Trudeau must drop open borders mis­cue

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - OPINION -

The last per­son in the coun­try who should need to be told that Canada does not in fact have open borders is its prime min­is­ter. Yet we’ve sadly ar­rived at the sec­ond time this year when Justin Trudeau shows signs of not un­der­stand­ing a ba­sic fact about how this coun­try op­er­ates.

Back in Jan­uary, right after Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is­sued his orig­i­nal ex­ec­u­tive or­der on im­mi­gra­tion, Trudeau took to social me­dia to sig­nal his coded re­sponse:

“To those flee­ing per­se­cu­tion, ter­ror & war, Cana­di­ans will wel­come you, re­gard­less of your faith. Di­ver­sity is our strength #Wel­comeToCanada”.

While the gov­ern­ment later clar­i­fied they were not in fact al­ter­ing their im­mi­gra­tion and refugee poli­cies in re­sponse to Trump, this tweet cer­tainly gave the world a dif­fer­ent im­pres­sion.

“Trump halts refugee pro­gram; Trudeau tweets they’re wel­come in Canada” a CNN head­line read.

The open­ing line of a New York Times story was even worse: “As Pres­i­dent Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der on im­mi­gra­tion stranded peo­ple around the world and pro­voked con­dem­na­tion, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau of Canada took to social me­dia to re­state the coun­try’s open-door pol­icy.” Huh? We don’t have an open door pol­icy. But, as a re­cent Reuters story ex­plained, these posts have al­ready in­spired prospec­tive refugees to head to Canada, think­ing Trudeau had called out to them and of­fered an easy en­try.

Clearly Trudeau didn’t learn his les­son about the trou­ble with im­pre­cise lan­guage be­cause on Thurs­day one of the prime min­is­ter’s social me­dia ac­counts posted this line: “Re­gard­less of who you are or where you come from, there’s al­ways a place for you in Canada.”

We ac­tu­ally do have ro­bust im­mi­gra­tion rules. Yet thanks to this post, Trudeau has sent an­other mes­sage to the world that the doors are wide open.

As colum­nist Candice Mal­colm points out, this ac­count is most def­i­nitely run by staffers who get ap­proval be­fore mak­ing such post­ings.

Which gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees thought this was a good idea?

Canada needs to be seen as a sta­ble coun­try, one that fol­low rules and has a sense of or­der.

Trudeau needs to drop the coded lan­guage that pro­motes open borders. It’s fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect and can have prob­lem­atic con­se­quences.

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