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Enter. Exit. Stay.

Are parents third-class citizens in Canada?

Zool Suleman
Oct 21st, 2011

Graphic by Mindy Chapman

If immigration minister Jason Kenney’s musings are to be enshrined in policy, it seems that parents (and grandparents) who wish to immigrate to Canada will soon become a third class of immigrants. This is a debate that goes to the heart of what means to live in Canada, our immigration policy, how we amend our laws, and how we process permanent resident visas.

For any other minister such a change could be political suicide but for Kenney, as the go to Minister of Curry-In-A-Hurry (he is also the Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism), this impending change will be framed by him and his ministry as a necessary policy response to growing backlogs. He is a powerful Minister in a majority government with a fractured opposition.

Understanding the Classes

Was Canada’s refugee system a success or failure in the case of Lai Changxing?

Zool Suleman
Aug 3rd, 2011

The recent deportation of one of China’s “most wanted” criminals from Canada raises important questions about Canada’s refugee system.

Lai Changxing (aka Lai Cheong Sing) came to Canada in 1999, fleeing his homeland after being accused of masterminding a large scale smuggling ring with links to the highest levels of the Chinese government. Canada rejected Lai's appeals for refugee status, but also delayed sending him back to China on grounds that his life could be in danger if he returned. Now, after an 11-year-legal battle, he has been deported and arrested in China.

Immigration troubles headline at 2011 Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Zool Suleman
Jul 21st, 2011

Tinariwen, one of the groups stopped at the border on the way to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival

As the 34th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival came to a close on Sunday, tales of troubles at the Canadian border became a common theme.

By the end of this year’s Festival, some members of the musical groups Tinariwen (from Mali), Morgan O’Kane (from New York/Virginia), and Ricardo Lemvo (from Congo/Cuba) were denied entry visas to perform at the Festival. The reasons for denial ranged from past minor criminal convictions, some more than 15 years old, to, in the case of Tinariwen, security related concerns. These denials were part of a trend noticed by music event producers across the country over the past few years. The Canadian border, viewed as too porous by some in government, is now turning into a great big wall.

What surprised Folk Festival organizers most is that these groups had all been granted visas to perform in Canada in the past few years. Festival organizers are now urging Festival goers to write to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Why the change now?

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