact, the Global Compact – which aims to promote international co-operation on migration flows – is a vague, non-binding document full of long-winded, gobbledygook claptrap that includes a few worthy principles and a couple of dumb ideas. But it won’t force anyone to do anything.

So if Mr. Scheer had opposed the signing of Global Compact on the grounds that Canada shouldn’t put its name to long tracts of big words that don’t have any clear meaning just to make people feel good, he would have deserved a nod of respect.

But the warning the Global Compact will put Canada’s sovereignty in imminent danger is fantasy.

This is the kind of fabricated freak-out we saw in 2017 with M-103, a Liberal MP’s motion asking the Commons to condemn Islamophobia. The motion sparked conspiracy theories – fuelled by the online site the Rebel – that it would restrict free speech, provide “special privileges” to Muslims or somehow lead to sharia law.

It was bunk, because such parliamentary motions don’t lead to anything other than a study. The motion passed, a parliamentary committee issued a bland report last February – and sharia law was not imposed.

Now, the same angst machine is working on the Global Compact for Migration. The Rebel argues it is dangerous, Maxime Bernier, Leader of fledgling right-wing People’s Party, complained about it on Tuesday morning. Then Mr. Scheer followed.

The thing is, the Global Compact is a mess of muddle verbiage, but it is not going to cede immigration policy to the UN or anyone else.

“There is no duty on Canada to implement, enact or enforce anything,” said James Hathaway, a Canadian who is director of the University of Michigan’s program in refugee and asylum law. The compact not only explicitly says it is non-binding, it is also not a treaty, Prof. Hathaway noted. It signs up countries for a discussion process. “No government has to do anything here other than show up for meetings.”

Of course, it’s reasonable to ask whether there’s much real point to the 16,600 words of bureaucratic blah-blah. It is supposed to encourage things such as sharing data on migration. The signatories say they hope to “minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin” – you know, like poverty – but there are no firm commitments.

Some of the criticisms seem to be based on a misreading of the document itself. The Rebel’s Ezra Levant decided that approving references to “regular migration” meant that the compact aims to make mass migration normal and permanent. But regular migration refers to orderly flows of migrants through official border crossings and legal methods – as opposed to irregular migrants. Mr. Bernier echoed Mr. Levant’s words.

One commentator argued that the compact muddies the divide between refugees and migrants, but as Prof. Hathaway noted, it explicitly separates the two. Another commentator alleged it establishes new human rights for migrants, but it doesn’t.

There are flaws: circuitous language and dumb stuff. There’s a section on “promoting independent, objective, and quality reporting” on migration, including cutting off public funds to media outlets that “promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants.” Canada certainly shouldn’t want state re-education of the media to be an accepted notion in such documents.

It is worth asking whether this loose collection of words is worthwhile.

Chris Alexander, the former Conservative immigration minister, who tweeted that Mr. Scheer’s warnings were factually incorrect, also opined that there is nothing wrong in setting out some principles for dealing with migration. Prof. Hathaway said there were some ideas in it that made it “a little bit better than nothing.”

Mr. Scheer has every right to think it’s worse – full of misguided notions. But no, next week’s signing won’t give the UN control over Canada’s borders.

Source:     To right-wingers,the Global Compact for Migration motion is a sign the sky is falling again Campbell Clark December 5, 2018     

Long Live Multilateralism: Why the Global Compact for Migration Matters

Kind of ironic reading this commentary which includes the quote “It looked like an impossible bet, but the Global Compact has cut through the noise of xenophobia and populism” while seeing considerable anti-Global Compact messaging from many on the right (e.g., MALCOLM: The UN migration compact spells radical change for Canada) and far right:

U.N. MEMBER STATES last week finalized the text of the first ever international agreement on global migration. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is the result of nearly two years of intense and – at times fraught – negotiations. The U.S. left the negotiating table at an early stage and Hungary pulled out at the end of negotiations. Others have threatened to follow
suit.

But they did not leave. Instead, last Friday, national delegations from all over the world gave the Swiss and Mexican co-facilitators and the U.N.Special Representative on Migration Louise Arbour a standing ovationfor achieving an “historic breakthrough” on global migration.

Migration experts have a tendency to be skeptical of such language, usually with good reason. However, it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the political salience of the Global Compact, despite its limitations. It has the potential to help bring at least some real change to how the world approaches migration. In the current political climate, that is a significant achievement.

WHEN THE COMPACT PROCESS STARTED TWO YEARS AGO, MANY WERE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE LIKELIHOOD OF THE GCMSEEING THE LIGHT OF THE DAY.

