For generations, immigrant Canadians have voted solidly Liberal, seeing them as the party that promotes immigration and multiculturalism. But a new kind of immigrant is increasingly casting a different kind of vote.
Most new arrivals today come from Asia, and in the last federal election, visible-minority voters were almost as likely to vote Conservative as Liberal. The Conservatives have worked hard at convincing immigrants that their party welcomes them, and that the Conservatives' policies of lowering taxes and promoting a mild form of social conservatism align with the values of new arrivals.
The Liberals, however, insist they remain the party of inclusion and tolerance, and are fighting hard to win back the support of new Canadians.
Join the discussion now as Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Liberal Multiculturalism critic Rob Oliphant take your questions.
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Jason Kenney was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and has been re-elected four times. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2006, and to the cabinet in 2007. He is a former Chair of the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights. Prior to seeking election, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He represents the riding of Calgary Southeast.
Mr. Kenney is a graduate of Notre Dame College. He also studied at the St. Ignatius Institute of the University of San Francisco.
Rob Oliphant was first elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Don Valley West in 2008. He is a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and is currently serving as the Liberal Caucus' Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison with Queen's Park on Ontario Issues, the Co-Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group, and is Treasurer-Secretary of the Canada-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group. He is also the Liberal Caucus Multicultural Outreach Chair and is the Ontario Young Liberal Federal Caucus Liaison.
An ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, Mr. Oliphant earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Toronto, a Master's degree from the Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia and earned a doctorate degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, he has lived and worked in Newfoundland, Quyon in rural Quebec, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Whitehorse, Yukon.