With well over 40,000 illegal border crossers already in Canada and more on the way, many Canadians would be happy if Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer could keep his promise of putting an end to “illegal” border crossings in Canada.
Scheer put forward his position on the issue in a speech delivered in Toronto on Tuesday which formed part of a series of policy announcements ahead of the fall federal election.
He promised to close a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States that has allowed asylum-seekers who slip into the country by avoiding border checkpoints to make refugee claims that would be automatically rejected at official crossings.
He blamed PM Justin Trudeau, accusing him of undermining not only the integrity of the border but of causing a growing number of Canadians to believe that immigration levels should be reduced.
A number of polls over the last year have shown a growing concern among Canadians over the numbers of newcomers Canada accepts each year.
Scheer said he has heard these concerns most often from new Canadians who have “played by the rules and arrived in Canada fair and square.”
Scheer also announced other ways he’d overhaul the immigration system—improved language training, better recognition of work credentials and refocusing the government-sponsored refugee program on victims of atrocities.
He also pledged to work toward reuniting survivors of genocide who have already resettled in Canada, such as Yazidi women and girls, with their families and promised to promote more private sponsorships of refugees.
He further reiterated his intention to bring back the office of religious freedom, a unit in Global Affairs Canada that advocated for threatened religious minorities.
Scheer also said he’d peg Canada’s annual immigration levels with the needs of the country that could vary each year. -CINEWS