Liberals will Oppose the Conservative Attack on Citizenship
By A Correspondent
John McCallum, Liberal Critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism spoke in opposition to the Government’s new Citizenship changes in the House of Commons.
“When we come to the current government, all of a sudden, the scales shift. Instead of welcoming people to this country, we spend all of our time talking about the small number of people who are not obeying the rules,” said Mr. McCallum in the House.
The Conservative amendments to the Citizenship Act will make it harder for honest, hardworking immigrants to become Canadian citizens. Unlike previous governments of all parties, this government is focusing exclusively on attempting to punish potential rule breakers.
“All of that has changed under the current government. There is very little welcome. It is almost all vigilance. What we hear government members talking about day after day is people cheating the system, people with phony marriages, people who are citizens of convenience, as if that is the whole universe of people coming to this country,” continued Mr. McCallum.
Citizenship policy must be a balance between vigilance and welcome. Every year hundreds of thousands of people take the oath and join our Canadian family. We must continue to welcome those who wish to become contributing members of our society.
“I think it has tilted the priorities away from the traditional Canadian approach that we saw all the way from John Diefenbaker to Paul Martin.”
“My view is to let sunny ways rather than angry ways prevail. Greet the people with a smile instead of a scowl and do not put up these new barriers all the time.”