Migrants, Moms and the Indian Act: How Federal Politics Touched Us This Week

By Scoffield, Heather; Chief, Ottawa Bureau | The Canadian Press, November 11, 2017 | Go to article overview

Migrants, Moms and the Indian Act: How Federal Politics Touched Us This Week


Scoffield, Heather, Chief, Ottawa Bureau, The Canadian Press


Three ways politics touched Cdns this week

--

OTTAWA - Bill Morneau's French villa? We hardly knew ye.

Weeks of loud opposition-led scorn over the finance minister's policies and personal wealth switched frequencies this week to highlight instead the Liberal connections to the Paradise Papers -- a huge leak of 13.4 million records linking the world's wealthy, including some 3,000 Canadians, to offshore tax havens.

Accusations of consorting with rich tax-avoiders who play by a different set of rules than the rest of us followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Asia -- at least until dramatic posturing on a renewed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement stole the limelight at the end of the week.

As politicians wrangled about large amounts of money shifting rapidly around the globe, there were developments much closer to home -- of a lower key, but with more immediate consequence for some families: warnings about migrants, changes to the treatment of women in the Indian Act and new options for parents who are about to have babies.

Here are three ways federal politics touched regular Canadians' lives this week:

BRACING FOR MORE MIGRANTS

Round three of a flood of asylum-seekers walking across the U.S. border into Canada may be on its way, but this time the federal government is making preparations well in advance.

The Trump administration has given notice that 5,000 Nicaraguans will have their temporary status in the United States revoked in the coming year. The status of 86,000 Hondurans and 200,000 Salvadorans is also in play.

Similar notice over the past year prompted asylum-seekers to show up in droves in Manitoba and then Quebec, taking local communities off guard. This time, the federal government has sent two Spanish-speaking MPs to talk to potential migrants in the U.S. beforehand in the hopes of dispelling any myths about what Canada may have to offer refugee claimants.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press also show the government has been bracing for the arrival of many of the 1.7 million "Dreamers" -- people who came to the U.S. illegally as children and were allowed to stay -- if that program comes to an end.

At the same time, the United Nations' top refugee official has issued a gentle warning to Ottawa, urging the federal government to keep politics out of how it deals with a rapidly growing caseload of refugee claimants waiting to have their pleas heard. …

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