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News Briefs – Campaign to expand definition of immigration ‘family class’

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Canadians and landed immigrants should have the right to sponsor a wider range of relatives to help families reunite and the country meet its immigration targets, supporters of proposed federal legislation said Friday.

The initiative is important because Canada has fallen “dramatically short” in the numbers of immigrants it attracts and because it would help families, said federal New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton.

Proponents estimate Davies’ bill, if passed, would mean an influx of about 50,000 more people a year, which would still barely meet the national objective of one per cent of the population – between about 300,000 newcomers a year.

New Security Agency will not Include Immigration

The newly created Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ministry does seem, in many ways, like the sister agency to the huge U.S. operation created in the wake of Sept. 11. It will oversee intelligence and security functions and co-ordinate border operations, just as is now done in Washington. Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who takes responsibility for the new portfolio, now becomes the link with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, a role played until yesterday by outgoing deputy prime minister John Manley.

But as Ms. McLellan emphasized in an interview yesterday, her new ministry is not the mirror image of the one south of the border. It is less sweeping, in one sense, because it does not encompass any immigration functions, a reflection of Canadians’ sensitivity about any suggestion that there might be a link between security problems and foreign-born residents. But it also is more sweeping, in the sense that it includes numerous operations to combat natural disasters.