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  Election 2011

  A retrospective on family immigration

The federal election of 2011 has ended and we have a majority Conservative government. It is not my place to question the way Canadians voted but rather to reflect on how it may affect immigration to the country. I listened to an interview with the Immigration Minister Jason Kenny as part of the election coverage on CBC television and he was overjoyed in explaining that his government now enjoys the support of over two thirds of the Chinese Canadian community. He was quick to put these comments into perspective by pointing out that the Liberal government used to enjoy the strong support of new Canadians, but the winds of change are blowing. We now have a majority Tory government with the NDP as the official opposition party. Where will things go from here?

Let us hope that the electorate will hold the elected government to it’s promise to increase family immigration numbers including the sponsorship of parents and grandparents. This change was announced during the recent campaign and there are a number of watchdogs who will ensure that Minister Kenny holds to his word, including the official opposition NDP who will now appoint their own immigration critic. One of the best people who could be appointed to the shadow cabinet is MP Olivia Chow who has already distinguished herself as a parliamentarian and is very knowledgeable on Canadian immigration.

It is also hoped that the Liberal party, who have played such a prominent role in the history of our country will not become a marginal third party, such as the Bloc Quebecois who no longer have official party status because of their poor election showing. The party of prominent Liberal prime ministers such as Laurier, MacKenzie-King, Pearson and Trudeau have played a major role in ensuring that immigration was strongly promoted in our historical past and can do the same in the future, if and when they recover from this devastating election.

For my part I shall retire and take stock of changes in Canadian immigration and make our readers aware.

It is important first that all Canadian understand and appreciate the importance of immigration for the welfare and future of our country. Immigration is not something to be feared but rather to be embraced. Immigration is how we define ourselves. It explains not only where our families or we came from but also who we are as Canadians. It is still possible to be both Filipino and Canadian and this is something found in our multi-cultural Canada. All Canadians have learned a lot from the newcomers who came from the Philippines and our community in turn has adopted many of the characteristics and manners of mainstream Canadians.

The election results have taught us all, including this writer, a valuable lesson. Voters from the Filipino community will not only vote for one party but rather, like other Canadians, choose the one that represents their interest or values. Pundits can no longer assume that community members will vote only Liberal, PC or NDP. They will vote like other Canadians on their individual knowledge and opinion about the issues. Some will be more informed than others, or have stronger opinions and that is a reality in our democracy. My role is to ensure that the readers continue to be informed on immigration issues, but in the end, the readers will make up their own minds about who should receive their vote.

Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. He can be reached at 838 Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg, (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. E-mail:

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