Tuesday, October 18, 2011


According to reports, language testing would be a feature of a new citizenship policy. This has been a long time coming and makes eminent sense, as long as it is applied with common sense. Speaking an official language is an essential citizenship feature and evidence of integration. The government should not, however, apply this policy in a blanket fashion to be seen as "politically correct": its makes no sense to test those who are English-speaking or have received university level education in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, or any other English speaking country. Testing those who are educated in English is nothing but stupidity. We now have a bizzarre situation with applicants for permanent residency, where the government, in its zeal to appear even handed and ethnic neutral, demands that people born and educated in the US, UK, and Ireland be tested. That is a waste of time, money, and resources. Test those who do not speak English as their first language or have not received education in English at a post-secondary level. Test sponsored relative applicants ( now exempt), but please do not test everyone willy-nily!

Citizens must speak official languages: Feds Canada News Toronto Sun

Citizens must speak official languages: Feds

By Kris Sims ,Parliamentary Bureau
First posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 08:46 PM EDT Updated: Monday, October 17, 2011 08:53 PM EDT

OTTAWA - Immigrants who want to become Canadian citizens could soon face tougher testing.

The federal government is considering tighter rules on language proficiency, insisting Canadian citizens speak either English or French or both.

“Some people, believe it or not, have been able to take translators with them into an oral test, with citizenship judges. What's the point, exactly?” Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday. “I have met too many citizens that don't speak English or French. That never should have happened. Under this new system that's not going to happen any longer.”

Currently, Canada requires potential citizens between the ages of 18 and 54 to communicate in one official language, but they are not objectively tested by a third party. A new plan would change that, also needing proof of graduation from secondary school in English or French.

The opposition is considering the idea, but says caution is necessary until they have examined the proposals.

“In general, I am in favour of any measure that encourages people to become more proficient in English or French, otherwise they can become quite isolated,” said NDP immigration critic Don Davies. “We have to be somewhat careful about this because there are some categories of obtaining citizenship where requiring too high a standard could present a barrier, such as sponsored parents.”

Currently, the language portion of a citizenship test is written. Proposed changes would include speaking and listening skills.

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