Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We obviously spoke too soon

A few weeks ago, we had speculated that perhaps Dion had found some backbone to stand up to the Conservatives. When they didn’t show up last Monday to vote against Bill C-50, it was confirmed for us that, indeed, the Liberals are lacking in moral fiber.

Despite Dion’s public opposition, Bill C-50, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, quietly passed on June 9, with only 12 Liberal MPs showing up. Bill C-50 provides sweeping changes to the Immigration Act that many organisations, including those which engage in immigration advocacy, have opposed. One of the changes would allow Diane Finley sweeping powers over who immigrates to Canada.

According to the Canadian Council for Refugees, the amendments to the bill eliminate the right to have applications based on humanitarian and compassionate reasons considered.

The Liberals’ tendency of saying one thing and doing another (or not doing anything to stop it) is getting old. They said to the CBC that the immigration amendments are an affront to Canadian values and suggested they will overturn the legislation if they win the next election. But they obviously don’t have the backbone to actually stand up against something that they see as an affront to Canadian values.

This has to change soon. Canadians cannot put up with a Liberal party that is all-talk too much longer, especially when the impact of immigration reform will likely negatively impact so many people. The Liberal party’s establishment should be embarrassed for how it uses important social issues to try and jockey their way into power, or to avoid an election.

We live in a democracy. If the majority of the people who are elected disagree with an issue, and they vote against, some semblance of democracy has occurred. If the majority of members oppose it, and it passes because dozens of members don’t show up for work, democracy is spat upon.

Despite all the faults of the conservative party, they at least walk the talk they talk. The Liberals could be replaced by an army of foam men (and a few foam women) and we’d likely never know the difference. That’s disgraceful.

[Side-Note: There were a number of other issues addressed in Bill C-50, unrelated to immigration. One was the follow-through of the dissolution of the Millennium Scholarship Foundation. It’s being replaced with $250 million for the new Canadian Students Grants Programme.]