To begin with the limitations: Like most globally negotiated agreements, the GCM is far from perfect and is not a done deal. For a start, it is a voluntary non-binding agreement, unlike the 1951 Refugee Convention. While the text is now final, the GCM will not be formally adopted by U.N. member states until December at a global summit in Marrakech, Morocco. More states may still pull out of the deal. While it is unlikely that many other world leaders will want to be associated with Donald Trump and Hungary’s Viktor Orban, migration debates are highly sensitive and volatile in many countries, so it is possible that other states will pull out of the deal. Finally, the text is necessarily the result of several compromises, and not all issues have been adequately addressed or resolved. First and foremost of these is the relationship between irregular migration and diminishing legal pathways for people to migrate.

Yet let’s remember that when the Compact process started two years ago, many were skeptical about the likelihood of the GCM seeing the light of the day. Others believed that the text would have to be watered down as to become hollow. None of this was the case.

The significance of the political and diplomatic process leading up to the GCM agreement cannot be exaggerated. States engaged, discussed and found ways to compromise. Many non-state actors – including me – contributed and helped shape the ideas and innovations in the text. The co-facilitators listened and managed to translate the complex political dialogue into a text that, while not perfect and the result of many necessary compromises, is dense with proposals.

At a time when European states cannot reach a meaningful agreement to cooperate while an increasing number of people die at sea, and with Trump pushing an ever harder line on immigration at home and abroad, it is more urgent than ever to commit to discover and test new forms of international cooperation and to explore solutions and pragmatic ways forward. The GCM offers a framework to do just that. In the words of the Swiss ambassador for development, forced displacement and migration during Friday’s ceremony at the U.N.: “It looked like an impossible bet, but the Global Compact has cut through the noise of xenophobia and populism.”

So what to make of the text itself? I see it as a springboard for doing migration differently. Sure, it is long – with 23 objectives, limited internal coherence and perhaps not enough of a sense of purpose. It falls short of doing the right thing on something as important as child detention – where states could not agree to simply end detaining children, but rather to “ensuring availability and accessibility of a viable range of alternatives to detention in non-custodial contexts, favouring community-based care arrangement.”

“IT LOOKED LIKE AN IMPOSSIBLE BET, BUT THE GLOBAL COMPACT HAS CUT THROUGH THE NOISE OF XENOPHOBIA AND POPULISM.”

On matters of migration and development, the text recognizes that migration can help achieve development outcomes and as such it is a cornerstone of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development. That’s no small result. However, the text also falls back into donor-convenient rhetoric of suggesting that development policies, programs and money can address the “adverse drivers” of migration, when there is little evidence that development aid can stem irregular movement.

Even so, the text is also rich in ideas and innovations; for example, the proposal to establish skills partnerships between countries to facilitate labor mobility.

Is it a “laughable wish list” as someone on Twitter suggested to me? I rather see it as a pragmatic and potentially very useful menu of options – or a “treasure chest”. It will be down to states but also political leaders, policymakers, mayors, businesses, activists, researchers and others to make good use of the ideas in the GCM and to put the text into action.

And when it comes to action, I believe that the non-binding nature of the Compact can be a blessing, not a curse. We have seen time and time again countries signing up to international agreements and failing to respect them. There are limits to how far legal frameworks can deliver on a phenomenon as politically charged and complex as global migration, where the appetite for international cooperation is, frankly, limited. It requires political leadership and long-term vision, fueled by innovation and experimentation. So a pragmatic voluntary agreement like the GCMcan come in handy, as a platform for negotiations, deals and dialogue.

What to expect next? In the months leading up to the Compact’s formal approval at the Marrakech Summit, it will be vital for action to take place at different levels: governments can begin to establish or re-energize bilateral or multilateral collaborations, commitments should be made to fund and deliver specific objectives and actions, mayors could proactively use the Compact objectives to form coalitions and agree action plans. In short, discussions should begin in earnest between all of us willing to make the best use of the GCM as a platform for action.

This is clearly just the beginning of the journey, and I am under no illusion that it will be an easy one. I also know that internationally negotiated agreements cannot resolve all the challenges or make the most of all the opportunities of global migration. But it feels so good – for once – to have something to build on rather than despair about.

Source: https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2018/07/19/long-live-multilateralism-why-the-global-compact-for-migration-matters?utm_source=Refugees

Kellie Leitch criticized over tweet attacking Syrian refugee program

Deservedly so. Sun columnist and former Conservative ministerial staffer Candice Malcolm, the originator of the line (The real legacy of Trudeau’s Syrian refugee program), merits the same:

Conservative MP Kellie Leitch is facing new criticism after she issued a tweet portraying the legacy of the Liberals’ Syrian refugee program as a lone domestic violence case involving a Syrian refugee in Fredericton.

Social media erupted after Ms. Leitch tweeted Sunday: “A battered wife and a bloodied hockey stick. That’s the legacy of Trudeau’s Syrian refugee program,” quoting and including a link to a Toronto Sun column about a Syrian refugee in Fredericton who beat his wife with a hockey stick. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Ms. Leitch’s tweet is as disgraceful as domestic violence itself.

