Two things caught my eye:
- A useful and data filled essay by Conservative shadow immigration minister Michelle Rempel; and
- An opinion piece in the Toronto Sun by Candice Malcolm.
I agree with both that Canadian public opinion has turned, quite sharply against immigration and I think it has done so because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen have, jointly, botched, bungled, boggled and butchered the migration and border issues so badly that Canadians have lost faith in them and everything they touch.
That being said, Prime Minister Trudeau is right to want to raise immigration levels … or he would be if he had even the foggiest idea of what Canada needs.
The entire Liberal immigration, refugee, migrant and border security programme is based solely and completely on one, single campaign promise which aimed to exploit on Conservative misstep. In September 2015 this image went viral …
… little Alan Kurdi was only three years old and his tragic death became an election issue. Prime Minister Stephen Harper reacted cautiously but Canadians, by and large, wanted something different … they wanted someone, but they weren’t quite sure who, to do something, even though they didn’t quite know what. Justin Trudeau reacted with (characteristic but still contrived) generosity, which is what Canadians did want, and he dusted off an old Liberal campaign promise about admitting 25,000 Syrian refugees and there seems little doubt that appealed to many, many, many voters. The next thing we saw was out new prime minister welcoming refugees to Canada …
… and that image, too, went around the world and the Liberals saw that its was good and they decided they didn’t need to do anything else, even when migrants crossed our borders illegally and then claimed to be refugees seeking asylum …
… at first Canadians were pleased to see the Royal Canadian Mounted Police help children who struggled in the wait deep snow but after a year or so most Canadians came to the (wholly justified) conclusion that people who had no business being in Canada were streaming across our borders, exploiting loopholes in our laws and procedures all because the Trudeau regime is afraid to do anything that might, possibly, offend anyone. Put simply, they Liberals have been operating on the basis of a campaign photo-op for three years.
But, that being said, the Liberal goal of increasing immigration levels is the right one and it is one that the Conservatives should get behind, albeit with a real, coherent, grown-up plan. That plans needs to include:
- Closing ALL the loopholes that permit migrants to cross our borders with impunity;
- Detaining all irregular migrants until almost all of them can be deported;
- Regaining control of our borders. This includes finding better ways than the nonsensical United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration which will make the Laurentian Elites feel better about themselves but which will do little of value for real refugees;
- Setting our clear immigration goals, including explaining clearly and honestly, to Canadians and to would bu immigrants, just what sorts of people we are seeking and where we think they are, most likely, to originate ~ that would be China, India the Philippines, Europe (still) and South Korea, for something like half of all new immigrants … and, yes, does does mean more selective immigration which reinforces success; and
- Reimagining refugee policy from the ground up ~ beginning with acknowledging that bringing refugees to Canada is not always, or even often, the right answer.
The alternative to increased immigration is social and economic stagnation. Canada has, already, thanks to policy decisions taken by Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper, decide, irrevocably, to march down the multi-cultural road … no, we are not and, in the main, do not want to be a “post-national state,” that was always a somewhat juvenile pipe~dream, but one to which many progressives still cling. I think it is fairly obvious that most of our most successful and most productive “new Canadians” don’t want whatever a post-national state might be imagined to be; they want Canada, the country built on a solid foundation of liberal-democratic, capitalist, moderate and fiscally conservative institutions, to remain the country it is: the one where they and their children and their grandchildren can, by dint of their own hard work and vision, succeed and prosper … whether that means being a celebrity chef or guarding the Queen at Buckingham Palace. The Canada that they are helping to build will look a little different from the one into which I was born so many decades ago, some Canadians may have darker skins than their Scots-Irish forebearers and they have have dark, almond shaped eyes, too, but they will be no less Canadian so long as an overly empathic minority does not decide to try to reshape our institutions in ways that almost no one wants.