During the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau made a number of promises to immigrant communities across the country. He has kept some of those promises. Avvy Go writes:
To his credit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has either delivered on a number of his promises, or has taken some critical first steps towards their implementation, not the least of which are the inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the reinstatement of the Court Challenges Program, and the acceptance of more than 20,000 Syrian refugees.In some immigrant communities, the change in government has even generated rumours that there are now more generous rules granting permanent resident status for non-status immigrants. Several ethno-racial legal clinics are seeing a sudden surge of clients who have lived underground for many years in Canada, and are now reaching out for help to regularize their status.
But Trudeau promised much more. And there is much more to do:
On other issues, repeated assurances have been made for reform with no concrete action. An example of this is the Liberal promise to revoke the Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status, which forces sponsored spouses to stay in a relationship with their sponsors for two years or risk losing their permanent resident status. This CPR provision has been shown to increase the risk of domestic violence and abuse. Immigration Minister John McCallum has said that the CPR will be revoked, without stating when or clarifying whether the revocation will be made retroactive to cover all those who have been, and continue to be, subject to investigation by immigration authorities.Further, while there has been talk to reform the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, the consultations to date have been skewed towards employers and agencies that broker contracts, as opposed to the migrants living in precarious conditions.True, the “to do” list for the new government is long. But it is not long enough.
Missing from the list is the much needed renewal of Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism (CAPAR) instituted by the Paul Martin government in 2005. Little to no action has been taken over the last 10 years to maintain programs that were once designed to combat systemic racism, let alone implement new measures to address growing colour-coded disparities. Although it is encouraging to see significant commitments and initiatives with respect to Indigenous issues and concerns, for peoples of colour Canada has effectively wasted 10 years on this important file.
Yesterday Trudeau, and Presidents Obama and Pena Nieto made a joint commitment to co-operation and openness. Like charity, they also begin at home.