Be Careful Who You Invite For Dinner
The moment was pure Justin Trudeau. Virtuous. Blithe. Impulsive. And more than a little messianic.
When U.S. president Donald Trump’s new immigration policy created a firestorm in February, the Canadian prime minister decided to exploit Trump’s discomfort. While Americans debated a temporary ban on immigrants from seven mostly Muslim nations, Trudeau offered Canada’s warm embrace to any immigrants and refugees caught in the new regulatory web of Homeland Security.
“@JustinTrudeauTo those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”.
That was followed by more breast beating: “The Prime Minister is looking forward to discussing the successes of Canada’s immigration and refugee policy with the President when they next speak,” a Trudeau spokeswoman told The Associated Press.
From immigration to climate change to native rights, smug is as smug does.
Perhaps, in his dig at Trump, the prime minister thought he was echoing his dear Papa, who invited Viet Nam-era draft dodgers a place in the Great White North in the ‘60s. (A movement that permanently imprinted the white guilt chromosome in the Canadian body politic.) A group who reliably voted left from then on.
What is clear that the Liberal PM felt he could score diversity points at Trump’s expense. After all, M. Trudeau trumpets diversity the way others trumpet fibre in their breakfast. It binds him for his duties as moral arbiter to the world. It gives his scant resumé a bulk it otherwise would lack.
There was no indication he had sought the support of his party when he made the invitation to join Hotel Trudeau. The costs to an already battered budget were blithely left out of the tweet. Had he contacted the provinces or municipalities about an influx that would test their social support networks and resources? In fact, who had he consulted outside of his own self?
And what about security? Canada has very specific requirements for immigrants and refugees. Had the prime minister looked into the security backgrounds of the Somalis and Yemenis for whom he was rolling out the welcome mat?
Taken in a vacuum, the extended hand seemed harmless enough. After all,. what were these people going to do? Walk across the U.S. border in the dead of a Canadian winter?
But that’s precisely what has happened. In brutal cold weather, people are crossing the Quebec/ Vermont border to claim refugee status. They’ve learned enough from the refugee underground to know that they should avoid established border crossings if they want to claim refugee status. Once across the snowy border they are greeted by beneficent police officers who smile for the TV cameras as the pack the frozen figures into the van.
These images have been eagerly disseminated throughout the illegal immigrant community in the United States, which fears that Trump’s fondness for the law as written might get them sent back to wherever they came from. The message, you can be sure, is not lost on them.
Nor on a certain Conservative leadership hopeful. “@kevino’leary Canada can't afford to sit back & watch thousands of people walk right into our country without any documentation pretending to be refugees.”
Security and immigration officials are now realizing that if people are willing to brave -25 C to cash M. Trudeau’s welcome ticket what will happen as the weather warms? The towns and cities within walking distance of the border are suddenly wondering if they could be overwhelmed like the American cities on the Mexican border.
Do they have the funds and the manpower to handle what could be a flood of people hoping to avoid the scrutiny of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)? Who will pay for the security checks and social costs of scratching the compassionate itch produced by the prime minister’s throwaway lines? You can be assured that none of these questions troubled M. Trudeau when he scored his cheap political point.
Canada famously extolls the longest undefended border in the world on its southern flank. Many Canadians laugh derisively at Trump’s attempts to make the southern U.S. border less penetrable. But with millions of nervous immigrants in the U.S.— and thousands of easy border crossings into Canada— might Canadians now be getting a diaspora of its own?
But it’s the price one pays for M. Trudeau’s embrace of the diversity narrative. Land of immigrants, strength of cultures, nifty new restaurants etc. Somehow, assimilation is now a dirty word. Well, it’s a word connected to the white patriarchy, and we can't have that in the Liberal Party of Canada, can we?
For those curious where the continuum of chasing virtue with the public purse leads, consult Ontario— where premier Kathleen Wynne is bribing her constituents with their own money to reduce the energy costs her government tripled in the pursuit of a green future. Having blown through a bundle on the virtues of manipulating the climate, she’s now kicking a $25 billion can down the road for future generations to chew upon.
Estimates suggest that Wynne and her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, have racked up $174 billion in added debt to the province. Liberals in the trillium triangle are suddenly wondering if Ms. Wynne will need to be fitted for the hemp necktie to preserve the party’s dynasty in the 2018 election.
Such is the equation when Liberals pursue unicorns using the public’s money. If you think Justin Trudeau, welcomer of the huddled masses, will be any different than Wynne in the long run, we have some swamp land in the Lake of the Woods for you.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy.is the host of the podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. He’s also a regular contributor three-times-a-week to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. His website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com)