Our MP faced brutal criticism this week for an first-come, first-served family reunification website that opened and closed in less than 10 minutes. Tens of thousands of people, including those who found it impossible to use the website quickly because of disabilities, will not be reunited with their families because they couldn’t click fast enough.
Who would have guessed that your WPMs would determine whether you’d see your children again?
Hussen, deservedly, got grilled in the House for this complete disaster. His response? Three years after the Liberals were elected, it’s still the Conservatives’ fault:
Mr. Speaker, we inherited a backlog of 167,000 people in the parents and grandparents program. Under Conservative leadership, families were waiting eight years to be reunited with their parents and grandparents.
Honestly, it brings me no joy to report on our MP’s tough times¹. However, Ahmed Hussen brings a fair bit of the trouble on himself. Yes, he has an extremely tough portfolio, but his long-standing habit of attacking instead of understanding has led him into trouble over and over again.
This week, the Canadian Press said (more delicately than I will) that Hussen lied when he told Canadians that the Liberal government has brought more parents and grandparents into Canada as part of the family reunification program than the Conservative government did.
The CP said that Hussen’s statement had “a lot of baloney”, its second-worst ranking, only short of “completely inaccurate”.
Hussen told the House:
We are responsible for quadrupling the number of spaces that parents and grandparents have to come to Canada. We will continue to reunite more families. I am amused by the Conservatives’ new-found passion for reuniting families. However, when they had the chance they failed.”
The CP took issue with the ‘quadrupling’ part of that quote. The number of families brought to Canada under the reunification program actually declined about 5% under the Liberals. The Conservatives brought together about 20,000 families; the Liberals about 19,000.
The Minister’s spokesperson said that Hussen wasn’t making things up: he was including spousal reunification in his numbers. “When talking about family reunification, as the minister does in the second portion of the quote, it is important to not limit yourself to the parents and grandparents program,” he told the CP.
Of course, this isn’t correct either. Hussen said “parents and grandparents”, and said that the Conservatives had brought 5000 families compared to the Liberals’ 20,000,
¹ Fine, a little joy.