The Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, was jubilant on Monday when he came to the government microphone in the House of Commons’ lobby to exult in the pending passage of his government’s refugee reform bill, C-31.
The vote in the House happened later that evening, and the government prevailed.
Now, the Bill goes to the Senate. The Minister said he hopes it will all be wrapped and declared law by the end of June.
The NDP’s immigration critic, Jinny Sims, did not share in the good cheer. She noted that this Bill replaces another reform that had passed with all party support in the last Parliament.
“At the time, Minister Kenney said the compromise bill was a near-miracle,” Sims said.
Not even the current bill’s supporters describe it as miraculous.
Sending a clear message, for sure.
Keeping faith with the law-abiding, hardworking taxpayers, maybe.
But no kind of miracle.
Neither the Minister nor the Opposition Critic got the kind of attention passage such a major government initiative would usually warrant.
The mainstream media has paid fairly scant attention to this legislation as the government has rammed it through Parliament. And the epic battle over the budget implementation bill, C-38, is sucking up all the oxygen these days.
Most journalists in the Commons’ lobby were after clips and quotes on C-38, and even a number of the small group who gathered for Kenney’s moment of exultation had no interest in the fate of asylum seekers coming to Canada and wanted to question the Minister about other matters.