Op-ed

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Trudeau adopting wrong immigration approach

by Candice Malcom

Toronto Sun
April 1, 2016

The devastating wars of the Middle East have now spilt into Europe, thanks to decades of careless immigration and integration policies.

Europeans are not responsible for the rise of Islamist extremism, but Europe’s leaders are to blame for allowing terrorist agents to infiltrate European communities and set up extensive networks throughout the continent.

Canada has thus far managed to avoid the same fate, thanks to our unique approach to migration. Canada’s immigration system is more selective, we have better security and screening measures, and our integration model is more deliberate and delivers better results than Europe.

There is, unfortunately, reason to believe that this Canadian advantage is disappearing. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be abandoning Canada’s long history of successful immigration and integration and adopting the failed European approach – a government-enforced multiculturalism that seeks to accommodate rather than integrate newcomers.

There are three signs that Trudeau is steering Canada towards the cliff of state-enforced multiculturalism.

1. Lax language laws

Language skills are an integral component of the process of integration. Part of Europe’s problem is that it never asked newcomers to learn the local language. Canada, by contrast, has always demanded that newcomers learn our language; our federal government spends nearly one billion dollars annually teaching newcomers English or French.

But the Liberal’s new citizenship bill scraps the language test for anyone over the age of 54. When we don’t ask immigrants to learn our language, we drive them away from mainstream Canada and leave them isolated in closed ethnic communities.

2. Don't call it barbaric

Back when Trudeau was the Liberal’s immigration critic, he took issue with a government document telling new immigrants that “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings’, female genital mutilation, force marriage, and other gender-based violence.”

Trudeau found this objectionable, and said the government should make an “attempt at responsible neutrality.” He later retracted his comments and insisted he was not defending these barbaric practices. That may be true, but Trudeau’s impulse was to tiptoe around illiberal traditions.

3. Canada has no identity?

During a recent media interview, Justin Trudeau said, “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” This is a stunningly naive comment, and Trudeau is wrong. Canadians have a proud national identity, defined by our shared values and commitment to a free and prosperous society. In Canada, our identity is defined by how we live, not necessarily by how we look. Trudeau’s statement is insulting to Canadian sensibilities and a sign of the low regard he has for Canadian values and identity.

Justin Trudeau, like the failed leaders of Europe, seems to believe there is nothing special about western values. And since there is nothing special about our culture or our identity, there is no point in asking newcomers to accept these values or integrate into our society.

Any newcomer can move to Canada, so goes the thinking of official multiculturalism, without changing anything about themselves. They don’t need to learn our language, abide by our norms and values, or even necessarily follow Canadian laws. Every culture is equal, and being Canadian means nothing at all.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that has devastated Europe and brought war to its doorstep.

Photo Credit: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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