IRCC Minister commends Richmond council for tackling birth tourism

No signalling of change or new studies or initiatives as expected (need to await the results of the IRCC, CIHI, StatsCan analysis of those non-resident self-pay on visitor visas compared to other temporary residents):

Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, told the Richmond News the federal government wants to “weed out” abuses of the immigration system, but he added the principle of “jus soli” – birthright citizenship – has served Canada well.

Birthright citizenship has been in existence in Canada since 1947 and it is also a common practise in other countries, like the U.S. and some Commonwealth countries, Mendicino pointed out.

“There are families who do come to Canada and do avail themselves of this principle and they’re able to bestow upon their children Canadian citizenship as a result of this principle – along with that a number of rights and privileges,” he said, adding “it’s a principle that has absolutely served the country well.”

But Richmond has become known as the “epicentre” of birth tourism, attracting people who come to give birth here in order to secure Canadian citizenship for their baby. In the past year, 23 per cent of babies born at Richmond Hospital were born to non-residents.

Several businesses advertise – exclusively in the Chinese language – for birth tourism services, saying they will provide accommodations for pregnant women and help with after-care and paperwork.

Richmond council passed a motion on Monday to push the minister to end automatic citizenship for babies born to non-residents.

Mendicino said he “commends” the mayor and council of Richmond for having a discussion about the birth tourism and he will reflect on the motion that was passed. The issue needs to be monitored and tracked “very closely,” he said.

“I think we should express some gratitude to the City of Richmond and the council for examining the issue and advocating what the issues are within the context of the concern,” he said. “It’s more about determining and finding where the abuses are within the system rather than getting rid of the principle.”

Mendicino said the federal government is taking “concrete steps” to strengthen the oversight of immigration consultants “to really hold accountable any individuals who are trying to backdoor or take advantage of the system.”

He added the federal government wants to work with provincial partners and municipalities like Richmond to “weed out any abuse of our immigration system.”

There was a level of frustration at Richmond council on Monday – directed somewhat at Vancouver Coastal Health, the provincial government and the federal government – as councillors debated the merits and wording of a letter to push the federal minister of immigration to tackle birth tourism.

Voting against the motion were Couns. Alexa Loo, Kelly Greene and Michael Wolfe.

While Greene said she’s 100 per cent against birth tourism, she felt the motion was worded so that it could cause “disproportionate harm” to “vulnerable people such as refugees and stateless people.”

She said the harm would be exclusively to people of colour and she didn’t want to see at-risk people further marginalized.

“The motion should be to stop birth tourism,” Greene said. “It’s not – it asks to stop birthright citizenship for a broad swath of people.”

Coun. Bill McNulty said he sees birth tourism in his neighbourhood and called on senior governments to take action.

“I think this is an issue that really has put us in a vulnerable position – the two levels of government are totally out of touch with what’s happening in the communities,” McNulty said.

He also suggested the city needs to push Vancouver Coastal Health into action, considering 66 per cent of non-resident births in B.C. take place at Richmond Hospital.

Au echoed the sentiment that VCH should look into the issue, saying the health authority is “not willing to touch this.”

However, VCH spokesperson Catherine Loiacono pointed out this is a federal issue and health care professionals have a duty to provide care to anyone who needs it.
“Care is always triaged according to the safety of the mother and baby – mothers needing immediate care are seen first,” she added.

Nursing baseline staffing is based on patient volumes – not on census data. A staffing review in 2019 found that Richmond Hospital is staffed “appropriately” for patient safety and quality care, Loiacono said. Because the nature of giving birth is unpredictable, if there are increased numbers of patients, more resources are brought in, she added.

Source: Minister commends Richmond council for tackling birth tourism

Liberal Platform and Mandate Letter Comparison: IRCC and Diversity, Inclusion and Youth

Now that the mandate letters are out, went through the letters for Ministers Mendicino and Chagger, supplementing with other Ministers as needed (e.g., Justice, Public Safety, Innovation). The following table contrasts the platform commitments with the mandate letters, with no major surprises or omissions.

The most striking point was the relatively large number of Minister Chaggar’s commitments, although many are shared with other Ministers.

Hope you find this helpful and welcome any comments.

Liberal Platform and Mandate Letters 2019 – Immigration and Diversity Related

Trudeau Turns the Page on #Immigration. About time! : Corriere Canadese

The Corriere Canadese and its editor, former Liberal immigration minister Joe Volpe (Martin government) has been advocating for Hussen’s ouster for some time (the criticisms are overblown IMO).

We will never know whether these concerns played a role in his replacement by an Italian Canadian, but as noted before, there has been tension for some time between traditional and newer immigrant groups supporting the Liberals. For example, the Saint Léonard-Saint Michel Liberal nomination contest between Italian Canadian and non-Italian Canadian candidates being a recent example.

The program actually plays little attention to citizenship or country of origin, contrary to what is asserted in the article. Moreover, Express Entry dramatically improved processing times for economic class immigrants. And visible minorities have formed close to 80 percent of all immigrants over the past 20 years.

But a good example of tension between historic and newer groups of new Canadians, and how they perceive their relative influence on Liberal immigration policies:

The first signs are positive. Justin Trudeau has decided to intervene in the immigration department chaos with the replacement of the now exminister Ahmed Hussen by promoting Marco Mendicino to the delicate post. During these last two years, Corriere Canadese has strongly denounced the systemic inconsistencies in the management of migration flows by the Executive – the Minister -responsible for those flaws, the contradictions and the endemic problems that have permeated the immigration sector in our country.

