Canada government gets go-ahead on immigration changes

April 10th, 2008 - 11:11 am ICT by admin  

Toronto, April 10 (IANS) The Canadian government survived a confidence motion when the main opposition Liberal party voted with it on a controversial immigration amendment. The amendment was part of the budget implementation bill whose defeat would have brought the government down and sent Canada to polls. Since the Liberal party, which is called Canada’s natural governing party, does not feel confident of defeating the ruling Conservative party, it decided not to trigger an election.

However, it was the smaller NDP that introduced the motion against the budget bill, which the government managed to defeat by 201-68 with Liberal party support Wednesday.

“After Wednesday’s vote, the bill will new go to a parliamentary committee which will study it minutely. After this, it will again come before the House for a vote,” former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal told IANS.

“If it is again approved by the House, the bill will go the Senate for its approval. If it is okayed there also, it will become the law. It may take a minimum of three week and any length of time,” Grewal said.

Despite having voted in its favour because it didn’t want an election, the Liberal party said it would have ample opportunities to defeat the bill at later stages.

Describing the bill as anti-immigrant, Liberal immigration critic Maurizio Bevilacqua said his party would study all aspects of the bill and may vote against it later.

All the three opposition parties oppose the bill as it gives sweeping powers to the immigration minister to pick and choose immigrants. The minister can decide how many and what category of immigrants are allowed in each year.

However, the ruling Conservative party says the bill is aimed at streamlining the immigration system, which is now saddled with a backlog of over 925,000 applications.

The House witnessed heated exchanges between the prime minister and the leader of the Liberal party during the vote.

Liberal Leader St

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