Saturday, 21 March 2009

Should Immigrants Who Do Not Speak English Or French Well Enough Be Denied Citizenship? Jason Kenney Thinks So.

And so do I.

Immigrants need French or English, Kenney says

Mar 21, 2009 04:30 AM

CALGARY – Immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, says the federal immigration minister.

In a speech to an immigration conference yesterday in Calgary, Jason Kenney said Canada needs to improve its efforts to integrate newcomers and "one area that we can ask immigrants in the country to make a greater effort (in) is that of language."

Kenney later told reporters that immigration needs an overhaul and an effort must be made to ensure immigrants and those who want to become citizens speak French or English competently. He said the requirement exists but isn't being enforced enough.

Kenney worries that granting citizenship without guaranteeing language skills puts a new Canadian at an economic and social disadvantage. And he wants to know how some people who can't speak either of Canada's official languages got through the system.


He's right. As critics have pointed out language proficiency in either of Canada's official languages is key for an immigrant's successful economic integration. I don't even know why this should even be an issue.

To add, it is only respectful to learn the language of the people you chose to live with.

This statement by Jason Kenney and his acknowledgment that the immigration system needs an overhaul makes me think that there may be hope with the minister after all. After his refusal to lower immigration targets and the number of temporary foreign workers in the wake of an economic melt down, I passed him off as another careerist politician who cares more about his party's chances with ethnic voters than doing what is right for the country.

I'm hoping he decreases immigration targets but I'm not holing my breath. So many tax dollars are wasted on a bloated and out of control immigration system the government can save a lot of money if it does especially in a time when it is running a deficit.


Andrew White said...

Interestingly, the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was an Act of the Parliament of Australia which introduced the dictation test, which required a person seeking entry to Australia to write out a passage of fifty words dictated to them in any European language, not necessarily English, at the discretion of an immigration officer.

Andrew White said...

More propaganda from the Star.

Nicholas Keung

"In the early 1990s, with signs of a recession looming, Cynthia Lai rushed to sell her downtown condominiums, anticipating a real estate market crash similar to those of previous economic downturns. She miscalculated.

"I dumped all my condos because I didn't know the market would have been sustained by immigration, which, I think, saved our economy in the 1990s," said Lai, a realtor in Toronto since 1983."

From 1990 to 1996 average house prices, in the GTA, dropped at least 30%. PDF

"Lai, who came here from Hong Kong in 1972, pointed out that newcomers generally are more inclined to own homes. "People from Hong Kong, China and India all believe in home ownership," she said. "The first thing they do when they come here is buy a house. Had we not had immigrants sustaining the (real estate) market, the bubble would have burst a long time ago."

The bubble, of course, did burst in 1990, and mass immigration did not sustain it. Why is it always China and India? Why discriminate against immigration from Europe, if immigration is necessary? In addition is she saying Canadians don't believe in home ownership?

PaxCanadiana said...

It's just more over exageration of the alleged benefits of mass immigration particularly by a real estate agent/speculator.

Her claims are suspect. Some have admitted that what was driving the condo boom in Toronto is speculation and I'm now curious how much of that speculation is the cause of Asian immigrants. Real estate speculation is a favourite Asian past time. Look at Hong Kong and now many buildings in Beijing stand vacant.

But the real question is can immigrants afford the homes they bought and if so with what job? Securing a mortgage is one thing. Paying it off, well that's something other.

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Anonymous said...

I work with some immigrants that will only speak their native tongue around the rest us. I find that rude and also non trustworthy.if our country is so great for you then show some respect, speak English!