Exciting Week for Immigration in Kenora

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Parliament Hill

KENORA – POLITICS – It’s been an exciting week for dozens of families who are new to Canada and I am proud to say that we have reached our goal in bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees.

Families who were once plagued by the constant fear of violence are now getting a second chance at life. While there are those who would let their fear control our borders, the new families have received so much support and I am so thankful to everyone inside and outside Canada who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.

That being said this is only Phase 1. As Minister John McCallum has noted, now the work begins to help these families succeed in Canada so they can contribute to our society. We’ll be working to help them find permanent jobs, living arrangements and classes for either English or French.

While I’m very happy we’ve reached our goal, the hard work is still far from over for many of these families. I would encourage people to continue to show our Canadian spirit in making them feel welcome in our communities.

Of course another big announcement is our commitment to scrapping the two-year probation period before overseas spouses, sponsored by their Canadian partners, obtain permanent residency status. For many who have traveled and married overseas, moving back to Canada with their new partner can be extremely frustrating.

I’m already dealing with cases where people want to move on and start really living with their spouse in Canada but are stuck in limbo because of the measures the Conservatives introduced back in 2012.

While some might argue it’s needed to discourage marriage fraud, there are other ways we can continue to do that. For example, we can continue to use the 2015 regulation that excludes “proxy” marriages executed via telephone, fax or the Internet. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has also developed sophisticated tools to detect marriage fraud.

Overall it’s been a big week for immigration here in Canada. I am proud to say I live in a country that is committed to helping families in desperate situations overseas as well as our own citizens who simply want to live a happily married life.

Bob Nault MP

Kenora