'No Such Thing In Canada As An Anti Immigrant Politician'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau keeps warning that the next federal election is going to be nasty because Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and his party are fear-mongering about immigration.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen accuses not just the opposition Conservatives, but the Progressive Conservative government in Ontario, of the same thing.

It’s clearly going to be a Liberal theme throughout the election campaign leading up to the vote on Oct. 21 — a deliberate political strategy linking criticism of Liberal immigration and refugee policies to allegations the underlying motives are xenophobia and racism.

Trudeau claims he’s open to an honest discussion about immigration and refugee policies, but it’s clear from his public statements that he is not.

Rather, any questioning of Liberal dogma on these issues during the election will be attacked by Liberal candidates as unCanadian, including Trudeau’s plan to increase the annual immigration target to 350,000 by 2021 — almost 1% of Canada’s population — from the current level of 310,000.

Indeed, according to a comprehensive poll conducted last month by Ipsos/Global News, most Canadians today hold views about immigrants and refugees that the Trudeau Liberals consider xenophobic and racist.

It surveyed 2001 Canadian adults from Dec. 7 to 12, with a 2.5% margin of error 19 times out of 20.

Among the findings:

Almost six in 10 (57%) agree immigration has placed too much pressure on public services such as health care and education, compared to only 15% who disagree, while 28% have no opinion.

A similar majority (59%) believe the federal government is hiding the true cost of immigration to taxpayers and society, compared to only 12% who disagree, while 28% have no opinion.

More than half (55%) want tighter border controls, compared to only 19% who disagree, while 27% have no opinion.

Almost half (48%) agree there are terrorists pretending to be refugees who enter Canada to cause violence and destruction, compared to only 22% who disagree, while 30% have no opinion.

Almost half (47%) agree most foreigners who want to get into Canada as refugees aren’t genuine refugees, but come here for economic reasons, or to take advantage of our social services, compared to only 23% who disagree, while 30% have no opinion.

Canadians are almost evenly divided on whether we should close our borders to refugees entirely at this time, with 34% agreeing and 36% disagreeing, while 30% have no opinion.

Almost half (48%) agree immigration is changing Canada in ways they don’t like, compared to only 25% who disagree, while 27% have no opinion.

More than four in 10 (44%) agree there are too many immigrants in Canada compared to only 24% who disagree, while 32% have no opinion.

More than half (54%) agree Canada is too welcoming to immigrants, compared to only 20% who disagree, while 26% have no opinion.

Four in 10 (40%) agree immigrants to Canada have made it more difficult for Canadians to get jobs, compared to 30% who disagree, while 30% have no opinion.

Almost 40% (38%) agree politicians, media and others who have spoken out in opposition to immigration have been treated unfairly, compared to only 19% who disagree, with 43%, having no opinion.

Syrian refugees check their baggage at Beirut International airport, as they prepare to depart Lebanon to resettle into Canada, in accordance with the Government of Canada’s Operation PROVISION on December 10, 2015. Corporal Darcy Lefebvre / Canadian Forces Combat Camera

It’s not hard to understand why the views of Canadians on these issues have hardened in a multicultural country that has traditionally welcomed immigrants and refugees.

Canadians have seen the increasing societal tensions, social problems and costs in Europe as waves of refugee claimants driven by war, mainly in the Mideast, have poured across their borders and don’t want a repeat of it in Canada.

That said, as Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker told Global News, while Canadians are increasingly nervous about immigration, they have not yet reached the level of alarm in the U.S. and especially Europe.

For example, the poll found almost four in 10 (39%) believe immigration has had a positive impact on Canada, with 32% disagreeing and 30% having no opinion.

More than four in 10 (45%) agree immigration is good for Canada’s economy, with 22% disagreeing and 33% having no opinion.

Almost half (46%) say immigration makes Canada a more interesting place to live, compared to only 19% who disagree, while 36% have no opinion.

A similar number (44%) say they’re confident most refugees will integrate into Canadian society, compared to 24% who disagree, while 32% have no opinion.

This suggests Canadians are not as opposed to immigrants and refugees as they are worried about Liberal immigration and refugee policies.

But rather than honestly address these concerns, Trudeau and the Liberals intend to respond to them during the election by attacking the majority of Canadians, who hold these views, as unCanadian.

lgoldstein@postmedia.com

Source : https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-trudeau-thinks-canadians-are-anti-immigrant

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