Op-ed

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Liberals offering quick and easy citizenship

by Candice Malcolm

Toronto Sun
March 4, 2016

The federal Liberals have only been in power for a few months, and they’re already back to their old games of manipulating our immigration system to score cheap political points.

Back in 2009, Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla introduced a bill that would have allowed new immigrants to begin collecting Old Age Security (OAS) after just three years in Canada.

While the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is funded through a direct payroll tax and given only to those who contribute to the fund, OAS is funded through the federal government’s general revenue and makes up about 16% of all federal spending. It is means-tested, which means it is clawed back from wealthier seniors, and it’s only available to those who have been in Canada for at least 10 years.

Under Dhalla’s proposed bill, that would have been knocked down to three years and allowed more people to gain access to this fund - often without ever contributing to the Canadian economy or paying taxes in Canada.

This proposal prompted obvious outrage from taxpayers across Canada and, thankfully, the bill never got anywhere in the house of commons.

The bill pandered to immigrants who want to sponsor their elderly parents into Canada, but don’t want to be financially responsible for them.

Dhalla was catering to those who want a free ride and see Canada as an easy target.

And while Dhalla is no longer a Liberal MP, her party is up to the same tricks again. This time, they are offering quick and easy access to Canadian citizenship, and all the benefits that come along with it.

The Liberal’s proposed bill C-6, among other radical elements, proposes that Canada scrap the language requirement for many newcomers.

“Often times, families are sponsoring elders and grandparents at a very elderly age. It’s very challenging and difficult for them to be at such a high proficiency of English or French,” said Liberal MP Shaun Chen.

And so, the Liberals want to eliminate the language test for older immigrants and start handing our Canadian citizenship to people who don’t speak a word of French or English.

But the Liberal MP’s argument falls flat when you look at the current Citizenship Act. The law already allows an exception for elderly immigrants. Anyone over the age of 65 does not need to pass a language test in order to become a Canadian.

The Liberals are simply lowering the exemption from age 65 down to just age 54.

Since it takes four or five years for newcomers to qualify for citizenship, this means that people who come to Canada in their 40s will no longer be required to learn French or English.

Even worse, there will be nothing stopping someone coming to Canada in their 20s or 30s, and simply waiting to turn 54 to apply for Canadian citizenship.

We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking the language change is just for elderly seniors. The Liberal government’s proposed bill is primarily aimed at those who are middle-aged and working-aged.

The Liberals are pandering to a small minority in ethnic communities in Canada who want quick citizenship and easy access to Canada’s generous social services and benefits. They are catering to newcomers who don’t want to learn our language and don’t want to integrate into Canadian society, but instead, simply want all the benefits of Canadian citizenship.

The Trudeau government is putting Canada’s successful immigration and integration policies at risk to score political points with some new Canadians.

It’s a cheap political trick, and one that may create long-term problems in Canada.

Candice Malcolm has a new book coming out on the Trudeau government’s misguided immigration and security policies. Sun readers can sign up for a free copy at LosingTrueNorth.ca

Photo Credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

 


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