Tory leadership hopeful Blaney proposes reducing immigration and refugee targets


MONTREAL - Conservative leadership hopeful Steven Blaney is proposing a reduction in the number of immigrants and refugees who come to Canada.

He is accusing the Trudeau government of an ''improvised'' immigration policy that does not take into account the ability of cities and provinces to integrate newcomers.

The Quebec MP outlined his immigration strategy in Montreal this morning.

Blaney says accepting fewer newcomers would allow for a stronger security screening process and more successful integration into Canadian society.

But in an interview with, Toronto immigration lawyer Matthew Jeffery rejects the idea that integration is inadequate in Canada.

“Most new immigrants are able to settle and find employment within six months,” he says.

Jeffery, sole practitioner of Matthew Jeffery Barrister and Solicitor immigration law office, says Canada's current intake of immigrants is already too low and should not go any lower.

“In fact, it should be increased if Canada wants to continue to have enough skilled workers to meet the demands of the labour market,” he says. “Studies have repeatedly shown that Canada's population is aging, and its work force increasingly retiring. More and younger workers are needed and the Canadian birthrate is not sufficient to produce enough young people to replace those who are retiring.”

Jeffery says Blaney's immigration platform appears to be inspired by the electoral success of Donald Trump south of the border after he won the U.S. presidency following a promise to ban Muslims from entering the country,

“It plays well to underlying racist and xenophobic attitudes that are best left unstoked. Canada has done well at maintaining a tolerant attitude towards immigrants and it would be sad if politicians like Blaney undermine this admirable quality for the sake of advancing their own careers,” Jeffery says.

Blaney, the former public safety minister, is one of more than a dozen candidates vying for the Conservative party's top job.
The Tories will choose Stephen Harper's successor in May.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

- with files from

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