From a Canadian Press article in the Toronto Star (Canada could lose multiculturalism, critics warn by Michael Oliveira, April 8, 2008):
Canada is signalling to the world that it views immigrants as commodities and not people, ethnic groups warned Tuesday as they voiced concerns about controversial legislation that they say could threaten the country's tradition of multiculturalism and diversity.
The proposed amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would give Ottawa new power to fast-track certain types of applicants, especially highly sought after skilled workers and give lower priority to others.
Many visible-minority communities – which added up to five million residents according to the latest census – fear the proposed changes would result in some immigrants being discriminated against and judged only as commodities, said Sima Sahar Zerehi of the group Status Now.
"Canadian immigration is being totally reverted from a system that is based on a humanitarian basis to a system that is totally being catered to economic gains," said Zerehi, who is Iranian and came to Canada as a refugee.
"Immigrants are being stripped of humanity and viewed as strictly economic units – and they can then be discarded when they're no longer useful."
The new policy could spell the demise of well-established ethnic communities that would shrink instead of grow as new immigration priorities are established, she said. And eventually, some ethnic cultures could disappear almost entirely from Canadian society as a result, she added.
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Read all of Mike Oliveira's article.
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