Who will be Canada’s Next Immigration Minister?

CIC News
Published: January 1, 2006

The Conservative party critic on Immigration, Diane Ablonczy, is considered among political observers as the “front-runner” for the position of Citizenship and Immigration Minister.Ablonczy has been the Conservative party's Citizenship and Immigration critic since 2002.

Canada 's new Conservative government will see a “shuffling of the deck” in Ottawa. The prime-minister-designate, Stephen Harper, has not yet volunteered any information regarding the make-up of his cabinet. Most political pundits have hinted that the newly-elected government will include, at most, five cabinet level members from Alberta, the Conservative party stronghold.

Current Immigration Minister Joe Volpe (Lib.) will abdicate his position to make way for a Conservative party appointee. Just who that leader will be is still not known, however, speculation is running high.

Ablonczy, an Alberta MP, tops the list of potential candidates for Citizenship and immigration Minister of Canada. She has made a reputation for herself as being an outspoken critic on immigration issues in the House of Commons. Ablonczy is critical of the Liberal government's soft stance regarding key immigration issues.

 Alberta MP
Diane oblonczy A vehement Ablonczy once criticized,“This Liberal government needs to do more than pay shallow lip-service to the value of citizenship and immigration […] There are many problems in the immigration system which have occurred under the last decade or more of Liberal mismanagement.”

She isn't afraid to pull punches in the divided Parliament and has spoken out against Martin's Liberals regarding the “problem of recognition of international credentials and experience” for newly-landed skilled professionals.

The out-going Liberal Party had addressed this hot-button topic way back in 1994. They promised to correct the imbalance regarding foreign recognition of credentials and have sat on their promise ever since.

“We want to see a […] well managed immigration system for Canada , one that earns the respect and confidence of newcomers…” She has stated. Speaking on behalf of the Conservative party she says she is “looking forward” to the opportunity of repairing some of the difficulties in the system.

Backgrounder:

Ablonczy, originally from the United States , is a farmer, lawyer, and teacher by profession. She has been representing her Alberta Riding of Calgary-Nose Hill since 1993. Initially a Reform Party MP, she now sits under the Conservative banner.

Ablonczy has held several key roles in Health and Human Resources development. Media reports also seem to suggest that she may be in line for the job of Health Minister of Canada.

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