“It’s [domestic violence] clearly something that we abhor and we condemn. What Ms. Leitch is doing is equally reprehensible because she’s tying in a problem that exists everywhere – both in refugee communities and in … our society. This is a problem that many societies grapple with. She’s tying that in with our refugee policy,” Ms. Hussen said in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Monday.

The column, written by Candice Malcolm last Friday, attempts to make the case for Ms. Leitch’s Canadian values test, saying it would have “gone a long way” in the case of Mohamad Rafia, who told the court he didn’t know it was against Canadian law to beat his wife. The Syrian refugee, who arrived in Canada 14 months ago, was sentenced to one year probation, according to a report by The Daily Gleaner on June 8.

Ms. Leitch’s proposed “Canadian values test” was a key part of her recent Conservative leadership campaign. The test would make newcomers go through face-to-face interviews with trained immigration officers to screen for Canadian values such as freedom, tolerance and generosity.

Ms. Leitch lost last month’s Conservative leadership vote, dropping off the ballot at the ninth of thirteen rounds with 7.95 per cent of the vote. Andrew Scheer won the race and now leads the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, where Ms. Leitch sits on his front bench.

When contacted by The Globe Monday, Ms. Leitch’s phone line went dead. Follow-up calls were not answered.

Asked about Ms. Leitch’s tweet, Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said she would not speak on behalf of her colleague.

“I’m not going to speak on behalf of one member of our party. I’m going to speak on behalf of the record of our former government and the very positive and assertive position that we’ve taken as a party since the last election on a Conservative vision for helping the world’s most vulnerable, including refugees.”

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan accused Ms. Leitch of “fear mongering.”

“Kellie Leitch continues to spout divisive dog-whistle rhetoric even after her own party rejected her and her ideas,” Ms. Kwan said.

Source: Kellie Leitch criticized over tweet attacking Syrian refugee program – The Globe and Mail

Activist judge puts stop to citizenship revocation | Candice Malcolm

The usual rant against “unelected”  and “activist” judges (all judges are unelected and “activist” is used when government over-reach is ruled against).

The value of Canadian citizenship was undermined by the “streamlined” revocation process for those guilty of misrepresentation by not providing the basic right to a hearing.

As legal experts testified during hearings on C-24 and C-6, those given a parking ticket had greater procedural protections than those whose citizenship was in question.

The court ruling recognized that, as did the Senate in passing an amendment to C-6 to ensure procedural protections.

As government legal opinions are protected under ATIP (for valid reasons), we will never know the degree to which government lawyers cautioned the previous government on the risks of their approach to revocation (I suspect they did):

An unelected judge has made a ruling that will significantly weaken the value of Canadian citizenship.

The landmark decision delivered by the Federal Court this week drastically restricts the government’s ability to revoke citizenship from people who gained it through fraud or misrepresentation.

The previous Conservative government introduced a streamlined process for stripping citizenship from fraudsters, liars and terrorists. Canada has long revoked citizenship from those who become Canadians on false pretenses – a policy that even Justin Trudeau defended in 2015.

Despite Trudeau’s big talk that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian,” his government stripped more citizenships in its first year in office than the previous Conservative government had in seven years.

But now, thanks to judicial activism pushing a big government agenda, the streamlined process will be dismantled.

Individuals found to have lied or cheated to become a citizen will be afforded more tax-payer funded resources to plead their case and appeal decisions they don’t like.

Justice Jocelyne Gagné determined that while the rules do not violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, they do infringe upon Canada’s Bill of Rights. Gagné ruled that those facing citizenship revocation “should be afforded an oral hearing before a court.”

This will all but end the practice of stripping citizenship. It will become too costly, too resource-intensive and too time-consuming.

The previous Conservative government spent years carefully crafting legislation to protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship. They held consultations, worked with non-partisan civil servants and cautiously introduced new rules to crack down on fraud and abuse in Canada’s immigration system.

Now, in a single day and without a coherent alternative, an activist judge has undone it with the slap of a gavel.

One unelected judge has overruled years of legislative accomplishments from Canada’s elected officials.

In our system of government, the judicial branch is designed to be a check on executive power. There is no practical check, however, on the unelected judges who lord over the Federal Court.

Canada’s judges have become super-legislators. They’ve given themselves the power to strike down laws they disagree with, and mask their dogmatic ideology with legalese.

Absurd decisions have become commonplace by activists on the bench.

In 2014, one judge struck down a policy to cut off additional welfare benefits to failed asylum seekers who were awaiting deportation from Canada.

The judge said it was “cruel and unusual” to deny bogus refugees – people already rejected by a Canadian immigration judge – from receiving healthcare benefits above and beyond what Canadian citizens receive.

You can’t make this stuff up.

