Immigration is not a winning issue in Canada. Kellie Leitch attempted to make it the focal point of her campaign and managed to win 7% of the Conservative vote, and Conservatives themselves make up a small fraction of the population. As a country, we don’t care about immigration.
Bernier is attempting to ignite a populist movement, similar to Brexit and Trump’s electoral victory; and the success of Brazil’s Bolsonaro indicates the movement is growing globally. The reason why Brexit and Trump were successful was in the order of magnitude of the immigration problem.
The U.K. had multitudes of immigrants flocking to their country, some communities were for example outnumbered by Islamic immigrants, who then would vote for things such as municipal bylaws banning alcohol. This is not nearly an issue in Canada, if it were, Bernier would certainly be as popular as Farage.
The U.S. had a situation of twelve million undocumented, illegal, immigrants; meanwhile, Canada only has a hundred thousand – a difference in magnitude even considering our population difference. Also, given our trade relations with the U.S. and that all of our illegals are coming from the U.S., the simplistic proposition of building a wall isn’t likely to garner much support (although if Trump manages to obtain a sizable trade surplus for the Americans with Canada, I wonder if he’d be willing to pay for the wall?)
Both Farage and Trump cited Canadian and Australian immigration laws as the template they wanted to adopt. People can’t immigrate to Canada without refugee status or serious professional credentials. We were the ideal country that Farage and Trump were aiming for in their movement.
Last summer I had a party with two immigrant friends. They found each other in Canada and got married. He is a computer programmer and she is a medical researcher. They’re thirty and immigrated to an area with an aging population. They speak flawless English. They’re the prime pick as immigrant candidates. Sadly, the party was a going away party because they were both deported at roughly the same time.
Meanwhile, Canada is repatriating ISIS. Canada has a serious issue with its immigration policies. We let the worst conceivable human beings into our country, and deport prime pick candidates. Mad Max can’t win on this issue, but this isn’t to say that there isn’t an issue.
Bernier is calling for a reduction of immigration numbers. Trudeau is calling for an increase. Neither of these strikes me as responsible. If I, as a business owner, need to hire 20 employees, and I only have 5 viable resumes on file, then I need 15 immigrants to enter the country. Some years this number and call for immigrants will be higher than others. I don’t believe that it’s economically responsible to demand a quota for immigrants who can’t get jobs to satisfy a Trudeau-style high number, or refuse business expansion to satisfy a Bernier-style low number.
Setting an immigrant up for failure by inviting them into the country without having a job or independent wealth is bad for the immigrant and bad for Canada. Having immigrants refused entry when Canadian business owners desperately need them is bad for the immigrant and bad for Canada. Mad Max isn’t right on immigration, but he’s not entirely wrong either.
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