Bill C6, a bill brought in by the federal government to counteract much of the previous government’s Bill C24 or “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act”, is currently before the Canadian Senate. Maynard Kischer Stojicevic partners Rudolf Kischer and Alex Stojicevic spoke to host Zack Spencer of CISL 650’s The Law Show about how Bill C6 may change current Canadian immigration policies and procedures.
One controversial part of Bill C24 included removing provisions for people convicted of a crime in Canada or overseas. However, the system has created a backlog of cases, especially fraudulent citizenship cases.
“You never saw more than 20 cases a year maybe….and part of that was because you had a right as citizen to have the federal court review the government’s evidence in a trial, so the government doesn’t go at it lightly,” explains Alex. “You don’t have to do that any longer under the new law. Because, partly, the government discovered through a series of scandals over the last decade where people got citizenship through fraud. So, what the government did is they basically eliminated the federal court provision.”
Video one: Bill C6 vs Bill C24
Though removing the right to a hearing for some citizens found to have committed crimes caused some initial concerns, Bill C6 does not currently seek to reverse the rule.
“I was shocked because I thought this would be a rubber stamp. Everything that’s been brought up in Bill C6 is pretty uncontroversial for most people,” says Rudolf.
“The reality is, there’s a feeling in Ottawa, in the civil service ranks, that this needs to happen,” says Alex. “There’s simply too many people for them to deal with. They need to send a message that the people who were involved in citizenship fraud need to be dealt with. And it doesn’t matter if they have procedural safeguards.”
Video two: Punishing citizenship fraud
While Immigration Minister John McCallum is calling for more immigration, Canadians don’t seem to be on board with that approach.
“We have a party in power now saying I think we need more immigration,” says Rudolf. “Angus Reed did a study on this…and the response wasn’t that Canadians were wanting more. In the poll, only 16 per cent of Canadians surveyed thought we needed more immigration. The majority of Canadians thought that the amount of immigration we have right now is the correct number.”
Video three: Number of immigrants entering Canada
Canada may seem to stand apart on immigration policy when compared to countries like Britain, however there is an underlying sentiment in the general population, as shown by Angus Reed, that we may not be as welcoming to immigrants as we seem.
“I don’t think we’re immune from that anti-immigration mood that is out there,” says Rudolf.
Video four: Opposition on immigration policy
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The Law Show airs every Sunday at 11:00 am on CISL 690.
To listen to the complete audio interview, click the play button below left.
To view and listen to the complete Canadian Immigration and Citizenship Law audiomack channel click here