Immigrants need French or English, Kenney says

Posted by admin on Mar 21st, 2009

Mar 21, 2009 04:30 AM, THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY – Immigrants who can’t speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, says the federal immigration minister. In a speech to an immigration conference yesterday in Calgary, Jason Kenney said Canada needs to improve its efforts to integrate newcomers and “one area that we can ask immigrants in the country to make a greater effort (in) is that of language.”

Kenney later told reporters that immigration needs an overhaul and an effort must be made to ensure immigrants and those who want to become citizens speak French or English competently. He said the requirement exists but isn’t being enforced enough.

Kenney worries that granting citizenship without guaranteeing language skills puts a new Canadian at an economic and social disadvantage. And he wants to know how some people who can’t speak either of Canada’s official languages got through the system.

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