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EDITORIAL: P.E.I. has no room for these views

P.E.I. isn’t the most ideal place to come and promote an anti-immigration agenda.

But the National Citizens Alliance is planning to do just that on Wednesday in Charlottetown. The fringe group says they’re running candidates in the October federal election. There’s zero chance that one of their candidates will get elected on P.E.I., assuming they’re even going to run a candidate here. Nevertheless, they’re coming to the Island anyway to spread their anti-immigration views, especially their top policy – a moratorium on immigration with no end date.

That tells us all we need to know. But here’s another position they hold – Canadians first. Unless we’re part of the Indigenous population, we all trace our roots back to immigration – either directly or through generations of family members. So, many of us are immigrants to Canada in one way or another. But this fringe group isn’t interested in letting contradictions or facts get in the way of their rhetoric and their agenda.

This group recently made headlines for confronting federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s brother Gurratan, an elected Ontario MPP, at the MuslimFest event in Mississauga, Ont. The group’s founder confronted Singh about whether he supports Sharia law and political Islam, comments that Singh condemned as racist. Charlottetown police say they’re going to keep a close eye on the party’s planned rally on Wednesday. There is likely to be opposition. But let’s hope we don’t give this group what it so desperately wants – attention.

Of course, P.E.I. isn’t a utopian society. It’s fair to say there are some Islanders out there that hold anti-immigration views. For that small segment of the population, it needs to be pointed out that we have been welcoming newcomers to the Island for a while. The sky hasn’t fallen, and it isn’t going to. The vast majority of us have embraced immigration. Organizations like the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce and the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers have worked tirelessly to help immigrants adjust to life on the Island and realize their business goals.

Immigrants come here looking for a better life for themselves and their families. They’re not here to steal jobs. They start businesses that create jobs that contribute to the Island’s economy. They’re a part of our communities and enrich our lives by sharing their culture. Quite simply, P.E.I. is well past the point of asking if immigration is a good thing. We are better off as a result of it.

Even so, the National Citizens Alliance is coming here with its rhetoric and anti-immigration views.

But they’re wasting their time, and ours. Islanders are smarter than this.

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