In the light of the international Terrorist threat, Canada has often been criticized for its "lenient" immigration policies. Political commentators suggest that Canada should close its doors to immigrants as a security measure. Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently defended Canada's immigration policies, noting his commitment to a multicultural Canada..

Yesterday at the United Nations World Forum, Prime Minister Stephen Harper proclaimed that despite criticism on the issue, Canada will be maintaining its open-door policy to immigrants. Harper claimed Canada's cultural diversity as its "greatest strength" against the terrorist threat that exists against all cities in the world today. The Conservative government is committed to "preserving and strengthening the cultural diversity that makes us strong".

Harper commented that Canada has largely avoided the development of impoverished, crime-ridden ghettos in their cities. Noting that "failed neighborhoods… are the breeding grounds for criminality and violence", Harper's Conservative government has budgeted $50 million this year and plan for another $7 billion over the next 4 years for community improvement programs. Growth and improvement of education and safety of the many multi-ethnic communities found in Canadian cities that are established by immigrants to Canada is the focus of this budget. These communities, Harper notes, harbor the goodwill and generosity that Canada is so highly regarded for internationally.

Summarized from the Globe and Mail, June 20,2006