So the Liberals may very well be right on this. It is easy for them to prevent the Conservatives from pushing through this legislation that ought to be debated on its own merits and not with the budget. The Liberals oppose the Reform policy right? They have the power to prevent its passage right? So they will do it right? No, wrong. This is from the Star.
Tories accused of returning to Reform policy
Dion says proposed immigration changes are bid to implement 20-year-old promise
Apr 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Ottawa Bureau Chief
OTTAWA–Federal opposition parties are stepping up their criticism of a contentious overhaul of Canada's immigration system, accusing the Tories of trying to implement 20-year-old Reform party policies.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion yesterday cited the 1988 election platform of the Reform party, a precursor of the Conservatives, that said "immigration should be essentially economic in nature."
"Immigrants should possess the human capital necessary to adjust quickly and independently to the needs of Canadian society and the job market," said the Reform document distributed by the Liberals.
It says that immigration should not be designed to "radically or suddenly alter the ethnic makeup of Canada, as it increasingly seems to be."
Yesterday, Dion said those policies are the motivation behind sweeping proposals to allow the government to give priority to immigrants it deems desirable, such as workers whose skills are in demand, while refusing applications from other categories of immigrants.
"Will the minister admit that the government's attempt to sneak sweeping changes to our immigration system through the back door may look like an attempt to deliver promises made by the Reform party 20 years ago?" Dion said in the Commons.
Deputy NDP leader Thomas Mulcair even suggested that under the new laws, the minister would be able to exclude immigrants from specific countries and regions.
"I believe that the Conservative agenda is to exclude certain countries and certain regions of the world from our immigration policy. I think that's wrong," Mulcair told a news conference. "Something that is objective and neutral is going to be replaced by something that could be very discriminatory."
Government House Leader Peter Van Loan said that changes are needed to reduce a backlog that has swelled to more than 900,000.
"That is not good for the Canadian economy. It is not fair to new Canadians who want to come here, to immigrants who want to add to our economy," Van Loan said.
"We are making the changes that are necessary to have a strong Canadian economy fuelled by the skilled talent that we need from around the world," he said.
The Liberals and New Democrats want the Tories to remove the amendment to immigration law from a budget bill, and propose it as separate legislation to ensure it gets a full parliamentary debate.
"Why does it want to introduce these radical changes through the back door instead of bringing forward independent legislation and allowing a full and open debate in the House of Commons?" Dion said.
Meanwhile, the NDP today will introduce a confidence motion in a bid to defeat the minority Conservatives over "massive" corporate tax cuts that have sharply reduced the federal surplus. By 2010, Ottawa will take in 14 per cent less revenue from corporate taxes while its revenues from personal taxes will go up 12 per cent, Mulcair said.
However, the Liberals will vote against the motion, ensuring the government survives.