In a press conference on Wednesday morning, Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Gerard Deltell announced the Conservative plan to tackle the subject of immigration–a debate that has recently made waves in the country and within the party.
With respect to Trudeau’s handling of the subject, Rempel stated that “it feels as though our current Prime Minister has treated setting the number of immigrants allowed into Canada like an auction, arbitrarily selecting numbers and driving them up based on where he believes he can achieve positive coverage in the press or feel good vibes from non-governmental organizations.”
The party plans to launch a nationwide “Pathway to Canada” tour that would “seek input from Canadians, newcomers themselves, industry groups, provincial counterparts, international partners, and civil society groups” on the issue of immigration.
Rempel cited the challenges of providing social support to irregular refugees in the context of Trudeau enlarging the federal debt and increasing taxes on Canadians.
Referencing Trudeau’s exchange with a heckler in Quebec, Rempel denounced the prime minister’s use of “calling Canadians nasty names when they ask questions about our immigration process.”
Ottawa has recently decided to give $50 million to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba to ease costs related to the flow of irregular refugees into the country. However, provinces have asked for much more, with Québec demanding $146 million. Mayor of Toronto John Tory declared that the city of Toronto alone faces costs up to $64.5 million. The redisbrition of the $50 million would give Québec $36 million, with Ontario receiving $11 million and Manitoba $3 million.
When pressed on a potential immigration threshold permitted by a future Conservative government, Rempel refused to respond with a specific number. “Prime Minister Andrew Scheer would set those numbers, by putting first a formal process in place.”
Rempel ended her speech stating that “Unity is Canada’s Strength.” The “Pathway to Canada” tour is planned to begin this autumn.
Maxime Bernier–Conservative MP for the Québec riding of Beauce–was unimpressed with the Conservative press conference.
Bernier is in large part responsible for launching Canada’s current immigration debate, having posted a series of tweets denouncing Trudeau’s approach on the issue.
In a tweet posted today, Bernier likened Trudeau’s discourse on the subject to George Orwell’s totalitarian government in 1984.
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