Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Reviews Are In

What has the leadership race been about so far? 11 year olds donating cash, nit picking on French, and tortured Hitler metaphors. In short, it's been pretty devoid of policy.

With that in mind, I thought I'd draw attention to a blog post by David Cohen, reviewing Gerard Kennedy's immigration platform. Mr. Cohen is a prominent immigration lawyer and given that he concludes that Gerard is not in "serious contention", he's certainly not a Kennedy supporter (but since his expertise is immigration and not law, I'll let that slide). Here's what he has to say about Gerard:

The Liberal Party leadership race has been a pretty uninspired affair so far. No candidate has yet to position himself/herself as the favorite, and the leading candidates haven't distinguished themselves anymore than as "that guy who taught at Harvard".

Out of this pack of mostly middle-aged white men comes an original immigration-based platform from Gerard Kennedy. While a middle-aged white man himself, Kennedy is distinguishing his campaign by positioning himself as an advocate for current and future immigrants to Canada. In fact, part of Kennedy's
Immigrant Success Platform calls for the creation of an immigration advocate position within the federal government.

Kennedy seems to have grasped the economic and cultural importance of continued immigration to Canada, and our need to better integrate immigrant populations into society at large. This includes working with the private sector to better recognize foreign credentials and reduce immigration income-gaps, and reworking the points-based immigration system to attract more diverse skilled workers that are currently shut out.

Hat Tip: The Dan Report


  • "Mr. Cohen is a prominent immigration lawyer and given that he concludes that Gerard is not in "serious contention."

    Kind of bizarre that Cohen writes about how Kennedy is really the only candidate bringing any kind of new ideas, policies or idealism and he still writes him off. This, in my open, is completely backward. Since the Liberal party needs direction and idealism, the winner will be the candidate who can bring new ideas to the table (in a dynamic way). That's clearly Kennedy, so Cohen is way off.

    And I realize Ignatieff is bringing forward idealism too...but I just don't think imperialism, torture and spitting on Kyoto are really Liberal party ideals.

    By Blogger Thomas, at 2:15 a.m.  

  • It's a sad state of affairs for the Liberals these days, and that's disappointing. Canada needs a strong opposition party that has a strong set of principles, values, and ideology. Instead, it provides stories about kids being used as funnels for campaign donations, parents raising future criminals, the softwood deal being a Munich for the 21st century, and so forth. There's many reasons that I and many others no longer work with this party or feel that it is something with which we want to be affiliated with. Back in the heady days of late 2002 and into 2003, how many of us (without the initials WK) thought that Liberals would be in a leadership quagmire only a few short years later?

    By Blogger RGM, at 9:24 a.m.  

  • Many of Kennedy's ideas - such as encouraging skilled laborers and recognizing foreign credentials - are important to reform our immigration system. For example, my former maid has an ophthalmology degree from the Philippines, but could only find a job cleaning my house. While immigrants are waiting for their landing visas they should be told what to do in order to upgrade their credentials to Canadian standards, and use the time to perfect the English (or French) language so when they arrive they may become productive members of society.

    The goal of our immigration system should be to encourage Canadian economic growth.

    That is why Kennedy misses the mark when he speaks of encouraging family re-unification. I do not believe immigrants should be encouraged to bring over their parents, who will not contribute anything to Canada, unless they prove they can financially support them. Otherwise, a massive influx of retirement-aged people would put excess strain on our health care system and higher taxes for the working aged population.

    Bottom line: Immigrants who contribute to our economy: yes!
    Their older family members who drain our resources: no!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3:05 p.m.  

  • Andrew, that sort of reasoning actually saddens me greatly.

    I am sure that you do not mean any offence by what you said, but it is quite hurtful in my opinion.

    You are portraying immigrants as simply tools instead of people, whether you meant it or not. If they are good enough to come to Canada and contribute to our economy then they should be good enough to also bring their families over as well.

    Enforcing any policy that would keep the 'older family members who drain our resources' is short-sighted as it keeps away the best and the brightest immigrants.

    By Blogger Eric, at 4:08 p.m.  

  • I love visiting a Liberal blog and seeing Liberals debating whether old people are a drain on our resources or not.

    If my side of the aisle was caught saying that, it would be front-page news of the G&M.

    I'm glad the cooks are now yours.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 4:25 p.m.  

  • If my side of the aisle was caught saying that, it would be front-page news of the G&M.

    Well Chuckercanuck, a peek into Andrew Smith's profile will reveal to you that little Mr.Silver Spoon-in-mouth is indeed from your side of the aisle, so his small-minded comment is not surprising.

    By Blogger Omar, at 5:21 p.m.  

