Ottawa, October 19, 2012 — Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney departed Brussels, Belgium yesterday marking the end of his official visit to Europe, which included visits to Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Belgium.
“Our government remains committed to creating a fast, flexible and proactive immigration system that helps strengthen Canada’s economy,” stated Minister Kenney.
“This trip provided the opportunity to further promote Canada internationally and to address migration issues with European officials.”
Minister Kenney first travelled to Dublin, Ireland, to participate in several immigration recruitment activities. He announced an expansion of the popular International Experience Canada Program and delivered a presentation at the Working Abroad Exposition where more than 50 Canadian companies had some 3,000 jobs on immediate offer.
Minister Kenney then travelled to Hungary where he met with Hungarian ministers and government officials. Discussions focused on Canada-Hungary relations, and patterns of irregular migration from Hungary to Canada. He also spoke with local residents and Roma community leaders as well as the Mayor and other civic leaders of the town of Miskolc, where approximately 40 percent of Hungarian refugee claimants to Canada originate.
“During my meetings with Hungarian officials, I was able to raise concerns about extremist groups intimidating minority communities, and encouraged the continuation of the government’s efforts to better integrate the Roma community in particular,” Minister Kenney said.
Sweden was the next stop on Minister Kenney’s European itinerary. There he met with Tobias Billström, Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy to discuss issues of common interest regarding refugee and immigration policy. He later spoke at FORES (Forum för Reformer och Entreprenörskap) – a think tank in Stockholm – where Canada’s immigration system was presented as a model for emulation.
In his visit to the United Kingdom, Minister Kenney further emphasized the importance of developing strong and complementary policies regarding migration. He met with David Metcalf, Chair of the government’s Migration Advisory Committee, and with Mark Harper, Minister of State for Immigration. The Minister also delivered the keynote speech at the BORDERPOL Conference where he emphasized the need to maintain the integrity of the immigration system.
On the last leg of his trip, Minister Kenney travelled to Brussels, Belgium, to meet with European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, to discuss European migration issues. Canadian and European Commission senior officials have initiated talks focusing on the high number of asylum claims in Canada by EU citizens, and possible measures to address this issue.
“Canada proudly continues to have one of the most generous immigration and refugee programs in the world,” Minister Kenney said.
“By discussing and addressing migration issues, Canadians can feel confident that the Government is ensuring our generosity is not open to abuse, and that the integrity of our immigration system is strong.”
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- Minister Kenney in Ireland
- Minister Kenney in Hungary
- Minister Kenney in Sweden
- Minister Kenney delivers a keynote speech at the BORDERPOL Conference – London, United Kingdom
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