Liberal Party of Canada beliefs
On May 2nd 2011, Canada will have a federal election. There are four political parties that will likely win seats in Canada’s Parliament. One of them is the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party has made the following election promises regarding immigration:
- Make fixing the immigration and refugee determination processes a top priority. Specifically, they will improve information and communication, reduce wait times, increase efficiencies, and make the procedures less confusing. They will consult with stakeholders to achieve this.
- Increase the number of family class visas that are issued.
- Expand language training for new Canadians.
- Making the recognition of foreign credentials a priority.
- Phasing out the Mexican temporary resident visa requirement.
What is perhaps most striking about the Liberal Platform’s immigration proposals is how unambitious they are. There is a lot less about immigration in the Liberal Platform than I would have thought considering that the Liberal Party is generally seen as the creators of Canadian multiculturalism and openness. I am evidently not alone in my surprise either, as an article in the Toronto Star written April 18 described the near silence from the Liberal Party on immigration as “baffling“.
Considering that the Liberal Party was the only party in Canada that opposed Bill C-11, I am surprised that there is not anything about reversing or amending some of the recent changes to Canada’s refugee system.
Of course, the Liberal Party platform is not completely empty. It does propose some specific noteworthy changes. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more publicity about the promise to phase out the Mexican temporary resident visa requirement. This visa requirement – imposed in 2009 – has infuriated just about every Canadian of Mexican origin that I have met.
The promise to increase the number of family class visas that are issued is also interesting. What is not clear, however, is if the Liberals would increase the total number of annual immigrants, or if they would reduce the number of immigrants admitted in other categories.
All in all, the Liberal Party of Canada is not making any major promises regarding immigration. Considering that the Liberals were the party that brought us the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, this is perhaps not surprising. However, considering the sheer number of changes that the governing Conservative Party of Canada has either introduced or plans to introduce, the lack of an alternative Liberal vision does raise some eyebrows.