“Admittance procedures will be streamlined and speeded, but rigorous security and medical screening will be in place” – Citizenship and immigration Minister Chris Alexander
By Siva Sivapragasam
Canada, well- known world over as the welcome country for refugee immigrants, will streamline admittance procedures to ensure that ten thousand Syrian refugees are brought in by coming September. However, in order to prevent terrorists and undesirables sneaking in as refugee immigrants, strict security and medical screening will be maintained.
The above assurance was given by Canadian citizenship and immigration minister Chris Alexander at a Press conference in Scarborough last week-end. This will make the refugees enter Canada fifteen months earlier than the period earlier announced by the government.
Alexander was not in favour of rushing refugees into Canada without proper screening. ”We’ll take time necessary in welcoming those most in need but also protect the security of Canadians. We cannot rush planes to bring in tens of thousands of persons into our country without even knowing who they are, he told media persons. He also cautioned that ‘the country cannot risk the threat of jihadist elements slipping into the country exploiting the generosity of western nations like Canada”. The Minister was perhaps hinting at the suggestion of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair who had suggested that Canada should rush military planes to bring in the thousands of refugees stranded in Turkey. The Syrian ongoing refugee crisis is one of the important issues raised in the current election campaign.
“The Tory plan is the most prudent to speed up the process while ensuring that security remains the top priority. We did not make this plan on the back of a napkin or pull it out of thin air. This plan will keep Canada and Canadians safe, a confident Alexander added.
Many have praised Chris Alexander’s role as Citizenship and Immigration Minister during the recent years for revising immigration rules and regulations which had helped to reduce the backlog of visa applications. One of these in particular is the introduction of a super visa which had makes it easier for parents of Canadians to enter the country on a multi-visit visa to see their children and grand children. This has helped many members of the South Asian community with family re-unification by getting down their parents and grand-parents to see their children and grand children. Other changes which have benefitted immigrants include the express entry program for skilled workers, foreign caregiver programme and changes in the Citizenship Act. The Government has promised to significantly improve the processing time for citizenship applications. The Canadian government has also restored health-care coverage to refugees.
Chris Alexander is seeking re-election in the Ajax constituency as a PC Candidate.