In another case, legal obstacles thrown in front of immigration officials led to a lengthy delay in deporting career criminal Clinton Gayle. In the meantime, this thug was able to stay in Canada, commit crime after crime, and eventually murder a Toronto police officer.

When it comes to protecting the rights of foreign criminals, judges are steadfast. But when it comes to protecting Canadians – our safety, security and the value of our citizenship – these activist judges are nowhere to be found.

The decisions made by activist judges on the Federal Court have real consequences. Justice Gagné’s decision will no doubt make it much more difficult to strip citizenship and deport convicted fraudsters, gangsters, terrorists and war criminals.

The rights and freedoms of foreign criminals are judiciously protected by activist judges on the Federal Court. As for law-abiding Canadians? The jury is still out.

Source: Activist judge puts stop to citizenship revocation | MALCOLM | Columnists | Opin

Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Is Horrifying | Time.com

Hopefully, the Trump administration will learn from this and ensure proper vetting of all future policy decisions.

But I am not hopeful given their tendency to dig in rather than listen (the Holocaust Day press release not mentioning Jewish victims being a case in point):

The malevolence of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees is mitigated chiefly—and perhaps only—by the astonishing incompetence of its drafting and construction.

NBC is reporting that the document was not reviewed by DHS, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, and that National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. Moreover, the New York Times writes that Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the agencies tasked with carrying out the policy, were only given a briefing call while Trump was actually signing the order itself. Yesterday, the Department of Justice gave a “no comment” when asked whether the Office of Legal Counsel had reviewed Trump’s executive orders—including the order at hand. (OLC normally reviews every executive order.)

This order reads to me, frankly, as though it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all.

CNN offers extraordinary details:

Administration officials weren’t immediately sure which countries’ citizens would be barred from entering the United States. The Department of Homeland Security was left making a legal analysis on the order after Trump signed it. A Border Patrol agent, confronted with arriving refugees, referred questions only to the President himself, according to court filings.

. . .It wasn’t until Friday — the day Trump signed the order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days — that career homeland security staff were allowed to see the final details of the order, a person with the familiar the matter said.

. . .The policy team at the White House developed the executive order on refugees and visas, and largely avoided the traditional interagency process that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security agencies to provide operational guidance, according to numerous officials who spoke to CNN on Saturday.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Department of Homeland Security leadership saw the final details shortly before the order was finalized, government officials said.

Friday night, DHS arrived at the legal interpretation that the executive order restrictions applying to seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen — did not apply to people who with lawful permanent residence, generally referred to as green card holders.

The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout. That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.

As I shall explain, in the short term, the incompetence is actually good news for people who believe in visa and refugee policies based on criteria other than—let’s not be coy about this—bigotry and religious discrimination. The President has created a target-rich environment for litigation that will make his policies, I suspect, less effective than they would have been had he subjected his order to vetting one percent as extreme as the vetting to which he proposes to subject refugees from Bashar al-Assad and the bombing raids of Vladimir Putin.

Source: Donald Trump’s Immigration Order Is Horrifying | Time.com

Candice Malcolm in the Sun highlights issues pertaining to dual nationals, of particular concern given her husband’s Iranian ancestry, but finds little fault with the other aspects of the executive order:

There is a lot to unpack in Trump’s EO, and while trying to understand the law and its impact, it’s important to separate the facts from the hysteria.

First, and despite the rhetoric, this is not a Muslim Ban.

The vast majority of the world’s Muslims, including all American Muslims, will not be directly affected by this order.

The EO includes a four-month pause on all refugees, and a three-month ban on all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. The ban includes all citizens of these seven countries, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, and athiests. The order does not list any religion, nor does it ban people from the world’s most populous Muslim countries.

Second, it is untrue that no nationals of the countries on Trump ban list have perpetrated an act of Islamic terrorism on US soil.

Both the 2016 mall attack in St. Cloud, Minnesota and the attack at Ohio State University were carried out by Somali nationals. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Senators Jeff Sessions and Ted Cruz released a report highlighting the 580 individuals who have been convicted on terrorism charges in the U.S. since the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. Of the 380 foreign-born terrorists, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen and 19 were from Iraq.

Curiously, the largest terrorists-producing countries, including Pakistan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories are not included in the blanket ban. Likewise, the 9/11 hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia, another country not included in the ban.

That Trump didn’t include these countries is puzzling, and undermines the national security rationale behind this order.

The most troubling aspect of this order is the blanket ban on nationals from seven countries. The wording is clunky – simply saying the US will “suspend entry” for these nationals.

There is a difference between increased screening and a flat-out ban. This is a ban that will turn away lawful residents at the border.

There have been contradictory reports and messages from different government offices, but it seems that the ban applies to legal residents, green-card holders and even dual citizens travelling with Canadian passports.

There have been reports of green-card holders being handcuffed and detained at U.S. airports. This is reckless and wrong.

Trump immigration EO needs major changes