Sunday, November 1, 2015

Liberal-Majority For a Better Canada


The outgoing regime faced its ouster  due to a number of unpleasant reasons including dictatorial attitude of  Mr. Steven Harper,  his anti-Muslim fear mongering, negative attack-adds, passing laws controversially, unfavourable foreign policy and mismanagement are only a few among others. As the strategic voting was the answer, propaganda machinery did enough for opinion-building to achieve the desired results in recent federal elections. Obviously, the people were upset with the sitting government; they wanted a positive change. The moments were ripe for the vested interests to exploit the situation for their own purpose, so the target was achieved democratically. A landslide victory for the Liberals means good news for positive change. Hopefully, our new leader will go for unity rather than division.
On November 4, the Liberals will be returning to the House of Commons with a majority government. They have a long list of promises and priorities based on their 88-page plan. Intention is to boost up support for post-secondary students, improve the environment and decrease the tax burden for middle-class families. The Canada child benefit is replacing the universal child care benefit. The Liberal promise would provide a yearly tax free benefit of up to $6,400 for every child of up to 5 years of age and up to $5,400 for each child age 6 to 17.
How much a family would receive under the Liberal plan would depend on income, with the monthly payments declining as family income rises. Poor family will benefit from this non taxable program.
Other priorities: The Liberal platform has some immediate steps to be taken upon forming government; they include calling an inquiry into the missing and the murdered indigenous women, lifting the 2 percent cap on increases to “First Nations-education-funding” and establishing a new financial relationship with First Nations. They also include launching a new competition to replace the CF-18 fighter jet and scraping the F-35 fighter program. Hiring of additional mental health professionals to support veterans is part of priority. Reinstating the long-form census and implementing imported gun-marking legislation will be carried out.
Review of environmental assessment processes will begin. Number of immigration applications allowed for parents and grand-parents will be doubled. Visa requirement for Mexican travel to Canada will be lifted.
Spousal sponsorship is to be made easier: Cunningly, the outgoing prime minister Mr. Harper kept himself away from the Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular. With regard to family sponsorship matters, cases were delayed for long time to a point where either the marriage came to an end, or one spouse had to leave Canada for residing with the other spouse in Pakistan.
Rejecting fake marriage case is appreciable, yet it amounts to gross negligence and inefficiency if a visa officer has difficulty accepting a genuine marriage despite the available solid proof (consummated marriage) with birth of a baby to the wedlock supported by official documents including Marriage certificate.
New government is introducing a faster track: From now onward, spouses immigrating to Canada shall get immediate permanent residency.
There will be surely expeditious disposal of spousal cases without wait-time, and the rejected cases may be reviewed on faster track hopefully.
Beauty of Diversity: According to local news media 22 out of 44 South Asians made their way to the House of Commons including two Pakistanis born Canadians. Congratulations to 15 Indians who have been elected as MPs.
Congratulations to 10 Muslims who became MPs; the number is great for the first time in the history of Canada. They include: Somali Canadian MP Ahmed Hussen, Canada's first Iranian Canadian MP Majid Jowhari, and Canada's first Afghan Canadian MP Maryam Monsef. The majority of Muslim Canadians who will be coming to Parliament are newcomers to politics with the exception of Omar Alghabra and Yasmin Ratansi who were previously Liberal MPs. Pakistani Canadian Iqra Khalid, MP for Mississauga-Erin Mills: Iqra Khalid’s Website Salma Zahid, MP for Scarborough Centre: Zahid's Website
Thought provoking: Pakistani Canadians are almost unrepresented in Parliament: They include Pakistani landed immigrants, naturalised Canadians of Pakistani origin and Canadians born to parents of Pakistani origin.
Unfortunately, Mr. Tariq Azeem, High Commissioner of Pakistan was asked about the number of Pakistanis in Canada - he could not answer reliably; conveniently he quoted the figure of 155,310 based on 2011 census. The Commission ignores updating its record of total number of Pakistanis residing in Canada for unknown reasons.
“The Canadian Magazine of Immigration” posted on 02/02/2015 as below: In 2011, the vast majority of Pakistani immigrants (73%) resided in Ontario; most of them (97,065) lived in the Greater Toronto Area.  In 2011, 12% of Pakistani immigrants resided in Alberta, 6% in Quebec and 5% in British Columbia. Though, it’s disappointing to note that the actual number of Pakistanis is not available, yet it’s estimated from various sources to be around 300,000.
Irony is Pakistanis, compared with other South Asians, still lag behind when it comes to have direct voice in the parliament. Painfully, there is no noticeable representation in the parliament of Canadians of Pakistani origin: How would only 2 women in 338 Member-Parliament be able to voice Pakistani community’s concerns? This suggests there is a long way to go yet before the Pakistani community has reasonable presence in the parliament. Even the Senate has only one Pakistani lady.
Controversial Legislation: The biased and discriminatory laws (C51 and C24) are expected to be amended or repealed.
Furthermore, as per BBC and other news channels, Trudeau believes in ending airstrike over Iraq, having closer ties with Obama and accepting 25000 refugees from the troubled Syria.
Trudeau looks persuaded to honor Mr. Chretien’s advice to go for better relations with Iran and Russia, and work with the UN for revival of Canada’s peace keeping role. All sounds good!
It’s a golden chance for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef to invite Prime Minister-elect Mr. Justin Trudeau to have a State visit in order to refresh mutual relationship to generate trade and investment opportunities.

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