The Politics of Immigration

Whenever the subject of immigration is brought into the political arena and discourse, a whirlwind of discussion (not always civil, and in fact always contentious) is inevitable.
Only because throughout the course of this national election there will be heated moments as people discuss the merits of immigration, as they state and stake their positions, standing their ground as it were.
And so it will be and continue to be as this 2019 federal election cycle plays out.
Still a particularly hot topic across Western Europe, with record numbers of emigrants risking their lives, crashing land borders, or washing up on beaches, some luckily alive, but others sometimes dead, all of them leaving wherever for the proverbial green pastures and better life.
Heartbreaking images of (their) hopelessness as they ponder their immediate and long-term future have been seared into our minds.
And there are the hundreds of thousands in refugee camps scattered around the world – existing, roaming and hoping…
Closer to home we’re having a close-up view of what’s unfolding on the southern, southern… borders where decades-old geopolitical exploits, criminality, now coupled with the devastating impact of climate change are playing out, forcing people to seek refuge further north where toxic politics, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, racism… have entered the Canadian national political exercise.
And with the dawn of Trumpism, Canada’s racist elements have come to life and emerged, empowered ready to make their voices heard in an attempt to stem that “mass immigration” tide.
So when PPC (People’s Party Of Canada) leader Maxime Bernier announced that he was entering the election scrum to become the next Prime Minister of Canada I wasn’t surprised by the public reaction.
One online commentator said he’s just “looking for attention.”
Perhaps… But he’s wooing and encouraging his PPC supporters. And given his now well-publicized position on immigration I knew he would be a polarizing figure. Especially given his party’s core foundational issue.
In a political context that’s worse than mere immigration, the term “mass immigration” has a more urgent and ominous tone, akin to a human tsunami heading for Roxham Road (on the NY-Quebec border) where people seeking relief from Trump’s anti immigrant forces have been arriving to seek refuge in Canada.
Bernier’s mass immigration sentiment is an anti-immigrant invasion clarion call to his cadres to continue crawling out of the woodwork to defend the nation’s (he didn’t say that but I’m wondering if he’s referring to the Quebec nation or the nation of Canada) honour and purity…
Or if his electoral plan to end mass immigration would, when he becomes Prime Minister, allow him to bring in more (of Trump’s) Norwegians.
Bernier and his platform are garnering support. Furthermore, with his political platform now public, his dormant/latent supporters in the political woodwork are emerging to express their support for the PPC. Not the least of whom are adherents of some of Canada’s extreme right (white supremacist) nationalist groups who have been patiently awaiting an occasion to demonstrate their feelings on Canada’s seemingly wide open immigration policy.
On a talk radio program a couple weeks ago, while he didn’t voice his outright support for the PPC, a man expressed his desire to see the ousting of the incumbent Prime Minister and the Liberal Party. His anti Trudeau venom was palpable.
He called the other parties “fake… PPC is good.”
So whenever Maxime Bernier picks up a microphone these days or goes on radio and/or television to decry Canada’s current immigration policies all I can think of is American folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie’s “This land is my land…” a very inspiring… inspirational song covered by many artists since its release in the early fifties, including Canadian folk music group, The Travellers.
Wonder if Maxime Bernier ever heard that song?
It speaks of a nation, and to its people, their place in it and possibilities… But based on his political rhetoric this federal election season, there’s nothing in Canada’s current immigration policy that appeals to the PPC leader. Meaning, if his party is triumphant on October 21, the nation’s present immigration policies will be completely overhauled.
Colonial arrogance, that’s all it is. When their evils were perpetrated, yesteryears’ colonizers had no foresight, could not foresee the time when their subjects… would just lay down and play dead forever… that the chickens would start pecking [back].
However you see it, call it the lingering legacy and continuing impact of [European] colonialism.
Bernier must understand that “immigration has played an integral part in the development of multiculturalism within Canada.”
And immigration and the reality of multiculturalism are making Canada the great nation it is.
Now if the next Prime Minister could finally settle the First Nation Peoples problems.