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Jason Kenney's gay email

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Jason Kenney's gay email

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Minister praises government's promotion of queer rights in targeted emails
Has Immigration Minister Jason Kenney been emailing you?
 
Maybe it’s because you’re gay.
 
The minister sent out an email on Sept 24 lauding the government’s efforts to protect and promote queer rights abroad. It highlights the “emphasis . . . on gay and lesbian refugee protection, which is without precedent in Canada’s immigration history.”
 
The Ottawa Citizen’s Glen McGregor broke the story, complete with reaction over the "creepy" letter. Many were left scratching their heads, wondering how the ministry got a list of emails for queer Canadians. (This journalist didn’t receive one.)
 
One heterosexual Facebook user was confused upon receiving the email that appeared to be for gay eyes only.
 
Alexis Pavlich, a spokesperson for Minister Kenney, told Xtra that the email “was sent in response to individuals who have communicated with our office about gay refugee issues.”
 
Some who received the emails, however, are calling foul, arguing that they've never contacted Kenney's office before.
 
Kenney was in the news earlier this month, trumpeting his government’s acceptance of more than 100 queer refugees from Iran. However, the government has yet to introduce a metric to measure the number of queer refugees claiming asylum, nor has it established guidelines on how to admit those who claim persecution based on sexual orientation, evidenced by cases such as Leatitia Nanziri's.
 
The email also tags in Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who took to the UN to raise “the particular plight of gay and lesbian refugees.”
 
Even though he’s never stated it publicly, Baird has been outed by a Conservative colleague in the mainstream press.
 
The email also touches on “efforts to promote basic freedoms around the world, and to take a stand . . . against the marginalization of women in many societies.” This comes amidst news that Kenney will vote in favour of a bill that could reopen the long-dormant abortion debate in the House of Commons. 
 
The letter concludes by citing numerous news articles that promote the government’s approach to dealing with queer refugees, including a letter from the minister posted on Xtra
 
This summer, Xtra reported on changes to Canada’s immigration laws introduced by Kenney that activists say could hurt queer refugees disproportionately
 
Kenney's email even cites the Rainbow Refugee Coalition, whose staff members might not appreciate being used for Conservative campaigning given that they’ve blasted many of the government's positions on immigration reform.
 
This isn’t the first time Canadians have been unsettled by cultural targeting by the Conservatives. As McGregor notes, there was a kerfuffle raised in 2007 when many Jewish-Canadians were surprised to find Rosh Hashanah greeting cards in their mailboxes, despite not being affiliated with any Jewish groups.
  
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Comments

Politiziation of Human Rights
Before Rainbow Refugee Society agreed to take on a pilot project of a blended program with the federal government, to sponsor LGBT refugees, we talked about our concern that there was a real possibility that LGBTQ communities could be exploited for political ends. We decided that since we have always been non-partisan as an organization, and given the number of emails we were receiving from LGBTQ people experiencing persecution, that we would take back some of our own tax dollars to work in solidarity with those working for change globally. So now, I am not surprised by the email.
One of our concerns about the email is the singling out of Iran and Iranian LGBTQ refugees. We know that there are LGBT seeking protection from many countries around the world. Why name Iran Is there another agenda at work.
There are many contradictions between the words and the actions of Kenney. Members of Rainbow Refugee Society, along with many other groups, appeared before both the Parliamentary Committee and the Senate expressing our serious concerns about the negative effect that the Bill C-31, (now law) will have on all refugees, including LGBTQ individuals. However, it was clear that the consultation process was mere window dressing. Many legal minds think that, in practice, Canada is no longer meeting its international obligatons.
In my opinion, there is something seriously wrong with a so-called democratic system that allows the interests of only 30% of the population to drastically change legislation and the fabric of our society. It is time for us to wake up, open our eyes and put aside our complacency.
Wow....
You guys are a bunch of petty people.... Even if they do the right thing you still get mad.. Losers...
Inevitable, Expected
People should have expected this. All personal and contact information posted on the internet, as well as your magazine subscriptions and whatnot, are sold to third parties. And that includes political parties, charities, other media outlets, and other entities which are exempt from hings like telemarketing laws. There is nothing 'creepy' about this, anymore than your credit card company selling your purchasing data to third parties. If you want privacy, don't share your info. At least be thankful this isn't a Liberal government--that party turned voters' lists over to the LTTE, who trolled Tamil names for 'donations.'
Reply to Kenney
Dear Jason Kenney,

