Question: How will your party support settlement services in Calgary?
The NDP recognizes that immigration strengthens our society and our economy. But under the Conservatives, it’s becoming harder for immigrants to come to Canada and succeed. Too many immigrants have been left stranded on the margins of our job market. An NDP government will work to restore fairness and transparency to our immigration system, make family reunification a priority, and restore the $30 million in funding that the Conservatives failed to spend on foreign credential recognition programming. We will also work with the immigrant and refugee serving sector to remove unnecessary restrictions on supportive services and to expand the reach of settlement services.
Question: How will you make it easier for new Canadians to certify their academic and professional credentials and integrate quickly into our labour force and economy?
It’s clear helping new immigrants just isn’t a priority for Stephen Harper. His government failed to spend nearly $30 million that was set aside to help new Canadians get their credentials recognized. In fact, recognition of foreign credentials remains the number one barrier to obtaining employment in Canada, according to the government’s own Panel on the Employment Challenges of New Canadians.
An NDP government will help newcomers to get their skills and credentials recognized, obtain Canadian experience, and achieve the remuneration their skills and education deserve. We will restore the $30 million in funding for the Foreign Credential Recognition Program; offer grants to professional bodies to develop harmonized national standards with a single point of contact; expand the practice of orientation sessions in visa offices to educate and support potential immigrants; and create an awareness campaign for employers to encourage them to give immigrants their first opportunity.
Question: What are your Party’s views on the Federal Government’s changes in 2014 and 2015 to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”)? Should the TFWP be revamped to provide a more effective way to permanent residency and citizenship?
Instead of bringing workers to Canada as immigrants, with the possibility of becoming citizens, the Liberals and Conservatives preferred to bring them in as temporary workers, with fewer rights and far more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. In fact, the Conservatives systematically removed pathways to citizenship for temporary workers.
The NDP believes that if you’re good enough to work here, you’re good enough to live here. That’s why we will create and restore pathways to citizenship for all temporary workers in Canada.
Question: What should Canada’s response be to the Syrian refugee crisis?
Canadian municipalities have been a shining example of what the Federal Government should be doing in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Municipalities have been the first to react and have generously offered help in the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War – the federal government should learn from them.
Over 12 million Syrians are now displaced. New Democrats know that we must help — Canadians don’t want to stand by and watch as humanitarian crisis continue around the world. An NDP government will bring 10,000 government-sponsored refugees to Canada by the end of this year and will settle another 36,000 over the next four years. We’ll also fast-track private sponsorships, to bring as many people to Canada as possible.