Mr. Kenny wants to take a step back in Canada’s immigration policy. He would like to help insure that immigrants coming to Canada will more easily integrate into Canadian society without having to face a language issue on arrival. Being fluent in one of Canada’s two official languages allows the newly arrived persons to more easily explore this great country without having to settle into an area populated by those who speak a similar foreign language. Better opportunities for work and places to live. Being able to meet and greet their new neighbors. Integrating and becoming Canadian instead of being locked into a sub-culture in Montreal or Toronto. So a step back to a policy that was in place when I immigrated here in the late 60’s might be a step in the right direction.
Posted: March 24, 2009, 9:06 AM by National Post Editor : Original article by Rudyard Griffiths
Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, should be commended for kick-starting a much need public discussion about the language skills and civic literacy of aspiring Canadian citizens.
For too long Canada has avoided the kind of common sense dialogue about its settlement policies that Minister Kenney is galvanising. The reality is the “quietism” of successive federal governments about all things related to immigrant selection and recruitment is a public policy debacle of historic proportions: ten of thousands of newcomers languishing in dead end jobs, the out migration of up to 40 percent of professional male immigrants in the last decade alone, and the justifiable hardening of attitudes among visibility minority groups who rightly feel they are being exploited economically.
Minister Kenney is spot on in his assertion that the ability to speak one of Canada’s two official languages is fundamental to an immigrant’s economic success and overall social integration. In fact, detailed multi-decade research shows that language proficiency outstrips job experience and educational background as the factor which has the greatest positive impact on a newcomer’s ability to settle themselves successfully in Canada Continue Reading →