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Poilievre also believes that Quebec is at the “breaking point” in immigration

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press On Wednesday, Pierre Poilievre attacked Justin Trudeau at length, accused of “total incompetence” for having screwed up “the best immigration system in the world” until he came to power.

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, echoed the words of the CAQ government by affirming on Wednesday that the number of asylum seekers places Quebec “at the breaking point”, and by calling into question questions the usefulness of the Bloc Québécois.

“Quebec is at breaking point because of Trudeau's decision to remove the Mexican visa that the Conservatives had put in place,” chanted the leader of the official opposition during a press briefing in Kitchener, in Ontario.

Pierre Poilievre has argued that asylum seekers from Mexico are overwhelmingly “false refugees.” In English, he elaborated on the theme of foreign students, for whom the government would have “opened the floodgates”, but who would now find themselves on the streets, “sold into prostitution, into gangs”, due to lack of accommodation.

The Conservative leader thus used the same expression as the Premier of Quebec, who wrote in a letter in January that the province “[is] very close to the breaking point due to the excessive number of asylum seekers arriving in Quebec month after month.” Quebec Education Minister Bernard Drainville used the same words when speaking of an education system “effectively at the breaking point. »

On Tuesday, four ministers in the Legault government criticized the massive arrival of asylum seekers in Quebec, estimating the bill paid by their government at more than a billion dollars in three years. Mr. Poilievre did not directly allude to this exit.

To (re)read

  • Analysis | What a Poilievre government could look like ? A look back at the last 20 years
  • Ottawa under pressure to reimpose visas on Mexicans
  • Quebec identity is “threatened” by the influx of asylum seekers, says Quebec

“What is Block ? for”

On the other hand, the aspiring Prime Minister of Canada cited the Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, to make a new attack against his favorite target in French: the Bloc Québécois.

“The Prime Minister of Quebec said: “what is the purpose of the Bloc ?” […] The answer is that it serves Justin Trudeau, to keep Justin Trudeau in power. »

Prime Minister Legault had actually raised this question the day before during question period in the National Assembly, in a debate on temporary immigration with the Parti Québécois. In the press scrum on Wednesday, the PQ troops reiterated their full support for the Bloc Québécois, their sister party on the federal scene.

“Is Mr. Legault announcing that he will, once again, support the Conservative Party to defend Quebec's interests in Ottawa? Let's see,” denounced MP Joël Arseneau.

In 2021, the Premier of Quebec suggested that the election of a minority Conservative government in the Commons would better serve the interests of Quebecers.

Similar review

Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette, for her part, described the Trudeau government as “completely out of touch” on Wednesday.

“The time for discussions with Quebec is over. Now is the time to take urgent action,” she said in the press scrum.

At the same time but 900 kilometers further west, Pierre Poilievre accused Justin Trudeau of “total incompetence” for having screwed up “the best immigration system in the world” until he came to power in 2015.

However, the federal Conservative leader did not specify what would change for foreign students under his leadership, since the Liberal Party of Canada is also proposing to cap the number of foreign students, given the crisis housing.

The request to reintroduce visas for Mexican nationals, also made by the Bloc Québécois, is being studied in Ottawa. The Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, has not closed the door to re-imposing this visa. He says he cannot reveal more for the moment, given the ongoing diplomatic negotiations.

A compilation carried out by Le Devoir of Pierre Poilievre's positions during his almost 20 years in active politics shows that he praised the record levels of reception in Canada when he was in power, and presented himself as “pro-immigration” during his party's leadership race. He recently voted for a motion calling for a review of federal immigration targets, without specifying which ones he advocates.

With François Carabin, in Quebec

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116