Jason Kenney dismisses Kellie Leitch’s immigrant-screening proposal, Candice Malcolm former Kenney staffer endorses Leitch’s proposal

Sharp contrast between former CIC Minister Kenney and one of his former staffers, Candice Malcolm. Starting with Kenney:

Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch hasn’t thought through her controversial position on screening immigrants for “anti-Canadian values,” former Tory immigration minister Jason Kenney says.

Following a speech in downtown Calgary on Friday, Mr. Kenney, who is seeking the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership, said he believes Dr. Leitch is pursuing an “improvised position” without understanding the negative impact of her words.

“I don’t take her position seriously. She’s never articulated it before,” Mr. Kenney said.

 “She’s never said a word about this in Parliament, caucus or cabinet. I don’t think she understands the nuance around these issues. You have to be very careful in the way you articulate questions about integration.”

Dr. Leitch, a Conservative MP from Ontario, e-mailed a survey last week to supporters that included a question about whether the federal government should screen potential immigrants and refugees for “anti-Canadian values.”

She later said she is protecting Canadian values from people who believe that women are property and can be beaten or that gays and lesbians should be stoned.

Despite widespread criticism including unflattering comparisons to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, Dr. Leitch has defended her position that screening is needed without saying how immigration officials would actually vet new Canadians.

Source: Jason Kenney dismisses Kellie Leitch’s immigrant-screening proposal – The Globe and Mail

And Malcolm’s defence of Leitch:

To most Canadians, this is a perfectly reasonable suggestion. In fact, back in 2011 the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation commissioned a report through Dalhousie University that asked very similar questions.

In that survey, 97% of Canadians agreed that values such as “gender equality”and “tolerance of others” must be embraced by newcomers. Likewise, 96% of immigrant Canadians agreed with embracing Canadian values.

According to a Globe and Mail report at the time,the survey demonstrated “a solid consensus around the notion that immigrants should accept certain values as a precondition for joining Canadian society.”

A “pre-condition” – meaning potential immigrants should accept these values before coming to Canada.

The survey also found that nine in 10 Canadians believed that Canadian laws should take precedence over religious laws and that newcomers should learn about Canada’s history and culture. Eight in 10 Canadians supported the idea that immigrants should “raise their children as Canadians.”

The overwhelmingly majority of Canadians believed that newcomers should accept our values. And the media hardly raised an eyebrow.

That was then, and this is now.

Five years ago, we all agreed that Canadian values were cherished and worth protecting. We were confident in ourselves and proud of our country. We celebrated our Canadian values, and weren’t afraid to promote our way of life to newcomers. But things have changed.

In 2016, any suggestion that our values are important leads to name-calling and hysteria. Leitch has received a fury of condemnation from media elites, Liberals and even many of her fellow Conservative caucus members.

They’ve accused her of “xenophobia,” “racism,”“dog-whistle politics,” and compared her to Donald Trump. The comparison is silly.

Trump has been successful in the U.S. for lashing out at the establishment, brazenly opposing political correctness and making shocking comments about various minority groups. He irresponsibly called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., categorized Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and initially failed to denounce a former KKK leader.

Trump has built his candidacy around emotional appeals to American greatness,while not-so-subtly winking at racists and white supremacists.

Leitch, by stark contrast, made a simple suggestion about standing up for Canadian values, and followed up with a thoughtful explanation.

But elites in Canada are paranoid. The rise of Trump in the U.S, alongside the resurgence of nationalism and anti-immigration parties in Europe, has made many nervous. Wary of a similar movement in Canada, many are determined to nip discussions of integration and immigration reform in the bud before they grow.

This shows a lack of confidence in Canadian commonsense. Not every conservative is aDonald Trump in waiting. Not every proposal surrounding immigrant and integration is tantamount to Trumpian racism.

Kellie Leitch is no Donald Trump

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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