  • I was following the Joe Volpe and website discussion that the Globe and Mail reports today was pulled down by CIRA after pressure from Joe Volpe's lawyers. This brought up some cool legal and free speech issues. I noticed that on, Mike F. asked:

    "Perhaps everybody should contact CIRA at and ask if this is their standard operating policy."

    Mike F., that is a very good question. Here is the problem.

    CIRA has a very clear policy (as do all web registrars) that you cannot register a website without real and correct personal information: In other words, that they will cancel your web registration if you use a fake name.

    There are many reasons for this, some of them even good ones.

    So that may be why CIRA was persuaded (that and an oodle of Liberal connections) to pull it down.

    It is likely that Volpe would have a much harder time pulling down the:

    site because the Blogger is posting under his own name and isn't violating any laws or Blogger Terms of Service that I'm aware of.

    It appears to me very unlikely that the creator of this content, "Mike Hunt", would object to this being reposted. There is no affirmative copyright statement on the PDF and I believe that the creator intended it to be in the "public domain".

    However, I am not a lawyer and I strongly advice you NOT to visit:

    except to complain to the Blogger and warn him that he shouldn't post that hilariously funny spoof until all copyright, third-party copyright, and any other legal issues are settled.

    Finally, I read that another courageous Blogger, Richard, plans to host this controversial website website (not as a PDF, but as actual working website) on an American web server under his own name registered with a ".com" address.

    He intends to use this domain name:

    I caution you against visiting there for the reasons given above. I draw your attention to this URL because, as a website registrant myself who has three .com names hosted (click on my name link to visit one), I'm curious about free speech issues regarding the Internet and I consider this a lively discussion!

    I've heard that Richard may be the infamous "Mike Hunt" who, naughty boy, may have provided incorrect info to CIRA, which resulted in his website quite rightly being removed. However, I am in no way alleging this so please do not sue me, Richard.


    FINAL WARNING: All web addresses in bold type should not be visited in order to potentially protect other people's copyrights and other valid legal interests. They are given for the purpose of advancing the discussion regarding freedom of speech and Internet domain name registration — and because they are already in the public domain. The only other reason the website addresses are given is so you can do a "Blogger profile" or "whois" search and complain to the website owners directly if you believe that their behaviour is wrong.

    By Blogger Christoph Dollis, at 6:01 p.m.  

  • If Volpe is standing after a few rounds with a substanial number of delegates to deliver expect a lot more of this into 2007:

    Charlie Angus (NDP): "Will the government make a revision to the Canada Elections Act that would guarantee that no potential Liberal leadership candidate will be allowed within 500 metres of a school, a kindergarten or an amusement arcade?"

    Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary secretary to the President of the Treasury Board): "We are against the Liberal practice of shaking down kids at lemonade stands...I will support any amendment to stop this obscene practice"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:47 p.m.  

  • Chris D.,

    You kine of live in your own kind of bubble, don't you?

    Andrew Smith,

    Your demeaning attitude towards immigrants is actually sickening. In this case, I got to concur with Chuckercanuck on his take.

    By Blogger TDH Strategies, at 7:15 p.m.  

  • wow!

    Omar, it appears you are correct! but then - that blog name must be parody??

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 7:49 p.m.  

  • I did not mean to offend anybody by what I said, so let me explain myself better. I'm sure you will all agree Canada is a sovereign country, should control its borders, and our immigration system ought to be designed to make our country better and improve our economy. It is a great privilege, not a right for foreigners to move to Canada - and we have every right to set the rules. That's what a sovereign country does. We ought to be able to have a frank and honest debate about how to best achieve that goal (that will mean not always being politically correct). We have limited resources, and I don't think it is selfish to say we should make sure there is enough for those who are already here before we let in people who are older dependants.

    I'm a proud conservative (never tried to hide it), Omar and Southernontarian you are both liberals and we can disagree rationally on issues, and should be able to have frank discussions - that's what debate is for.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8:41 p.m.  

  • CG: I admire how you continually try to bring the Liberal leadership contest back to the ground that it needs to be on.

    I'm not a Liberal, but even I know that it has to go that direction.

    Good luck, I have an idea that you'll be fighting an uphill battle against not just the candidates, but their supporters as well.


    By Blogger lance, at 8:45 p.m.  

  • Andrew, I'm not a Liberal (as many here can attest). But the only reason my family made it to Canada was because of the open immigration policy.

    Again, the problem I have is not your rational (which makes sense from an economic point of view) but with the idea that we are treating immigrants as a commodity to be traded or rejected. They are people, with families, aspirations and ambitions.

    I am a realist though, when people come to Canada they should not (and in general do not) expect a free ride. They work hard doing whatever jobs are required in order to make a living and support those dependents.

    But treating immigrants as a commodity only deepens anger and hostility and gives the impression that we don't care about them, even when we do have their best interests at heart.

    By Blogger Eric, at 12:17 p.m.  

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