Canada’s Populist Party Introduces Trumpian Immigration Plan

Strong endorsement by the American right. Not sure how this will help the Bernier in Canada:

Donald Trump’s influence has crossed the border into Canada. Last week, the populist People’s Party of Canada unveiled its immigration plan. The plan echoes the America First agenda and would provide a solid immigration model for American patriots to imitate.

The PPC’s plan would reduce immigration, combat multiculturalism, focus on high-skilled immigrants, and emphasize assimilation.

Maxime Bernier, a member of Parliament from Quebec and PPC’s leader, delivered the plan along with “Muslim dissident” and long-time critic of multiculturalism, Salim Mansur. Bernier is a former state minister who nearly became the leader of Canada’s more establishment right-wing party, the Conservative Party of Canada, two years ago. He left the Conservatives last year over their cowardice in addressing vital policies, such as immigration. Word is, he was pushed out by way of a rigged vote. He labelled the Conservatives “intellectually and morally corrupt” before leaving.

“For decades now, there has only been one acceptable position among our political and intellectual elites: more, and more, and more immigration,” Bernier said in a speech last week. “There is a taboo around this topic. As soon as you raise a concern about the level of immigration, someone will accuse you of harboring anti-immigrant views and being racist or xenophobic.”

Bernier singled out Conservatives for their weakness on immigration: “[Conservative Party leader] Andrew Scheer gave a speech on immigration a few weeks ago. He did not say anything relevant or significant. He did not mention any number. Instead, he spent half an hour pleading that he is not racist.”

Bernier said he needed only 30 seconds to dispel media smears his party is racist. He pointed to minority candidates in PPC and the party’s emphasis on “shared values, culture and identity,” not skin color. He told any journalist who may call them racists to “take a hike!”

The PPC’s plan to reduce immigration puts them on the side of most Canadians. Nearly 50 percent of Canadians want immigration reduced, while only 6 percent want it increased. “The Liberals are the extremists! We are the mainstream!” Bernier declared.

At the heart of the PPC’s plan is the extraordinary idea that “Canada’s immigration policy should be to economically benefit Canadians and Canada as a whole.”

Bernier says that “mass immigration, open borders, unvetted immigration, [and] extreme multiculturalism” fails to fulfill this obligation. “On the contrary, it’s a very dangerous type of social engineering. It amounts to large-scale government intervention in society and culture,” he said of Canada’s current policies. “It will bring increasing cultural balkanisation, distrust, social conflict, and potentially violence, as we are seeing in other countries where division has reached a critical level.”

Bernier also noted the economic costs of unrestricted mass immigration. He claims that nearly 74 percent of immigrants are subsidized by the government, which costs Canadian taxpayers between $16 billion and $24 billion every year. He also argues that immigrants, given their congestion in Canada’s major urban areas, cause housing prices and rents to skyrocket; a huge problem, especially in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.

With these facts in mind, Bernier argues Canada should “stop being politically correct. We must recognize that not all values, not all social customs, not all cultures are equally valuable. Our distinct values are those of contemporary Western civilization.”

He accuses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being the “biggest peddler” of the lie “that all cultures are equal.” “[Trudeau] simply doesn’t care about Canada’s culture and identity, heritage and traditions. He sees himself as a citizen of the world.”

Trudeau drew outrage in 2017 when he told one interview he believed Canada had “no core identity” and was, he thought, the first “postnational state.”

Bernier says this “globalist” vision denies Canada’s identity and threatens to destroy it. The PPC plan aims to counter that threat.

The plan would address five key problems. The first is immigration levels: “A People’s Party government will substantially lower the total number of immigrants and refugees we accept every year, from 350,000 to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on economic and other circumstances.”

The second is multiculturalism: “A People’s Party government will repeal the Multiculturalism Act and eliminate all funding to promote multiculturalism. We will instead emphasize the integration of immigrants into Canadian society.”

The third is economic immigration. The PPC wants to reform the country’s point system to favor skilled immigrants, limit the number of migrants accepted under family reunification, and eliminate birth tourism

The fourth area is assimilation. Bernier’s plan calls for a tougher screening process to ensure migrants “share mainstream Canadian values.” Those who are found to not have Western values will be rejected.

The final area is refugees. The PPC will put more barriers on the border, accept fewer refugees from the United States and abroad, reduce the government subsidization, and end Canada’s reliance on the United Nations for refugee selection.

Bernier promised that his party “will unite Canadians with an immigration policy designed to benefit all of us.”

The plan is similar to immigration proposals President Trump has touted. Both the RAISE Act and the immigration plan Trump announced in May would make America’s immigration system more merit-based and cut down chain migration. Both plans would make it tougher to gain asylum and strengthen border security. Both American plans favor English-speaking immigrants who can easily integrate and contribute.

However, the PPC’s plan goes much further than the two plans Trump proposes. It calls for a reduction in immigration from close to 400,000 under Trudeau to between 100,000 and 150,000, depending on the economy. Trump’s new plan does not reduce immigration in contrast to the RAISE Act.

And neither American plan addresses multiculturalism or the cultural effects of immigration. Then again, America does not have a Multiculturalism Act. Thanks to the efforts of Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, Canada made multiculturalism official federal policy, thus supplanting English and French bicultural nationalism.

Most American immigration hawks typically avoid the cultural effects of mass immigration in favor of focusing on its economic effects. There are notable exceptions, such as Tucker Carlson and U.S. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa). Bernier demonstrates a bolder path that attacks mass immigration on both cultural and economic grounds.

The PPC’s immigration plan is a brilliant set of policy proposals and would make Canada great again. Republicans should take notes.

Source: Canada’s Populist Party Introduces Trumpian Immigration Plan

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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