This Tuesday, August 31st, Guelph Conservatives welcome federal Citizenship and Immigration (Censorship and Deportation) minister Jason Kenney. Mr. Kenney is coming as a special guest to a BBQ hosted by the Guelph Conservative Party, along with their candidate for the next federal election. But he isn’t just here to enjoy the food, the company, the summer weather – or even the beautiful scenery at Riverside Park. Mr. Kenney is here on a mission: to portray the Harper government’s immigration program as being about creating a welcoming, multicultural Canada for immigrants from all over the world by playing on the popular sentiments of Canadians who genuinely hope that this is the case.
In the real world, if not in the minds of Harper’s propagandists, the citizenship and immigration regime Kenney is presiding over is about:
- Bringing in US-style raids and national security policies, part of a broader strategy of changing the definition of acceptable policing in Canada, including racial profiling, workplace raids and harassing people at women’s shelters
- Using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to bring hundreds of thousands of workers to Canada, to work for very low wages with almost no legal protections and no path to permanent residency
- Using powers brought in by Bill C-50 to reject valid refugee claims for political reasons from certain countries and giving quotas for immigration to certain countries
- More generally, creating a climate of fear among migrants (with and without status), making it dangerous for targeted communities to speak out, for example, about unfair or unsafe working conditions
- Promoting racist ideas about “good immigrants” and “bad immigrants” – racist ideas which also attack non-migrant working class people and seek to divide domestic workers and foreign workers, whose unity is a threat to the Harper Tories’ corporate agenda
- Removing LGBT rights from history taught to new immigrants
- Defunding the ESL programs of major NGOs, such as the Canadian Arab Federation, when they speak out against the Harper government’s uncritical and unconditional support for the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians
- Attacking free speech by denying George Galloway, a British member of parliament, entry to Canada because of he opposes the occupation of Afghanistan
- Curtailing democratic rights by setting up a “Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism” which has sought to equate democratic criticism of Israel with “hate speech”, this is a danger to free speech as well as the very real struggle against hate speech and crimes
- Denying American soldiers and their families refusing to participate in the illegal war and immoral war in Iraq asylum in Canada, despite motions passed in the House of Commons demanding that they be allowed to stay
- The recent Tory demonizing of the Tamil refugees, who have fled violence in their homeland and applied for refugee status in keeping with international law
The Guelph Young Communist League rejects these policies. We demand that the Harper government end their racist attacks on the “Canadian” working class and all workers working in Canada, whether they be immigrant, migrant or non-status. We condemn Harper’s immigration policy which is deeply connected to his broader big-business, anti-people policies.
No One is “Illegal”!
Treat the Tamil Refugees with Humanitarian Respect & Dignity!
Youth Unite to Defeat the Harper Tories!