Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Discussing Joe Volpe

I have been following the reports of the LPC(O) AGM on Liblogs, as well as reading up on Cerberus's blogger endorsements of the various candidates. At this stage, I am not ready to commit to anyone, but will probably decide near the end who to vote for (or whose delegate to vote for). No one has yet given very specific policies they would like to implement, so it is tough to judge.

Let me talk about Joe Volpe. While he was Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for Canada, he did one very good thing. He tabled legislation that allowed international students to work anywhere in Canada (not just their campuses) while they were students, and eased the path to their working in Canada after graduation, provided they stay away from the big cities.

He didn't have to do this. International students don't vote and are a cash cow for universities. I had a few friends who were international students, and I can tell you that obtaining money for tuition was always a concern. Many had to work under the table (gas stations, bus boys etc. for $4/hr). This law helped fight those illegal jobs, genuinely helped students (which in turn helps universities) and provided a way for Canada to harvest the talents of the brightest of them. The law was common sense, yet such a law had not been passed before. Besides, targetting smaller cities helped spread the wealth (and congestion) away from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Why am I wary of him?

"We don't need to re-invent the Party. We just need to give it back to the people who are its rightful owners. We need to take it back from the backroom players who hide behind new faces." - from his website.

Yet according to Carolyn Parrish, ex-Liberal MP, on CTS a few days back, it was Mr. Volpe who campaigned to not allow her back into the party, who was a core Martinite, and who was always a key player behind the scenes. I don't know if that is true, but I remember another incident about Mr. Volpe.

He was asked, on a visit to our mosque, by a young kid whose father was held by the government of Canada for years without a trial, on a security certificate. He detailed his life without his father, and asked Mr. Volpe when he could see his father again, and why Canada does not charge him or let him go. As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, I felt Mr. Volpe had no answer.


Anth said...

Joe Volpe will not make it onto the second ballot at the leadership convention this coming December. The reason why he tabled legislation for Canada to allow international students to work anywhere is because they can be New Canadians. New Voters. If they wish to stay.

Ashame he didn't have an answer. Let the boy see his father.

mezba said...

Anth - I agree with you, the present showing for Volpe does not look good.

Anonymous said...

Volpe will be in third or fourth place on first ballot.
If it comes to anyone but iggy he may have a shot at winning.