Jason Kenney: a bright spot during a troubling week for the Tories - Macleans.ca

Jason Kenney: a bright spot during a troubling week for the Tories

Tease the day: Irish applicants for Canadian visas are through the roof, and demand is expected to remain high.


Blair Gable

Conservatives in Ottawa aren’t having an easy go of things, these days. Senator Patrick Brazeau was placed on leave yesterday. Senator Pamela Wallin is having her travel expenses audited. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is being pressured by the NDP to apologize for comments he made during last year’s debate about the government’s since-scrapped internet surveillance bill. International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino is under fire for defending the funding of a Christian humanitarian group that published controversial statements about homosexuality. Indeed, the governing party is fighting a few small fires.

And then there’s Jason Kenney, the Immigration Minister. Today, we learn that Irish applications for Canadian “working holiday” visas are through the roof. Canada’s embassy in Dublin handed out 6,350 of the visas in fewer than three days. Last year, it took months longer to hand out fewer visas. Next year, the National Post reports, demand will remain high. Kenney’s not exactly an uncontroversial political figure, but leave it to his file to be among the only bright spots during a week when the government could use a little more of that.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the Senate’s vote to place Senator Patrick Brazeau on leave. The National Post fronts sky-rocketing Irish demand for temporary work visas in Canada. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the taxpayer-funded wining and dining of Italian helicopter executives. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the transport of spent nuclear fuel rods from Chalk River to the United States. iPolitics fronts Chinese investors’ growing interest in Canada. CBC.ca leads with the presumed death of an ex-Los Angeles police officer in a deadly stand-off. National Newswatch showcases a CTV News story about the Senate’s audit of Senator Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. RCMP. Human Rights Watch says the RCMP and Aboriginal communities have a “dysfunctional” relationship, just one element of which involves violence against women and girls. 2. Premiers’ swag. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation recently discovered that when premiers met in Halifax last July, they each went home with over $50,000 in goodies.
3. Vets’ lawyers. In the wake of a multi-million-dollar pension settlement, the lawyers representing a group of disabled veterans will take home $66 million in fees. 4. Zombies. Quebec’s public security department will hold a symposium that will discuss, among other things, “how to handle a zombie attack.” Braaaains.

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Jason Kenney: a bright spot during a troubling week for the Tories

  1. What a weird headline.

    The fact that some young Irish people see no future in Ireland is somehow the result of Kenney? Is the writer suggesting that if Kenney wasn’t in his position that the visa’s wouldn’t have been filled? What a ridiculous false conclusion. Kenney has nothing to do with the fact that Ireland’s young people have giving up on their own country. Over 100,000 young people have left the country in the last 2 years, does Kenney get credit for that as well?

    What a ridiculous and stupid column.

    • I suspect the working holiday visas are more relatively well-heeled young Irish citizens just finished high school or just started “uni” havng an adventure abroad. (An easy way to check would be to see how many cut their stay length short and return when the school year starts). But the author’s odd sense of what makes successful public image management for the CPC continues (usually veering towards overestimation).

    • This may be the only time you’ll catch me defending JK.
      You may have missed the story of kenney peddling his wares on popular Irish tv shows or some kind . Presumably he made extra visa spaces available. He certainly promoted the hell out of it. And it wasn’t without some controversy[ heh it is JK after all] Why are we pushing this so hard at a time when we have record youth unemployment? Not that i resent somebody hard up over there getting a leg up really. But why are we friggin around with working holiday visas when we need to ramp up training programmes for our own youth?
      I don’t think Nick has entirely covered all the bases anyway. Saunders has a devastating rebuke at the GM, for Kenney’s typically obtuse proposed bill to strip dual citizens of their citizenship if they’re convicted of terrorism. Turns out even our spys know that it is a home grown problem, not an immigrant one.Guess they don’t talk to the likes of JK.

  2. I don’t follow how the high number of Irish visa applicants translates into Kenney being a bright spot in a sea of screw ups. What am I missing?

  3. Wait until he finds out how many applications are from the
    Irish tinker brigade ..