Saturday, April 21, 2012

Many divided on proposed immigration changes

SURREY (NEWS1130) - There's a mix of concern and support over the government's plans for new Canadians to speak one of our official languages.

News1130 spoke to people at the Vaisakhi festival in Surrey on their thoughts of the proposed changes.

Some worry that making French or English mandatory will cause difficulty for some families who want to bring elderly relatives into the country. They say older family members may struggle to pick up a new language.

"It stops the families from coming together in Canada, the mother or the father still in India or something, the daughter is here, and she can't bring her parents over anymore - that I don't agree with," says one man attending the festival.

Others say language should be required and encouraged to help immigrants start their new country. They stress that it's much easier to succeed and get around in Canada and support the proposal to make it mandatory for citizenship.

"If you are coming to an English-speaking country, you should know the language," says another festival attendee. "That's fine. It should be done a long time ago, even."

The reforms would have Canadian citizens provide written proof of their language abilities.

Theywill be asked to submit evidence that they completed secondary orpost-secondary education in English or French; they could also provideresults of approved third-party tests, or proof of success ingovernment-funded language training programs.