Press Release: NOII Outraged at Kenney Receiving “MP of the Year” Award

Posted by admin on May 15th, 2009

May 14, 2009, Vancouver – The anti-racist migrant justice organization No One Is Illegal is outraged at the awarding of “Best MP of the Year” to Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney by Macleans. Based on polling of MP’s, the Third Annual Parliamentarian of the Year was awarded to Conservative Calgary MP Jason Kenney on May 13 in Ottawa. According to Alex Mah of No One Is Illegal, “Minister Kenney is routinely called the Minister of Censorship and Deportation. Kenney was the one who decided that Canada would not participate in the 2009 Durban World Conference Against Racism. His controversial statements and racist attacks on immigrants are hardly worth awarding. In fact, we demand the opposite – Fire Jason Kenney!”

Over the past three months, Kenney has stated that Canada needs to get tough on immigrants who do not speak English or French. He has made inflammatory comments about Canada not being a hotel and that he will not tolerate immigrants not integrating into or embracing Canadian values.

“Such comments are fundamentally rooted in arbitrary racist ideologies. Who defines Canadian values? Kenney is appealing to public fears and prejudices of migrants rather than undertaking a systemic transformation of Canadian social, political, and labour segregations”, further states Mah.

Kenney has also appointed a failed Conservative candidate and known anti-gay activist to the Immigration and Refugee Board, made unsubstantiated claims about “systematic abuse” by Mexican asylum-seekers, and criticized the citizenship booklet for having information about recycling and not the Canadian military.

Despite Canada-wide outcry, Kenney cut Canadian Arab Federation funding for immigrant language instruction due to CAF’s involvement in pro-Palestinian efforts and barred well known UK MP George Galloway from entering Canada because of his opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan.

Contrary to Kenney’s double-speak about welcoming immigrants, in April Kenney oversaw the largest immigration raid in recent Canadian history, which went largely unreported. Executing unprecedented US-style tactics, Canadian Border Services Agency officers stormed into factories and farms in Ontario and detained over 100 non-status and migrant workers. In an illegal move, 41 of them were tricked into signing waivers that removed their right to a hearing and many have now been deported.

According to the Immigration Legal Committee of Toronto “We vociferously condemn the CBSA raids as a shift towards aggressive enforcement tactics. Every person should be concerned about the message this sends to our friends and community members.”

As stated by Cecily Nicholson of No One Is Illegal “The fact that all political parties voted in this survey reinforces that no party will strive towards migrant justice. It is reprehensible that they are endorsing an MP who so blatantly propagates racism against immigrants, enforces deportations of workers at gun point, and supports expanding slave-like temporary worker programs.”

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