Expect this to become a common, oft-repeated refrain from the Harper Conservatives, however longer the NDP decides to keep their government alive: we'd do great things, but the election speculation ate our homework:
Important reforms to Canada's immigration system ranging from changes to refugee asylum to better regulation of immigration consultants are on hold because of the threat of an election, says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.Umm, why Jason? The Conservatives have been governing with a minority for nearly four years now. Minorities mean the constant threat of elections. But that doesn't mean you stop governing, and it doesn't mean you can't get things done. And it hasn't stopped the Harper Conservatives from doing plenty of other things.
Kenney made the comment to reporters as he announced the government will fast track immigration and visa applications for citizens of the Philippines impacted by this week's typhoon.
"I have been working on a number of important files, including better regulation of immigration consultants, improvements to the nanny program, the live-in caretaker program and ... reform of the asylum system," he said. "All of those things have been put on hold, indefinite hold, because of the constant election threats."
So it's pretty silly for Kenney to be blaming election speculation for putting any plans for immigration reform on hold. It tends to give more credence to my earlier speculation about his desire to "manufacture a crisis" in the immigration system. If he trying to worsen the situation to build a case for unpopular reforms?
No doubt this will be fed into their next "parliament isn't working so we need a majority to do stuff" narrative, notwithstanding the fact that on this issue they haven't really tried to do it yet anyways.
Fact is, I agree reforms are needed, although I'm sure Jason and I will disagree on the details. But rather than blaming election speculation, rather than playing political games, Kenney should just put his proposals on the table and have a debate with parliament and with Canadians on the best-way forward.
A real debate on important issues? Probably too much to hope for.
P.S. Still waiting for Kenney's thoughts on his colleagues bashing the idea of pension support for senior citizen immigrants. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers