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Freak-out ensues over Canadian MP who wants immigrants to answer questions on equality and violence
Ontario PM Kellie Leitch has faced scrutiny for the "Canadian values" questions she believes every potential immigrant should answer before being allowed entry into the country. (Image source: YouTube)

Freak-out ensues over Canadian MP who wants immigrants to answer questions on equality and violence

One Canadian politician is "outraged" at a suggestion from a fellow member of parliament who believes potential immigrants should be pressed on their views about equality between men and women, the use of violence and work ethic.

According to a report from CBC News, Ontario MP and Conservative Party leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has pledged that, if she wins the leadership post and goes on to become prime minister, she will require each would-be immigrant to answer these three questions:

  • Are men and woman equal, and entitled to equal protection under the law?
  • Is it ever OK to coerce or use violence against an individual or a group who disagrees with your views?
  • Do you recognize that to have a good life in Canada you will need to work hard to provide for yourself and your family, and that you can't expect to have things you want given to you?

In addition to the questions, which were first shared in an email to subscribers of the conservative Canadian website, TheRebel.media, Leitch's proposals would require each potential immigrant to undergo a face-to-face interview with an immigration official before being granted entry into Canada.

In the email, Leitch wrote that an immigration officer would "ask questions to ascertain whether or not [the potential immigrant's] values are consistent with our way of life."

When Leitch launched her leadership campaign last month, she made immigration a key part of her announcement video:

Do they support the ideas of hard work, generosity, freedom and tolerance? Do they believe men and women are equal? Do they agree that violence has no place in political disagreements? Do they agree that all should be left to worship how they see fit? Do they agree that there is one law that applies to all Canadians equally?

Some, though, have taken issue with the questions Leitch would like to pose to potential immigrants, including fellow Conservative Party leadership candidate and Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai, who compared Leitch's questions to President Donald Trump's controversial temporary ban on immigration to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries.

"Ms. Leitch’s proposal to screen every immigrant and visitor is nothing but Donald Trump’s executive order, disguised as Canadian values, and crafted to keep Muslims out of Canada," Obhrai said, referencing Trump's controversial temporary travel ban.

"This is a dangerous environment to create in Canada, and I am outraged by this," he said.

Leitch's litmus test for would-be immigrants is not new. The Canadian politician first proposed the idea in September, CBC reported. At the time, her opponents attacked her by comparing her — as Obhrai has — to Trump. Leitch pushed back against such a comparison: "This is a fundamentally different conversation than what people are trying to depict it as."

And in a September interview on CBC Radio, Leitch defended her immigration position. "It's not intolerant to believe in a set of values we expect everyone to share," she said.

"I want everyone to know that when they come to this country — or if they're in this country — if they work hard, they actually can get ahead, especially our young people," she continued. "This isn't about a disagreement but about the acceptance of a framework by which we all agree to live here in this country."

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