Why Kellie Leitch’s Call For A ‘Canadian Values Test’ Is Misguided

David Doel
Sep 8, 2016 · 3 min read

I covered this on The Rational National, but for those uninterested in the sound of my voice and the appearance of my face, let me break down exactly why Kellie Leitch’s call for a ‘Canadian values test’ is a misguided one.

It all began last week when Leitch included this question in a campaign survey;

Should the Canadian government screen potential immigrants for anti-Canadian values as part of its normal screening for refugees and landed immigrants?

On Tuesday she defended the question, stating; “I don’t think it’s intolerant to believe in a set of values that we expect everyone to share here and include those people who are coming to visit or immigrate to Canada.”

According to Macleans, “She said she believes in a “unified Canadian identity” that includes equality of opportunity, hard work, giving back to the community, equality of men and women, as well tolerance for all religions, cultures and sexual orientations and the rejection of violence as a way to solve problems.”

At first glance you might think Kellie Leitch makes a good argument, but if you go any deeper, you can see her thinking is clearly flawed, and based in dog-whistle politics.

1. People can lie.

Anyone that wants to get into this country will be smart enough to answer the questions the way the government wants to hear them. So to put all this tax money into a government initiative that is inherently broken, is stupid.

2. People learn and grow.

A ‘Canadian values test’ ignores the fact that people’s opinions can, and do, change. Many people were against gay marriage until they met someone who was gay. Or had a negative view of muslims until they got to know their muslim neighbours. Because Canada openly celebrates so many cultures, many people develop an open mind once moving here. So treating people’s opinions like they’re etched in stone, is counter-intuitive.

3. It treats immigrants like second-class citizens.

Are you telling me that every person born in Canada is accepting of all sexual orientations, cultures, and religions? You have to be kidding me. And being that your voters are conservative, you must know this first hand.

Maybe it’s the hair

Thankfully, not all Conservative politicians agree with the direction that Kellie Leitch is attempting to take. Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, in addition to Conservative leadership candidates Maxime Bernier, Deepak Obhrai, and Michael Chong, are all united in their opposition of a screening test for immigrants.

Interestingly though, according to the National Post, “..last month Kellie Leitch took a significant lead in fundraising, accounting for about 60 per cent of the $376,377 raised by three then-declared leadership aspire-ants (Leitch, Chong, Bernier) in the second quarter.”

So while the majority of those vying for the Conservative leadership are not on board with the idea of a screening test for immigrants, it appears the Conservative base, those donating to each of these campaigns, likely are. So if anyone needs a screening test, it appears to be the Conservative voters’ tolerance for immigrants.

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