I am afraid that your newspaper has inadvertently misled your readers about family class immigration levels (Government chops visas that reunite immigrant families, February 18).
In fact, the Harper government is planning to increase family class immigration this year.
We believe in the importance of family reunification as one of the objectives of Canada’s immigration policy.
That’s why, in the 2011 immigration plan I tabled in Parliament late last year, which remains in effect today, I made clear we are increasing our planning range for family class immigrants to allow up to 65,000 immigrants into Canada.
That’s an increase from the 59,029 who were admitted in 2010; and not, as you call it, a “cutback.”
Within the family class, our government is putting wives, husbands, and children first.
That means more dads, mums, and children being reunited with their loved ones than in previous years.
In the five years the Harper government has held office, the average number of immigrants admitted under the family class each year has been 63,476.
That is significantly higher than under the six years prior to that when the Liberals held office, during which the annual average was 60,224 immigrants.
Unlike the Ignatieff Liberals, our government doesn’t just talk about the importance of immigration, we actually take steps to welcome more immigrants to Canada, and help them succeed once they arrive.
Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration