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Kellie Leitch believes all immigrants should be screened first with face-to-face meeting

Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch points to a spot on an old P.E.I. plot map where her family had land in Souris. The discovery was made with the help of Garth Staples, a volunteer with Leitch’s campaign team.
Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch points to a spot on an old P.E.I. plot map where her family had land in Souris. The discovery was made with the help of Garth Staples, a volunteer with Leitch’s campaign team.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch believes immigration is a serious issue in Canada.

That’s why she’s still promoting her anti-Canadian values screening program, a part of her campaign which has drawn lots of media attention these past few months.

Leitch, one of 14 people running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, dropped by The Guardian office to talk politics on Wednesday.

“I put forward a common sense policy in which I think each immigrant, visitor and refugee into Canada should have a face-to-face interview,’’ Leitch told the newspaper. “Right now, only about one in 10 immigrants into Canada actually meet a Canadian-trained immigration officer face to face.’’

RELATED: Kevin O'Leary says country needs to be more competitive

Leitch talks about how Canada was built on immigration, how she is pro immigration. She believes the process is made much better for both sides when a conversation happens, that it allows immigrants to get off the ground running.

“People coming to this country should educate themselves about what we’re all about; look at our immigration guide in our Constitution. I want them to be able to accept our values.’’

She says the current Liberal government has its head in the sand on the issue and hasn’t come up with a plan.

“This is a serious issue.’’

As for those entering the country illegally, Leitch believes they should be apprehended, questioned and sent back to the U.S.

“Our generosity is not to be taken advantage of.’’

Leitch, who is an orthopedic pediatric surgeon (on leave for the leadership race), also wants to dispel media stories that say she has aligned herself with President Donald Trump.

“I congratulated him on becoming president,’’ she said. “I think that’s what you do when you’re in a leadership role. I will have to work with him in the future. I want to have a working relationship with the gentleman.’’

She also addressed transfer payments, which her competitor Kevin O’Leary is not a fan of.

Leitch said it’s part of Canada’s identity.

“The Constitution talks about equalization and we’re a federation. We made a decision in this country decades ago that we would function as a single nation and sometimes when one part of the country did really well it would help out another part of the country and we’ve seen that ebb and flow.’’

Leitch, who is an Order of Ontario recipient, also has her MBA from Dalhousie University.

As for how she’s going to differentiate herself from her 13 competitors, Leitch said it’s real simple.

“I made a decision that I’m going to talk about the ideas that Canadians are talking about every day.’’

 

Dave.stewart@tc.tc

Twitter.com/DveStewart

 

That’s why she’s still promoting her anti-Canadian values screening program, a part of her campaign which has drawn lots of media attention these past few months.

Leitch, one of 14 people running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, dropped by The Guardian office to talk politics on Wednesday.

“I put forward a common sense policy in which I think each immigrant, visitor and refugee into Canada should have a face-to-face interview,’’ Leitch told the newspaper. “Right now, only about one in 10 immigrants into Canada actually meet a Canadian-trained immigration officer face to face.’’

RELATED: Kevin O'Leary says country needs to be more competitive

Leitch talks about how Canada was built on immigration, how she is pro immigration. She believes the process is made much better for both sides when a conversation happens, that it allows immigrants to get off the ground running.

“People coming to this country should educate themselves about what we’re all about; look at our immigration guide in our Constitution. I want them to be able to accept our values.’’

She says the current Liberal government has its head in the sand on the issue and hasn’t come up with a plan.

“This is a serious issue.’’

As for those entering the country illegally, Leitch believes they should be apprehended, questioned and sent back to the U.S.

“Our generosity is not to be taken advantage of.’’

Leitch, who is an orthopedic pediatric surgeon (on leave for the leadership race), also wants to dispel media stories that say she has aligned herself with President Donald Trump.

“I congratulated him on becoming president,’’ she said. “I think that’s what you do when you’re in a leadership role. I will have to work with him in the future. I want to have a working relationship with the gentleman.’’

She also addressed transfer payments, which her competitor Kevin O’Leary is not a fan of.

Leitch said it’s part of Canada’s identity.

“The Constitution talks about equalization and we’re a federation. We made a decision in this country decades ago that we would function as a single nation and sometimes when one part of the country did really well it would help out another part of the country and we’ve seen that ebb and flow.’’

Leitch, who is an Order of Ontario recipient, also has her MBA from Dalhousie University.

As for how she’s going to differentiate herself from her 13 competitors, Leitch said it’s real simple.

“I made a decision that I’m going to talk about the ideas that Canadians are talking about every day.’’

 

Dave.stewart@tc.tc

Twitter.com/DveStewart

 

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch speaks during the Conservative leadership debate in Saskatoon, Nov. 9.

Island connections

Turns out that Kellie Leitch has connections to Prince Edward Island.

Leitch is one of 14 people vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Thanks to research by Garth Staples, one of her campaign volunteers in P.E.I., Leitch found out she’s related to the Conway family in Souris.

“Garth went to research and found my family, including our family homesteads,’’ Leitch said. “Today, I met two of my cousins for the first time . . . who are still on the family homesteads.

“They actually brought me the plot map showing me exactly where our family land was when we first came to Prince Edward Island. It was pretty remarkable.’’

Staples went to meet one of the Conways, found out the family tree, typed it out and sent it to Leitch a couple of months ago.

And, yes, win or lose the leadership race, Leitch will be returning to P.E.I. to spend some time with her newly discovered family.

“I’ll be back in P.E.I. and I will be going back out there. I can legitimately say I have roots on Prince Edward Island,’’ she states proudly.

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