Monday, August 17, 2009

Sometimes I feel sorry for Jason Kenney

Jason Kenney has been given an almost impossible task. He has been charged with bringing the "immigrant vote" into the Conservative tent. Since most of them live in the three big cities their votes are imperative to the Conservatives attaining their much sought after majority government. Unfortunately, Mr. Kenney is a member of a party that has the reputation for being anti-immigrant, intolerant and bigoted

Such reputation is unfair. The Conservative Party is not any of these things but they do seem to have a fair number of prominent Members of Parliament, who are all of these things, who just cannot keep their mouths shut. As well, many of these Members have been re-elected numerous times so it would seem that at least a small part of the Conservative base is all of these things as well.

This background makes Mr. Kenney's job very difficult to begin with but it becomes impossible when his own government knocks the pins out from under him. They have done it to him twice in less than six months this year alone.

The first instance was the imposition of the visa requirements on Mexicans. That was just stupid. It is probably not lost on many of the Latin American immigrants to this country that the Canadian government does not seem to have any problem bringing in seasonal workers from Mexico, to work for low wages in the fields of many agricultural operations, while forcing others from that country to jump through hoops just to visit this country as tourists, or more importantly, as business people looking for business opportunities in a NAFTA partner.

The second instance was Ms. Mohamed. Although it has not been mentioned by anybody in the mainstream, many believe that if the person being held by the Kenyan government would have been white with a surname like, Smith, Michaud or Levine, no government representative would have been allowed to state that she was an imposter and they would have been returned to Canada within days instead of three months.

This has not been mentioned, except for some whispers, in the mainstream, but you can be certain that this idea has not been lost on many of the immigrant communities in this country. This government has shown them that if they get into trouble while they visit family and friends in the country of their birth they are on their own. The Canadian government will not lift a finger to help them and might actually help the governments in their birth country to make their trouble even worse.

Conservatives and their media apologists seem to believe that reaching out to and schmoozing with some prominent representatives of the immigrant communities will actually bring around the whole of the communities. They have no idea that the treatment that Ms. Mohamed was forced to endure, as a direct result of the Canadian government, will have a much more profound negative effect on their support within the immigrant communities than any positive effect any schmoozing Mr. Kenney has done in the last few years.

Like I say, sometimes I actually feel sorry for him.

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