Mulroney says ‘values test’ for immigrants unnecessary

“We have a good process now,” former prime minister says of immigration system


CALGARY – Former prime minister Brian Mulroney has waded into the debate over screening newcomers for “anti-Canadian values,” saying he sees no need to toughen the immigration process as one Conservative leadership contender is suggesting.

Ontario MP Kellie Leitch has floated the idea of applying such a test to potential immigrants as a way to make sure their views on issues like gender equality are aligned with Canadian values.

But Mulroney said that’s unnecessary.

“We have a good process now. People don’t just walk in the front door here,” he told reporters after delivering a speech at the University of Calgary on Tuesday.

“They have to meet certain criteria and I think if they meet those criteria, that should be OK.”

Mulroney, who was the Progressive Conservative prime minister from 1984 until 1993, also diplomatically waded into U.S. politics, where immigration has also been a hot-button issue.

“This is a most unusual choice that Americans have to make.”

He said he knows both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican opponent Donald Trump personally.

He said his children know Trump’s children and “anybody who can raise wonderful children like that has got something going for him.”

But he said in the end, Clinton has more going for her in terms of experience.

“Who’s the more qualified? Obviously because of her background, Hillary. She’s spent her whole life in public policy,” he said, predicting that the outcome of the election will turn on who does better in the televised debate in about two weeks.

But Trump, he said, has “caught a wave” with his hardline stance on immigration, particularly from Mexico and Muslim countries — a view Mulroney said he doesn’t share.

Mulroney’s speech to the university’s law faculty focused on another controversial issue dominating Canadian politics — pipelines.

He urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take a leadership role in ensuring new pipelines like TransCanada’s (TSX:TRP) $15.7-billion Alberta-to-New Brunswick Energy East pipeline are built.

“This Canadian energy and resource agenda under the prime minister’s personal direction would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in new investments, millions of new jobs, bring West and East much closer together and be as transformational and beneficial to the country as any major policy initiative undertaken in Canada in the last 70 years,” he said.

The regulatory process for Energy East has been mired in controversy. Last week, the National Energy Board recused all three panellists assigned to review the 4,500-kilometre project amid bias concerns.

“That’s an administrative matter that (Trudeau) will have to resolve,” Mulroney told reporters. “All of the institutions that have an impact on this have to proceed with integrity and independence so that when the solution comes forward, it’s accepted by all the players.”

Though Energy East was the focus of Mulroney’s speech, he said other proposals, like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Vancouver area, must go ahead.

The NEB has recommended Ottawa approve Trans Mountain, which also faces still opposition from local communities, and a decision is expected later this year.

Trudeau should make breaking the logjam a priority, said Mulroney.

“This is the big-ticket item for him right now because the prosperity is staring us in the face.”

When asked whether he believes Trudeau will take that advice, Mulroney said: “We’re going to find out.”


Mulroney says ‘values test’ for immigrants unnecessary

  1. It would make more sense if all immigrants and refugees signed a type of ‘document of understanding’.

    Whether they agree with a value or not they would have to read, understand and sign this document that spells out the basics in our country…..the equality of everyone, the civility of public life, a science based education, the freedom of adults to live and speak as they choose……

    How many Canadians do you think we could get to sign that?

    • As with a ‘values test’, the devil would be in the details. Unless the ‘document of understanding’ is watered down to be virtually meaningless, it would get into Canadian values territory, no? And, defining Canadian values is what, among other things, makes a ‘values test’ unworkable.

      • No, it explains the country to newcomers

        Women don’t walk behind men, music is taught in all schools… is evolution.. They don’t have to agree with it, but they won’t be able to claim they weren’t aware

    • We couldn’t get anyone to sign your list because some born in Canada Canada men walk ahead of their wives and some don’t believe in evolution but through birth, they are Canadian and no laws are broken. We can only impress upon new immigrants the laws of the land they are going to live in….those that differ from where they hail from. First, one cannot beat one’s wife with immunity because this illegal and leads to arrest by police. One genetically mutilate a woman because that is illegal and leads to arrest. Honour killing, raping and child marriage leads to arrest. Forced abortion of female fetuses is not acceptable. If you cannot live with these rules, choose a different country to immigrate to. It isn’t our values so much as what we practice in the law and in medical procedures. One is free to believe and worship as one sees fit but one is not free to injure or oppress another. It isn’t the way we roll. It isn’t all that difficult to establish a set of what we won’t accept in behaviours. We only have to look at what is accepted in other countries and say “no, that won’t be accepted here.” Since most of it is already against the law, it is just a matter of providing education.

  2. Well I guess these new policy rules, rules out half the USA ever trying to apply for immigration into Canada, like the ‘Bible Belt’ region. And bother way, Americans will never ever put a wall across the boarders of our country Canada, one word, ‘ALASKA’. We could cut off their air space even, take the long way home.

    • Plus the cost of 5000 miles of fencing…..LOL

  3. Isn’t well past time to compare Leitch’s list of values with the questions that are already asked? One would hope “do you support jihad?” and “are you planning to have your female relatives circumcised?” are already asked. “Do you approve of coups if your side in an election loses?” and “would you kill your niece if she dishonoured your family?” should be others. I’m not sure how many people you’d catch with these questions but if these aren’t being asked what does the gov’t ask of applicants?

    Questions like “do you think girls should be in the infantry” or ” do you support LBGQWERTY day?” aren’t values they’re fads and have no business being asked by gov’t employees of anyone at anytime.

    • Why would we ask “do you plan to have your daughters circumcised?” Instead of saying do you know it is illegal to have your daughter circumcised in Canada. It is considered female genital mutilation and you can and will be arrested if participate in a such an act? We have given them the truth of the law and made it clear it is not acceptable here. We also say, that terrorism of any kind is against the law here. Why would we ask stupid questions about their intentions, why not just provide the list of things they aren’t allowed to do and what the reprucations will be if they do them? You beat your wife, you go to jail in Canada. However, no Taliban will be beating you either for breaking sharia law. We are offering them freedoms they likely have never had and in return they follow rules and offer their family freedoms they have never had.

      • If it was that simple we could give everyone in the country a copy of the Criminal Code and we wouldn’t need the police or courts would we.

        We could just give people applying for sensitive jobs who are already here a list of things not to do but we do interviews and background checks. Why bother if a list of commandments is enough?