Monday, July 11, 2005

Do the Liberals take Immigration Issues Seriously? You Decide.

An open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell

Naeem "Nick" Noorani Publisher,
The Canadian Immigrant Magazine

Dear Premier Campbell:

Congratulations on your re-election in the last provincial
election. We hope that in your next four years as leader
of this province you will focus more attention on the
integration of immigrants in this province - a crucial
area in which your government and our province has
not been doing so well.

In the recent 2004 Inter-Provincial Report Card on
Language and Settlement Services in Canada
, B.C.
received a failing grade; other provinces like Ontario,
Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba fared much better.
The Canada West Foundation corroborated these
results recently after conducting a year-long research
study - it found that current immigration policy and
practice in western Canada is flawed, and immigrants
are not being allowed to achieve their potential.

Read the letter in it's entirety.


What excellent and common sense ideas that the
BC government should, but probably won't implement.
Hmm, what Wally Oppal's got to say about these things,
he is the
Minister responsible for Multiculturalism?
Gee, I seem to have a problem, can't exactly find
the Ministry of Multiculturalism on the "government at
a glance" website,
hmm? I wonder where it is? But I did find this
2003/4 Report on Multiculturalism from the BC government.
I bet it reads a bit different than the Report Card.
Hmm, which one to believe?

Another thing, I checked out the Ministry of
Labour and Citizens Services
and can't seem to find
much in the way of services beyond labour issues.
I'd think immigration was a "citizen's service."
Everything on the government website that I
can find pretty much dates back to the time of
the MCAWS conglomeration, including govern-
ment planning and issues of immigration.

Step it up Liberals. Mr. Noorani is exactly right,
we must provide the resources to support and
assist new Canadians in settling here, children and
adults need ESL courses both for the learning of
English, as well as the connections they make with
other new Canadians and the introduction they
receive to some Canadian values and culture.
And being integrated into the labour force is crucial
for all of us. It's a win-win scenario.

Canada needs immigration and we should be honoured
that citizens from around the globe want to make them-
selves at home here. I know that successive generations
of immigration policy have been based on racist premises,
using immigrants as cheap labour. Isn't it time to stop
exploiting and denying the academic credentials and
professionalism of those trained abroad in a variety of
careers. We're really shooting ourselves in the foot,
because I don't know about where you all live, but it is
very hard to find a family doctor, nursing shortages etc. etc.
I suppose there could be a more nefarious plot: by running
the public health care system into the ground, they can
more easily advocate for a private health care system.

I can't write a post about exploitation of immigrants
and not mention the sexism and racism involved in the
nanny trade in Canada.
Advocates call for changes to Ottawa's 'nanny'
. CBC News, (
25 Mar 2005).

VANCOUVER - The Department of Immigration and the
Philippines Congress are now investigating Canada's Live
-in Caregiver Program - which provides thousands of
Canadian households with nannies - after claims the
program violates those workers' human rights.

In most cases, women who want to emigrate to Canada
come as nannies and live with their Canadian employers.

More Federal Funding for Immigrant Services is

Good News
- But It Will Only Be Effective if Spent On
Core Settlement and Language Services, Author of New
Report Card Warns

Simon Fraser University Releases a New Inter-
Provincial Report Card on Language and Settlement
Services for Immigrants in Canada: A System in Crisis.
Visible Minorities in BC: A Directory of Some
Ethno-cultural Organizations in BC.
Racism, Sexism, and Visible Minority Immigrant Women
in Canada.
Roxana Ng.

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