Government to increase immigration to allow more skilled workers and immigrant families in 2017 #cdnpoli #immigration

The government is boosting the base number of immigrants allowed into Canada next year to 300,000, to help drive economic growth as the country grapples with an aging demographic.

The previous target from 2011 to 2015 was 260,000, but that changed to 300,000 this year because of what Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum called the “special circumstances” of the Syrian refugee crisis. That number will now be the permanent base.

The government’s economic growth council had recommended raising immigration levels to 450,000 over the next five years, but Minister McCallum rejected that target.

“That number is a conceivable number for some date in the future, but certainly not for 2017,” he said.

There has been much debate over the targeted immigration level at a time when Canada struggles with high unemployment.

There have also been questions about Canada’s ability to smoothly integrate newcomers into communities.

“We do it well, but I think we could learn to do it better,” Minister McCallum said.

The 2017 targets boost entries for those in the “economic” class — skilled workers, businesspeople and caregivers — to 172,500 from 160,600. In the family class, the number of sponsored spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents will climb to 84,000 from 80,000.

Source: CBC


Steven Blaney enters Conservative Party Leadership Race #cdnpoli #CPC

Quebec MP Steven Blaney is running for leadership of the Conservative Party.

Mr. Blaney was first elected in 2006 in the riding of Lévis-Bellechasse.  He served as Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of Public Safety under former PM Stephen Harper.

Mr. Blaney’s first policy position is that he would introduce legislation that would forbid the wearing of the niqab while voting and taking the oath of citizenship. He also said that the prohibition would extend to people working in the federal public service. He indicated he would use Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which gives Parliament little-used override powers to block any court challenges to his legislation.

Mr. Blaney said he also would give more powers to the country’s security agencies to “substantially expand their current screening capacity regarding potential national security threats.” He said those agencies have been overwhelmed with the influx of refugees from war-torn regions.

He also wants to change the citizenship test given to prospective new Canadians, to verify their “understanding and appreciation of Canada’s core principles.”

The Conservative Party will hold its leadership election on May 27, 2017.

Source: CBC

Prime Minister suggests Electoral Reform isn’t necessary because Canadians are “satisfied” with his Government #electoralreform #cdnpoli

Prime Minister Trudeau indicated in an interview with Le Devoir that electoral reform might not be necessary at this time because Canadians are satisfied with his government.

“Under Mr. Harper, there were so many people dissatisfied with the government and its approach that they were saying, ‘We need an electoral reform so that we can no longer have a government we don’t like,'” Trudeau explained.

“However, under the current system, they now have a government they are more satisfied with. And the motivation to want to change the electoral system is less urgent.”

The Liberal Party did campaign in the last election that the 2015 federal election would be the last fought under the first-past-the-post system.

The government has received criticism for setting up the parliamentary committee on electoral reform in order to put forth a system that would best advantage the Liberal Party of Canada, a ranked ballot system. The government has since conceded to the opposition and modified the committee membership to include all parties in the house of commons.

The United States, the United Kingdon and Canada are the last western democratic countries that continue to use the first-past-the-post voting system.

Peter Julian steps down as NDP House Leader to consider Leadership Bid #NDP #cdnpoli

NDP MP Peter Julian is stepping down from his job as the party’s House leader to focus on a potential bid to succeed Tom Mulcair.

Julian said he will have discussions with people across the country before deciding if he will formally enter the race.

Julian, who was first elected in 2004 to represent the British Columbia riding of Burnaby–New Westminster, is bilingual and has served as the party’s critic for portfolios that include energy, natural resources and finance.

Source: CBC

Prime Minister nominates Newfoundlander Malcolm Rowe to Supreme Court #cdnpoli @SCC_eng #scc

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Newfoundlander Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada. The appointment is historic in that the province has never had a representative on the Supreme Court since it joined Confederation in 1949.

“I am greatly excited to announce the nomination of Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe, whose remarkable depth of legal experience in criminal, constitutional, and public law will complement the extensive knowledge of the other Supreme Court justices,” the prime minister said in his statement announcing the appointment.

Rowe said Monday he was “very honoured” to be chosen to fill the vacancy, and said he was looking forward to a planned question and answer session at a special meeting with members of the House of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee on Oct. 25.

The St. John’s-born jurist was first appointed to Newfoundland’s Supreme Court in 1999, and was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001. As an appellate judge, Rowe has dealt mostly with criminal cases, and has written extensively about the complexity of sentencing. He also helped draft the rules in his province around the use of sentencing circles for some Indigenous offenders.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Rowe worked as a senior bureaucrat, and secretary to the cabinet under Liberal Premier Brian Tobin’s government. Tobin tapped Rowe to lead his government’s efforts to secure a constitutional amendment to replace the province’s denominational school system in favour of a secular one.

According to a questionnaire he completed to apply for the position, Rowe is bilingual. He said he could read and understand court materials in both official languages, converse with counsel in court and understand oral submissions.

He also presents himself as a follower of the “living tree” constitutional doctrine, a belief that the document’s interpretation can change progressively over time — rather than strictly adhere to the text’s original meaning.

“Is what Viscount Haldane wrote a century ago how we should determine whether actions of the federal or provincial governments are within or beyond their jurisdiction?,” he wrote. “In this regard, judges should have regard to changes in the role of governments relating especially to the economy and technology in dealing with such issues.”

Rowe also sees an active role for the top court in actually crafting laws, rather than simply interpreting them.

“The Supreme Court is not, primarily, a court of correction. Rather, the role of the Court is to make definitive statements of the law, which are then applied by trial judges and courts of appeal. Thus, the Supreme Court judges ordinarily make law, rather than simply applying it,” he wrote.

Source: CBC