Publié dans le Ottawa Citizen, 11 juli 2012.
If you were throwing an open house party, would you trash-talk the guests to your neighbours? Probably not. It’s strange, then, that even as the Harper government aims to sustain Canada’s economic growth by taking in some 260,000 newcomers in 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney spends so much time talking about how his reforms are protecting Canadians from unscrupulous foreigners.
Kenney should rethink this kind of talk. As Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson has recently argued, the onslaught of recent immigration reforms risks rousing “nativist fears” that might turn “the tide of opinion” against Canada’s openness to the newcomers our national economy needs to thrive.
But it’s important to be more precise about where the danger lies — because it’s not in the mere fact of the policy reforms themselves. Some of the changes the government has introduced make good sense (including changes to citizenship acquisition rules, swifter deportation for non-citizen criminals, and a better process for choosing skilled worker applicants).
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