There’s been a lot of press in the last few weeks about the Conservative Leadership race – but it’s not necessarily in regards to what the majority of the party would like to bring attention to….and that is “Canadian Values”.
Kellie Leitch, a leadership hopeful, has taken the stance that new immigrants to this country should be vetted for their value system, to make sure that they measure up to what “Canadian values” stand for. For those who may be unaware – this is the same person who, during the 2015 federal election campaign, introduced the idea of a “barbaric cultural practices” RCMP tip line, which, along with the niqab controversy, was viewed as an attempt by the Conservatives to keep immigration issues front and centre during the campaign.
Donald Trump, the “Great White North” edition?
I thought the Conservative Party might be past this, given their 2015 defeat – and it would appear that most public voices for the party, including interim leader Rona Ambrose, are in fact NOT in favour of this idea at all.
However, it seems that fear is something that knows no borders. As astounding as it is to most Canadians that Donald Trump could even be the Republican nominee for POTUS, but now polling close to even with Hillary Clinton, it is happening. When Trump makes racist, xenophobic comments, he couches it by saying he’s going to make America “great again”, – with more jobs, and no terrorism. A veiled way of saying “no immigration, no Muslims”.
So what exactly are Canadian values? I think it’s easier to list what I DON’T think they are. I don’t think Canadian values include the idea of singling out a group and making them prove they meet the arbitrary measure of someone like Ms. Leitch. I believe in the pro-choice movement and marriage rights for all. It pains me that some people I know don’t support these ideas. But that doesn’t mean they are somehow less Canadian than I am. In fact, 40 years ago, my supporting these issues would have made me seem LESS Canadian to most. I tend to be fiscally conservative and socially Liberal. Does that make someone who believes in universal socialism, “less” Canadian in my eyes? Is a visible minority somehow less Canadian, just because they supposedly “came from somewhere else?” I hate to break it to everyone, but we ALL came from somewhere else. The First Nations were here first. Imagine aboriginal people put in a position to judge all of us, to say that we would be falling short would be a massive understatement.
Judgement is what this ends up being all about. Ms. Leitch, nor anyone else, can tell us if we meet the standard of “Canadian values”. Don’t let people, like this, become leaders in our great country. It’s a slippery slope….to the land of Trump.