Thursday, October 01, 2009

And suddenly Jason Kenney goes quiet

The Conservatives are jumping all over a little private members bill introduced recently by Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla. It's similar to a bill quietly introduced by former Liberal MP in the last parliament, that won support from the BQ and NDP before dying on the order paper when the Harper Conservatives forced the last election. It's a bill that deals with pension benefits for immigrant seniors:

The minority Conservative government is in full opposition mode over a Liberal MP's private member's bill that would allow immigrant seniors to qualify for Old Age Security after spending only three years in the country.

Of course, as is their practice, the Conservatives are actively spreading fear and misinformation about the proposal. Diane Finley (she who spread propaganda that inflated the cost of the Liberal EI reform proposal by several billion dollars) is up top her own tricks again, telling people the proposal would confer full benefits on immigrant seniors after three years, when that's just not true:
Under her proposal, Dhalla said, immigrant seniors who have lived in the country for three years would qualify only for partial OAS benefits of $38.77 a month — nowhere near the maximum payment of $516.96 a month collected by native or foreign-born residents who have lived here for 40 years.

So, Conservatives spread misinformation and distort the truth, nothing new there.

But what is interesting is that, as the Conservatives "quietly rub their hands in glee", as Finley hits the media to distort the facts once again, and as the Conservatives paint images of entitled immigrants feeding at the public through as red meat for their base, we're not hearing a word from Jason Kenney.

Yes, Jason Kenney, the Conservative immigration minister, he who has made it his mission (and a fairly successful one, at that) to make Conservative inroads with immigrant communities. Kenney, who was never misses a cultural or immigrant-related event.

Where is Jason Kenney on this issue, as Finley goes to town on the truth and his Conservative colleauges stoke-up the anger over the notion of givign immigrant seniors even minimal pension benefits? Why isn't Kenney joining in the Conservative chorus denouncing Dhalla's proposal?

One wonders what Jason's new friends have to say about his old friends.

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Ted Betts said...

"One wonders what Jason's new friends have to say about his old friends."

I take it that that is entirely rhetorical.

Mark Richard Francis said...

My understanding is that there's some variance in current practice which grants such benefits after three years or ten, depending upon country of origin.

Last I checked, section 15 of the Charter has something to say about that. And I check often.

Did you know that elderly immigrants contribute nothing to society? So says Raphael Alexander today over at full comment.