Canada Weakens Citizenship While Australia Strengthens It
Canada now has the weakest immigration rules in the English-speaking world.
Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada has reduced the barriers for citizenship while others across the West are heading in the opposite direction. Our allies are strengthening citizenship rules to meet the new reality that our borders—and, increasingly, our values—are under siege.
Australia is the latest country to address this issue, as centre-right Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced sweeping changes to his country’s citizenship and immigration framework.
Australia will reduce its immigration intake, cap the maximum age for skilled workers at 45, and bring in tough new English language requirements for all new residents.
In order to be eligible for Australian citizenship, newcomers are now required to live in Australia for four years, pass an English language test as well as a civics test, or, what is being dubbed an “Australian values” test.
When it comes to defining Australian values, Turnbull said, frankly, “we’re defined by a commitment to common values, political values, the rule of law, democracy, freedom, mutual respect, equality for men and women.”
Imagine that. A country so sure of itself, it can restructure its immigration system and ask newcomers to pass a values-test without digressing into hysterics.
In Canada, the very suggestion that Canadian values exist has led to endless pearl-clutching and mud-slinging from the elites. Just look at what happened to Kellie Leitch.
Liberal elites in politics and the media launched a campaign to condemn Leitch for the crime of suggesting Canada has a common set of values worth defending.
On the other hand, these elites cheer on Justin Trudeau as he continues to devalue what it means to be Canadian.
Trudeau told The New York Times magazine that Canada has “no core identity, no mainstream” as he discussed his vision of a “post-national” state. At the same time, Trudeau’s government was busy ramming through legislation to allow newcomers quick and easy access to Canadian citizenship.
Trudeau’s Bill C-6 law scrapped English tests for newcomers over the age of 54, reduced the amount of time needed in Canada to become a citizen – down to just three years of part-time residency – and, perhaps worst of all, it gives citizenship back to a convicted terrorist.
For cynical political reasons, the Liberals reduced the barriers for Canadian citizenship.
After years of careful study and broad consultation, the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper had made changes to strengthen our citizenship. Much like Australia’s new rules, Canada began requiring more time in Canada, a comprehensive language test and a better knowledge of Canadian history and civics.
A few months after being elected, however, the Trudeau Liberals scrapped these changes and went even further to reduce the barriers for citizenship.
When asked if his government had any evidence or data to explain the reason for eliminating the language test for many newcomers, former immigration minister John McCallum admitted they had none.
The Trudeau government never had any rationale for watering down our citizenship laws.
Its only response was that it should be easier to become a Canadian – without acknowledging that Canada already has lax citizenship requirements compared to most other countries.
This is even more so the case now that Australia is taking steps to strengthen the values of its citizenship.
Canadians, meanwhile, are left to watch our government water down the meaning of our citizenship in pursuit of Trudeau’s “post-national” dream, while elites in the media cheer him on.