Following Prime Minister Harper’s re-election last month, he appointed a new cabinet and a new Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Jason Kenney, former Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity and a well-known figure in Canadian ethnic communities, has been appointed to this position.
Jason Kenney was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and has served as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity since the beginning of 2007. Since that time, he has been instrumental in building a connection between Canadian immigrants and the Conservative Party; having attended over 400 cultural events and having held consultations with immigrant groups to hear their goals and concerns first-hand.
In delivering his first address as the Immigration Minister, Kenney stated that the Government of Canada remains committed to a dynamic immigration program and to the successful integration of newcomers.
“Just as immigration has played a strong role in our past, it will continue to be important to our future,” said Minister Kenney. “Canada is respected around the world for the way we’ve managed to bring in people from all over the globe. We have done this with a spirit of openness and tolerance, embracing diversity and becoming stronger for it.”
“I look forward to the privilege of serving as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism as we continue our commitment to reuniting families, to maintaining our humanitarian obligations to refugees, and to supporting Canada’s economy,” he added.
In his new role as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Minister Kenney will be taking over the task of rolling out the amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, introduced by his predecessor, Diane Finley.
Finley has been moved back to Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), the portfolio that she left in 2006 to take over immigration. HRSDC and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) work closely together to ensure that Canada’s newcomers can help address the country’s labour force needs.
With Minister Kenney’s appointment, the role of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was transferred the duties and functions of the Minister of Canadian Heritage regarding multiculturalism and human rights.