New Democrat Immigration Critic Olivia Chow Criticizes Horrendously Long Wait Times
February 16, 2011
Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, Canadians should not have to wait for seven years to be united with their parents. In Beijing and New Delhi alone, 20,000 parents are stuck waiting in the queue. Some parents have died waiting to live with their children and some never got a chance to hug their grandchildren, yet the minister slashed the immigration quota for parents by 40%.
How can the minister claim to respect the elderly, to believe in family values?
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. When we plan the immigration levels to come to Canada, we put priority number one on job creation. We need young immigrants who are going to pay taxes and contribute to our health care system. We need to prioritize spouses and dependent children. We are receiving more refugees, for whom need to discharge our humanitarian obligations.
We cannot satisfy 100% of the demands 100% of the time without massive increases in the overall level of immigration, which we simply are not capable of absorbing even though we have the highest relative level of immigration in the world.
We are committed to family reunification and we are delivering on that.