Canada – The Populist Wave Also Affects Canada And Its Immigration Policies

The populist surge has also reached Canada, where elections will be held on October 21, while immigration has become one of the debates in the campaign in the interest of conservative parties to limit the number of immigrants.

Last Thursday, the leader of the Liberal Party and acting Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, said during a televised debate in French that Quebec has every right to "examine" immigrants who want to settle in the Francophone province.

And although Trudeau did not expressly mention it, Quebec is in the process of imposing a controversial examination on immigrants that would include proof of its "core values" to determine that they align with those of the Canadian province.


"If you want to apply a test for the certification of the selection, it is fine and it is appropriate that you do so," Trudeau said during the French debate in reference to the intention of Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault to implement the test on " core values".

The statement, which Trudeau repeated again during a press conference on Friday, has surprised more than one in Canada especially because the liberal leader came to power in October 2015 with a diametrically opposite platform.

In fact, one of his first government actions was to accept some 40,000 refugees from Syria in the country.

But since its electoral victory in October 2015, many things have happened, especially the election in the United States of Donald Trump with a populist and anti-immigration program that has also begun to penetrate Canada.

In these elections in Canada, the conservative former minister Maxime Bernier is presented with a new political formation, the populist Popular Party, which has as one of its central axes drastically reduce the number of immigrants and refugees who arrive each year in the country.

Bernier, who for many defends supremacist ideas, proposes to limit the number of immigrants between 100,000 and 150,000 a year, less than half of what the American country currently receives, and accept only those who prove they accept "Canadian values."

Bernier, who from August 2007 to May 2008 was Foreign Minister of former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has criticized what qualifies the "extreme multiculturalism" of Canada and the "globalism" that, according to him, is destroying the essence from Canada.

"Immigration support will continue to decrease and social tensions will surely continue to increase. We need to slow down," Bernier said in July this year.

Meanwhile, the separatist group Bloque Quebequés (BQ), which practically disappeared in the last elections, has gained momentum in the polls with an identity program and at a time when immigration control policies are popular in Quebec.

The BQ, for example, wants Quebec to be exempt from the application of the federal law that since 1988 promotes multiculturalism in the country, and that the province has absolute freedom to decide the number of immigrants it accepts each year.

With the polls pointing to a technical tie between the Trudeau Liberal Party and the Conservative Party around 34% of the intention to vote, the difference between forming a government or staying in the opposition can be a handful of votes.

And in these elections, the province of Quebec, which chooses 75 of the 338 deputies of the Lower House of the Canadian Parliament, is the key that will allow to open the doors of the Government.

So both liberals and conservatives, and even the Social Democrats of the New Democratic Party (NPD), are doing everything possible to scratch as many votes as possible in the Francophone province in which the examination of "core values" to emigrants is a popular proposal.

When the center-right government of Quebec presented the bill, Trudeau and the NPD expressed their frontal opposition and described the measure as discriminatory against religious minorities, especially Muslims.

But during the election campaign, both the Liberal Party and the NPD have lowered their criticism and indicated that they will let the courts decide on the constitutionality of a measure that is popular in Quebec, especially in rural areas of the province.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has already indicated that it will not oppose either the test of values ​​or the law on religious symbols of Quebec, while announcing measures to limit the number of refugees arriving each year in the country.



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