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People’s March Against Jason Kenney on Sat July 24th at 2 pm, Central Park, Burnaby; Actions also taking place in Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, and Winnipeg.
Wednesday July 21, 2010, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories– The refugee rights and migrant justice organization No One Is Illegal is organizing a nation-wide day of protest in five cities against Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. According to Alex Mah of No One Is Illegal, “Jason Kenney is routinely called the Minister of Censorship and Deportation because of his record as one of the most repressive immigration ministers in Canadian history. But there is a growing grassroots movement across the country rising out of schools, neighbourhoods, and workplaces to reject Kenney's oppressive and racist policies.”
The growing difficulty immigrants and refugees are facing is evident through a series of fundamental shifts under Kenney. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s 2009 annual report the number of refugees who had their asylum claims approved dropped by 56% over the past four years since the Conservatives have been in power. The 2009 report also revealed a decreasing “target” of 11,000 people in the number of accepted asylum seekers and sponsored family members. Most recently, Kenney’s new refugee bill has created a racist two tier system based on nationality.
“Kenney uses words like ‘expediency’ and ‘efficiency’ to cover for the violent reality of immigrant and refugee exclusion. He has enforced deportations at gun point and drastically expanded slave-like temporary worker programs. Deportation is a daily business in Canada and a daily experience for refugees, non status people, and migrant workers,” states Proma Tagore, member of No One Is Illegal.
Over the past year, Kenney appointed a known anti-gay activist to the Immigration and Refugee Board, called war resisters ‘bogus’ refugees, barred British MP George Galloway from Canada because of his opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan, instituted visa requirements for Czechs and Mexicans, oversaw unprecedented immigration raids in workplaces and women shelters in Ontario, defended Quebec Bill C 94 that discriminates against women who wear the niqab, and deliberately removed references to LGBT rights from the citizenship guide.
Under his regime, an Eritrean refugee committed suicide from fear of a pending deportation, and a young woman was murdered upon her deportation to Mexico. “This whole system is a facade. It is corrupt, biased, inhumane, and arbitrary. While people are dying, Kenney is concerned about his bid to become Canada’s next prime minister. Kenney is responsible for crimes against people and should be challenged and confronted by people across the country” states Brian Peaslee of No One Is Illegal.
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Kenney “Wanted” poster image: http://bit.ly/alj2C9.
List of over 70 organizations supporting the march: http://noii-van.resist.ca/?p=2025