Conservative Party immigration critic Michelle Rempel told The Daily Caller Wednesday that the current debate over refugees in Canada has become “too polarized” with accusations that “one side is socialist and other is racist.
“Name-calling is not helpful,” she said. The Conservative Member of Parliament for Calgary says its time for “thoughtfulness and reason” to enter the debate and for the Liberal government to “get its own immigration house in order.”
As a House of Commons debate Tuesday night spilled over into Wednesday’s daily Question Period, the Liberal government is refusing to budge on its refugee quota of 40,000 for 2017, despite the temporary ban instituted last weekend by President Donald Trump that prohibits entry into the U.S. by nationals from seven scheduled countries.
The left-wing New Democratic Party has repeatedly called that ban “racist” with its party’s immigration critic, Jenny Kwan, saying, “There is no question that this ban promotes hate and intolerance,” she said. “This ban will have a disastrous effect for thousands of innocent travelers and refugees.”
Last weekend Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on Twitter: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
The Tweet became a rallying cry for liberals who perceived it as a condemnation of Trump’s refugee policy but enraged conservatives saw it as a description of an open-door policy for undocumented refugees.
Rempel says if Trudeau is so compassionate about refugees who are fleeing persecution he would honor a pledge he made last October to “reexamine our refugee priorities so that the victims of genocide are given precedence.”
She also asked why the government has put a cap on privately-sponsored refugees, where individuals or groups raise money to care for refugees. “I don’t understand why they would shift the responsibility on to taxpayers,” Rempel said.
Trudeau has repeatedly walked a fine line between castigating Trump’s travel ban and declaring it the responsibility of the United States. When questioned on the issue, Trudeau has stuck to one talking point: “I will defend Canadian values,” he says.
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