On 10th January, Conservative Party Leadership Candidate Deepak Obhrai released his vision for Canada’s immigration policy. “Immigration is a necessity to build a prosperous Canada, as has always been the case” stated Mr. Obhrai. “It is still possible to be pro-immigration AND to be conservative.”
Obhrai continued, “We should not change what has been effective over the last 10 years in regards to what we are doing to attract new immigrants, or how we are selecting them, however we should be more careful with how we spend money on newcomers once they are here.” He added, “When I arrived forty years ago, I did not rely on the government to settle and integrate. Today, I am a proud product of Canada, and as such I question the need to spend $1 billion in settlement costs.”
OBHRAI’S IMMIGRATION POLICY
RE: General Immigration
- Settlement costs for general immigrants will be cut (except for refugees), freeing up $1 Billion Dollars.
- The selection process should be based on skills that Canada needs;
- The robust security system already in place should continue;
- Annual immigration targets should be of 275,000, made up of skilled and semi-skilled workers;
- There will be a new category of low skilled workers, capped at 10,000, to be selected based on a lottery system;
- Those holding student visas will be fast-tracked to permanent residence. This will ensure a steady growth for our economy,
- The reliance on temporary foreign workers (TFWs) should be reduced, and only labour shortages should be filled with TFWs; TFWs cannot and should not increase our economy;
- The family reunification category will be maintained;
- We already have face to face interviews when issues are flagged. This has been the most effective and cost efficient way, as implemented by the previous Conservative government;
- Immigration officers abroad are already screening visitors from countries that misuse our immigration system, through the granting of tourist visas. To add another unnecessary layer to this existing process will be a huge burden to tax payers.
- There needs to be a move away from government sponsorship to private-sponsored refugees. This will ensure a speedier settlement and integration process for newcomers;
- Government-sponsored refugees who rely on settlement funds will be expected to reimburse any settlement costs used when they are in a favorable position.
- The government should move away from the United Nations system of recognizing refugees and implement a Canadian-made protocol; this needs to change so as to avoid a repetition of the current plight of the Yazidis and accommodate such future instances of support;
- Funding for refugee camps needs to be improved, as increasing our refugee intake does not address the global refugee issue;
- All potential immigrants and refugees will be provided with a booklet that speaks of our human rights principles and our Charter of Freedoms when their visas are issued. At present a booklet highlighting this is only issued to permanent residents on track for citizenship.
For more information, and behind the scenes quips, follow Deepak’s special Facebook live event on Friday January 13th, 2017 at 2PM EST (12PM MT) at www.facebook.com/deepakobhrai which will accompany the launch of the weekly newsletter The DeepakAge