Our survey of the last two weeks has documented with numbers, data and statistics – all provided directly by the Ministry of Immigration – the poor state of health of the entire system, the absurdity of the results produced, the imbalances among geographic origins of the immigrants, the bizarre bureaucratic, linguistic and regulatory obstacles of the Express Entry.

The question was/is very simple: is the current system able to provide a trained and qualified workforce to meet the needs of the Canadian labour market in a timely fashion? The answer was/ is equally simple: absolutely not.

As it is structured, the system itself pays more attention to the citizenship of the newcomers than to their professional preparation, to their work experience or, above all, to the requirements requested by Canadian companies and businesses. It goes without saying that it is necessary to turn the page, intervening with significant structural changes – and not mere cosmetic operations. If that is not enough, then one should consider a complete repeal of the Express Entry program.

This program, envisioned by Harper conservatives, Jason Kenney and Chris Alexander, Conservative Cabinet Ministers, came into force in January 2015.

It has become quite clear that even the Current Prime Minister has not been overwhelmed with enthusiasm by Ahmed Hussen’s work in the two and a half years in offiŽce. His demotion from a key department of government to a previously non-existent Ministry without a portfolio is a clear signal that even Trudeau realized that the management of migration flows in the previous legislature represented a weak point in government action.

Moreover, it was a source of controversy and internal splits creating friction with many communities, starting with Italian Canadians.

The appointment of Mendicino, Eglinton-Lawrence’s MP of Italian origin, represents a clear and precise response to the complaints we have supported – by giving space – for Hussen’s work.

That said, we must point out that, in our opinion, the decision to appoint Mendicino Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is not the goal but a starting point.

He will face a huge amount of work and many problems to solve: the Express Entry, as we have said, but also the thorny issues of undocumented foreign workers – “resolved” by his predecessor with a cynical rise shrug of his shoulders – the inconsistencies of the family reunification system, those of the hasty deportations that violate any principle of common sense and the delicate relationship with the various Provinces on demographic matters.

That sometimes, it is right to point out, they also put their own. Just look at what happened in Ontario, where Prime Minister Doug Ford after the victory of 2018 had the “brilliant idea” – one of many, to tell the truth – to eliminate the Provincial Ministry of Immigration and to entrust its competencies to the Minister for Children and Community and Social Services, a position currently held by Lisa MacLeod.

So, in wishing the new minister good work, we also ask that the government have the strength to turn to ensure that Immigration returns to being one of the strengths of our country’s economic, social and demographic growth.

Source: Trudeau Turns the Page on Immigration. About time!

Marco Mendicino appointed new Canadian immigration minister: Backstory?

A possible backstory for this appointment is that there has been considerable discontent among some Italian Canadians over their relative under-representation in key posts (see the Saint-Léonard Saint-Michel Liberal nomination where a non-Italian, Hassan Guillet, won what was viewed as an Italian Canadian seat before his candidacy being revoked by the LPC and being replaced by Patricia Lattanzio).

More notably, former Liberal immigration minister in the Martin government and current editor of Corriere Canadese, Joe Volpe, has been particularly strident in his critique of Ahmed Hussen:

“Corriere publisher Joe Volpe exhorts Anne McLellan, advisor to Justin Trudeau, to tell the Prime Minister to get rid of those federal ministers who never should have been called to government, first among them Ahmed Hussen. As Immigration Minister, Hussen has been a complete disaster. Nonetheless, approximately 300,000 new entrants, as well as international student visa holders, refugees, and the more than one million undocumented workers (and their families), are at his mercy. Closer to home, he has not lifted a finger to make use of the human resources potential of Italian emigrants ‘young, educated and skilled’ who are leaving Italy each year, going everywhere except Canada. Dismiss him before he causes more damage to the country’s demographic fabric and the Liberal brand, Volpe says.” (1 November, Italian, Corriere Canadese)

—-

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named Marco Mendicino as Canada’s next Minister of Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada.

Mendicino has an extensive background in law. For nearly 10 years he worked as a federal prosecutor, during which time he put members of the “Toronto 18” terror group behind bars. He also worked at the Law Society of Upper Canada, and was the President of the Association of Justice Counsel, where he served for two terms. Mendicino has also advocated for better laws on organized crime and access to justice before the House of Commons and the Senate.

At the time of swearing-in on November 20, he was serving as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. He was involved in advancing government green infrastructure and social infrastructure in Toronto and across Canada.

He was re-elected as the Member of Parliament in the Eglinton-Lawrence riding on October 21, 2019 with 53 per cent of voter support. Before being elected in 2015 he developed a lunch program for families with children going into kindergarten or the installation of a new turf field at John Wanless Public School.

In 2017 he served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, where he helped to advance federal priorities such as Criminal Justice Reform, Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and Restorative Justice.

The new Minister of Immigration also sat on a number of boards and has been involved with the John Wanless Childcare Centre, John Wanless Public School, North Toronto Soccer Club, COSTI Immigration Services, the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee and Heart & Stroke Canada.

Mendicino will be replacing Ahmed Hussen who lead Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) since 2017. Hussen will be taking over the role of Minister of Families Children and Social Development.

Source: https://www.cicnews.com/2019/11/marco-mendicino-appointed-new-canadian-immigration-minister-1113215.html#gs.hcxcwg