Economic class favoured over family reunification?

Is the federal government changing immigration policy to favour the economic class of immigrants over family reunification? That’s what the liberal party is charging.

Due to what’s been reported as a backlog of some 900,000 applicants, immigration minister Diane Finley may soon introduce an amendment to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to limit the number of immigrants. Critics believe it will also change the focus of the type of immigrants Canada will attract and process.

Liberal immigration critic and MP for Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua is quoted in the Thursday, March 13/08 National Post: “The Conservatives are shutting the door on immigration because they fail to understand its importance to our labour markets and our nation-building. The lack of resources devoted to this issue shows they are not serious about immigration”.

Evidence? The story quotes a speech Minister Finley made last November in India, indicating that Canada seeks to attract “the best and the brightest”. But, only last week, the London Free Press reported on a story (A Family Again) about a Somali mother who was reunited with her children after 9 years. A Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesperson is quoted as saying: “This is fulfilling one of our (goals) — family reunification.”

Let’s follow this one closely and keep an eye on what’s happening in Ottawa.