Your government's foreign policy is not driven by principles supportive of human rights, basic freedoms, gays or women. You support repressive military regimes in Latin America and around the world with FTA's that have toothless labour & environmental standards.Your party has turned Canada into a rogue state that flouts basic human rights priciples in almost everything you do, including selling crude oil to China, a country universally recognized to have over-weening self-interest at the heart of their foreign policy.

Your government is almost entirely about securing advantage for the most regressive corporate actors, with virtually no understanding or regard for human rights, particularly concerning the environment.

It is presumptuous to address voters who oppose you, and who have never contacted you, or your office, as "friends".

The best that could be said of this communication is that it didn't cost any paper, and that your govenment is willing to support human rights in a small way as "no regrets" measures, when they don't get in

the way of corporate cronyism.

Your record on human rights is abysmal, see "More News" at http://www.hrw.org/americas/canada -- it has a four page list of your government's misdeeds (below).

And Toronto's LGBT paper doesn't see you as supportive of their community either, see http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Jason_Kenneys_gay_email-12582.aspx .


Yours sincerely,


Peter Shepherd
Toronto


cc , CBC Metro Morning, Xtra
The SOBs got me too
I sent him an email back calling him on the propaganda and how it doesn't stack up to reality one damn bit.
More on "I received one too"
Part 2 of my comment: I did not receive anything from John Baird's office. Perhaps his office asked Kenney's office to send me the message he was going to send out anyways? What I thought of at the time was "what about the Iraqi gay people and what about the Central American guy who was deported a year or two ago? I thought it had to do with propaganda against Iran rather than any real concern for gay refugees. Now I wonder how the e-mail addresses of those who did not write to Kenney or Baird?
I received one too
I received a message from Jason Kenney as well; however, I had written to John Baird only a couple of days before so thought it odd that Kenney wrote but assumed it was in response to my letter. I had written to Baird to thank him for taking in Iranian refugees but suggesting he, also, take in Iraqi gay refugees as they are currently being tortured and murdered by Iraqi police (and assumedly militia men as well since they have been torturing and killing gay people since the Americans left).
And they lie..
Alexis Pavlich, a spokesperson for Minister Kenney, told Xtra that the email “was sent in response to individuals who have communicated with our office about gay refugee issues.”

But, I've never communicated with them about gay issues !

I am also surprised to receive an email in english only. Poor Canada !!
disingenuous
It's disingenuous for Mr. Jason Kenney to crow about Canada's gay and lesbian refugee protection, which He and his political party thinks is without precedent in Canada’s immigration history. Its well known the current government regularly deports LGBT refugees back to Mexico and Philippines and other countries that are in real in need of Canada's protection. The LGBT human rights record of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is abysmal. My common-law partner of three years (A gay Hungarian Roma refugee) was denied a claim Jan 25, 2012. IMM said there's not persecu tion in Hungary its a safe country. Go home. The immigration adjudicator (A conservative appointee) did take not into account he was a gay Roma. We appeal the decision in May on LGBT Human Rights grounds. Homosexuality is taboo in Roma culture and there's no LGBT human rights in protection in Hungary's new constitution 2012. Our lawyer received word Sept 10. Claim dismissed. No explanation given.He now has to return to Hungary where is life will be great danger. I am preparing to sponsoring back under Family Class, knowing there's no guarantee there either, that we will be successful. Why Canada has no love for the Roma, a very little gays and lesbians. We know Mr. Jason Kenney and others labels all Hungarian Roma Refugees bogus and criminals. So much for Canada's record on LGBT refugee human rights protection.
Trans, too?
Does this mean we can expect him to cast a vote in favour of bill C-279 the next time it comes to the table? I'll believe that when I see it.

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