May 10th, 2013

Conservatives making it harder for Canadian families to reunite

OTTAWA – New Democrats slammed the Conservatives today for making it harder for Canadian families to reunite with their parents and grandparents abroad.

“Over 20% of Canadians were born abroad. For these Canadians, Conservatives are making family reunification a more distant dream than ever,” said NDP critic for Citizenship and Immigration Jinny Sims (Newton – North Delta). “Minister Kenney’s harmful proposal means it would cost you more to ever apply to reunite with your parents or grandparents – and two decades of full financial responsibility for their care if they come. And that’s only if you happen to be one of the lucky 5,000 whose applications will be accepted next year. Families deserve better.”

Kenney’s new rules will increase the minimum income requirement for sponsoring a parent or grandparent by 30%, double the sponsorship undertaking period from ten to twenty years, and reduce the maximum age of a dependent to 18.

These changes ignore the vitally important contributions parents and grandparents make to our communities, noted Sims. From providing childcare to passing on cultural traditions, New Democrats believe that parents and grandparents make Canada stronger.

“The Conservatives think family reunification should be a luxury only for those who can afford it,” said NDP’s Deputy critic for Citizenship and Immigration Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert). “We don’t trust this minister – who has already seriously mismanaged the temporary foreign worker program – to act in the best interests of Canadian families. This surprise move is further proof that Canadians shouldn’t trust the minister, either.”