TORONTO: Even as immigration minister Jason Kenney unveiled his new action plan for faster family reunification on Friday, the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) came out with a stringent indictment of the Conservatives “for making it harder for Canadian families to reunite with their parents and grandparents abroad.”
Jinny Sims, who is NDP’s critic for citizenship and immigration, said that since over 20 percent Canadians were born abroad, the Conservative government is “making family reunification a more distant dream than ever. Minister Kenney’s harmful proposal means it would cost you more to even apply to reunite with your parents or grandparents – and two decades of full financial responsibility for their care if they come. And that’s only if you happen to be one of the lucky 5,000 whose application will be accepted next year. Families deserve better.”
She said the newly unveiled rules will increase the minimum income requirement for sponsoring a parent or grandparent by 30 percent, double the sponsorship undertaking period from ten to twenty years, and reduce the maximum age of a dependent to 18.
Jinny Sims, who was born Jogendra Kaur in Jalandhar in India, said, “These changes ignore the vitally important contributions parents and grandparents make in the South Asian community. Grandparents and parents are a part of the core family unit – unfortunately, the Conservatives continue to ignore the how damaging this.”
Added Sadia Grguhe, NDP’s Deputy Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, “The Conservatives think family reunification should be a luxury only for those who can afford it. We don’t trust this Minister – who has already seriously mismanaged the temporary foreign worker program – to act in the best interests of Canadian families. This surprise move is further proof that Canadians shouldn’t trust the minister, either.”
The NDP enjoys considerable support among the Indo-Canadian and other south Asian communities across the country.