Given the viscerally-stimulating ort that Kellie Leitch has lovingly lobbed to a certain core of the Conservative Party's constituency, it might perhaps be timely to remind the leadership hopeful of the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for." And despite a new poll that suggests many Canadians favour screening would-be immigrants for 'anti-Canadian' values, she would be well-advised to proceed with extreme caution.
As The Mound of Sound suggests, she should start by looking closer to home. Consider, for example, something that recently appeared in Press Progress, which included a clarification of what Leitch means when she advocates screening newcomers:
"Screening potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values that include intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations, violent and/or misogynist behaviour and/or a lack of acceptance of our Canadian tradition of personal and economic freedoms is a policy proposal that I feel very strongly about."While I encourage you to read the entire article, here are a few of the things Press Progress pointed out about some of the Conservatives within Leitch's political ambit:
Leitch says personal "freedom" is not only a Canadian value – it's a proud "Canadian tradition."A proud and avid anti-abortionist, Kenney apparently doesn't hold with some personal freedoms:
Kenney even tried to suppress a women's group from spreading awareness about abortion rights on campus, claiming that if they allowed women to talk abortion, there would be no stopping the Ku Klux Klan, pedophiles or the Church of Satan from peddling their ideas too.Another worthy addition to what could be a lengthy rogue's gallery would be fellow-traveller Candice Bergen:
So much for freedom.
Leitch vows she won't let anyone in who doesn't believe in "equality of opportunity."An indisputable Canadian value is acceptance of a wide range range of values and orientations. A test for oppositional values might send someone like Brad Trost fleeing.
If that's true, then being a good Canadian mean supporting an affordable national childcare program too, right?
Two big barriers preventing kids from starting off life on an equal footing are skyrocketing child care costs and lack of affordable child care spaces.
Unfortunately, Conservative MP Candice Bergen once said she opposes child care (like the rest of her party) because it is her "core belief" that "big, huge government-run daycares" should not "dictate to families how to address their child care needs" – a set of talking points that perfectly mirrors Republican Tea Party arguments opposing Obamacare.
Now that doesn't sound very Canadian, does it?
This spring, Trost reacted to his party's decision to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage in favour of a neutral position on the question by publicly announcing "gay marriage is wrong":Personally, I am waiting for a reporter to ask Leitch whether she would apply her screening criteria to those fundamentalist Christians (who incidentally comprise a large cadre of the party's base support) wishing to come to Canada.
"I will say homosexual marriage, gay marriage is wrong. I'll be public about it ... The language of equality and comparisons, to me that's socialist language, the way they do it. The same way they talk about equality of income where they want a tax from the rich to bring them down to the level of the poor. So I completely reject the underlying philosophy behind this."