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Are we open? Definitely not!

Sometimes, I am scared that I am becoming sarcastic more or less. Instead of checking my emails and unpaid bills, I go to cic.gc.ca to see which another bomb has been dropped by the honorable minister. It has been several weeks now that I had enjoyed my morning cup of coffee without the added stress given by our minister. But when I get out and meet my friends, my anxiety of losing my mind vanishes as everyone is desperate and talking about the same issues! They are as depressed as I am.

Canada is becoming another name for hypocrisy when it comes to its Immigration policies. It is a known fact that this country cannot survive or thrive without the immigrants as its own birth rate is extremely low. But the recent policy changes has made us think if we are really open to public or we are just making false claims of our openness and welcoming nature.

Though Super Visa has been introduced but the temporary pause on sponsoring parents for two years has left hundreds and thousands of families in despair. Even before the pause was introduced it was taking up to 7 years for family reunification which is simply ridiculous! Instead of bringing in a solution to expedite the process, the minister has just torn this chapter from the book of immigration policies for unspecified time and leaving the public in lurch.

Current waiting time for seeing a specialist in British Columbia alone is several months. And now the doctors and engineers are barred from immigrating to Canada if they do not have a job offer. And because these are regulated skills and trades, even if there are employers interested in recruiting these individuals, the process is awfully cumbersome. I wonder if the immigration minister ever consults with the other departments before making decisions. Had he done this, he would have better known that Service Canada is issuing tens of positive labour market opinions every day. Is it not contrary to curbing the skilled worker category altogether?

Immigration minister has put the lives of 300,000 applicants in jeopardy all over the world when he decided and returned their applications after breaking his promise of fast tracking their permanent residence applications. He was uncompetitive enough to take this step and bring shame to the country. I am sure he is not ashamed of his decisions as he is off to impose one on another inhumane policy and there is no stopping him anywhere. Processing times are at its all-time highest.

Developed countries like Canada are considered safe haven for the refugees who are unable to get the protection in their own country due to one or the other reason. In most cases they have lost everything in their home countries before they seek refuge in another country. And from now onwards, these people who are already in distress will be put in to jails in Canada until their claim is processed. Canada will surely become no less than Osama Bin Laden whom the public fears even after his death!

I dare say that Mr. Kenney is portraying himself as Hitler day after day and is feared by the general public. Every morning when I get up I wonder who will be kicked out of Canada today? And Iranians? Isn’t it their bad luck that they chose Canada to be the country of their dreams? These law abiding citizens wouldn’t have imagined in their weirdest dreams that this would happen to them after being loyal to the country for many years; paying their taxes in time; giving to the community and adding to the prosperity of the country. What else can be expected than the millions of dollars’ law suits on the government now? If some of these people turn rogue, I ask you is it their fault? Canada is indeed igniting people to take some extreme steps which will never be beneficial for the prosperity of the country.

Given an option, Canada now will be the last country of choice for me. Because however big the smile may be on the minister’s face while making a Welcome to Canada speech but the fact is that We are not open to public: we (I mean Mr. Kenney) pick and choose people whom we wish to immigrate to Canada!

Renu Goel
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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