The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) has started a campaign to gather support for the Canadian government to reconsider its decision to close its Visa Office in Tehran.
The “non-profit and non-partisan” organization is asking Iranian-Canadians to copy, sign and send an email letter to the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, stating concerns over the office’s closure.
Last April, Mr. Kenney announced the Visa Office closure was said it was for budgetary reasons. Since the closure, visa services for Iran have been transferred to the Canadian embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
The ICC is also planning to organize an event to show opposition to the recently passed immigration reform bill (C-31) – The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.
ICC Vice President and Toronto-based lawyer Kaveh Shahrooz said this can be a defining moment for the Iranian-Canadian community.
“Through this we can illustrate to the government, and other parties who may in the future form a government, that we are a community to be taken seriously and our vote can’t be taken for granted,” said Shahrooz.
“We’re voters with long memories,” Shahrooz told Salam Toronto.
The ICC previously sent a letter to Minister Kenney’s office, and to other members of government, listing their concerns and asking for them to reconsider the closure.
“We highlighted some of the issues with hopes that the Minister would reach out to us and give us a better explanation of why they have done this…and try to figure out solutions to the issues the community is concerned about,” he said.
Mr. Shahrooz said he has yet to hear a reply from the Minister’s office and added that Iranian-Canadians sending the letters will “communicate a community’s ability to organize itself effectively and quickly and it can indicate the community’s political power.”
Shahrooz also hinted that as long as people participate, a positive response from the Minister and the government should follow.
The letter can be found in this week’s issue of Salam Toronto.
For instructions and additional information on how to join the campaign and send a letter to the Minister, visit www.iccongress.ca.