How Canadian politicians reacted to Donald Trump’s refugee ban

From the most blistering to the distinctly disinterested, we grade the coast-to-coast responses to Trump’s controversial executive order


 
A young girl dances with an American flag in baggage claim while women pray behind her during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. (Laura Buckman/Reuters)

A young girl dances with an American flag in baggage claim while women pray behind her during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. (Laura Buckman/Reuters)

The world reacted—and almost universally recoiled—throughout the weekend over U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban prohibiting passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries, including those with visas and green cards who had been living in the U.S., from entering the country. Protesters descended on airports, the White House and the streets, as ordinary citizens and political leaders alike denounced the drastic and chaotically implemented measures, which shut out citizens and dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—though notably, not those from other Muslim nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where Trump has business interests.

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Canadian political leaders, of course, weighed in as well. What was interesting was the temperature range of the responses, and not always from the expected points on the political spectrum. Most—including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has so far assiduously avoided criticizing the president with whom he will have to deal at close range—chose indirect indictment by pointedly reiterating the commitment of their communities to welcoming immigrants and refugees.

Here, arrayed from the most blistering to the distinctly disinterested, are the responses of prominent Canadian politicians.

Blistering denunciation

Alberta Conservative MP Jason Kenney speaks to media as he begins the Unite Alberta Truck Tour in Edmonton Alta, on Monday, August 1, 2016. (Jason Franson/CP)

Alberta Conservative MP Jason Kenney speaks to media as he begins the Unite Alberta Truck Tour in Edmonton Alta, on Monday, August 1, 2016. (Jason Franson/CP)

Former minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism Jason Kenney:


NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks to reporters about the federal budget on Parliament Hill, Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Ottawa. Justin Tang/CP

NDP leader Tom Mulcair speaks to reporters about the federal budget on Parliament Hill, Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Ottawa. Justin Tang/CP

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair


Rona Ambrose. (Photograph by Jessica Deeks)

Rona Ambrose. (Photograph by Jessica Deeks)

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose

Tepidly displeased

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Calgary, Alberta, December 2, 2016. (Photograph by Todd Korol)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley in Calgary, Alberta, December 2, 2016. (Photograph by Todd Korol)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley


Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, holds a news conference to update Canadians on the possible impacts of recent immigration-related decisions made by President Donald Trump, in Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, holds a news conference to update Canadians on the possible impacts of recent immigration-related decisions made by President Donald Trump, in Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen

Statement in a press conference on Jan. 29: “I can tell you what our principles are. Our principles are of openness, open to ideas, open to people, open to those who want to come here and make a better life for themselves, contribute to our economy [with] their high skills, and to also to continue to have compassion for those who seek sanctuary in our country, and I think we’ve been a better country as a result.”


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the public in a lecture hall at Health Sciences Building on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, Wednesday, January 25, 2017. (Liam Richards/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the public in a lecture hall at Health Sciences Building on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, Wednesday, January 25, 2017. (Liam Richards/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau


Regina mayor Michael Fougere smiles during a public announcement about the Stadium Project in Regina, Saskatchewan on Thursday, May 22, 2014. (Michael Bell/CP)

Regina mayor Michael Fougere smiles during a public announcement about the Stadium Project in Regina, Saskatchewan on Thursday, May 22, 2014. (Michael Bell/CP)

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere


Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall arrives for a meeting of provincial premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Wall, an outspoken critic of Liberal climate-change policy, lashed out Monday at Justin Trudeau for "unilaterally" imposing a carbon price on provinces and territories. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall arrives for a meeting of provincial premiers in Whitehorse, Yukon, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Wall, an outspoken critic of Liberal climate-change policy, lashed out Monday at Justin Trudeau for “unilaterally” imposing a carbon price on provinces and territories. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall


Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Toronto Mayor John Tory


Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Ont., on Jan. 28, 2016. (Lars Hagberg/CP)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Ont., on Jan. 28, 2016. (Lars Hagberg/CP)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's speaks during a press conference regarding the political fundraising question at Queen's Park in Toronto on Monday, April 11, 2016. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s speaks during a press conference regarding the political fundraising question at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Monday, April 11, 2016. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

Utterly laissez-faire


Conservative MP Maxime Bernier arrives outside the offices of the Conservative Party of Canada on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier arrives outside the offices of the Conservative Party of Canada on Thursday, April 7, 2016 in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier


Kellie Leitch rises during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

Kellie Leitch rises during question period in the House of Commons in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/CP)

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch


 

How Canadian politicians reacted to Donald Trump’s refugee ban

  1. I and the ‘silent majority’ are with Maxine Bernier on this one. The squeaky wheel does not represent the millions in Canada who happen to believe that our immigration is too lack. The liberal whiners and emotional apologists are famous for getting media time and McLean’s just adds to the unbalanced and uneducated theories.