Kellie Leitch's recent proposal to force immigrants to face an "anti-Canadian values" test is leaving Brad Trost "feeling discriminated against."
Questions of identity are shaping up to be the central issue in the race to replace Stephen Harper as leader of Canada’s Conservative Party.
Namely: is the Conservative Party of Canada fundamentally a party that seeks to scapegoat immigrants or is it a party that seeks to scapegoat gay people?
But Conservative leadership contender Kellie Leitch’s draconian proposal to force immigrants to pass an “anti-Canadian values” test is leaving at least one person who opposes the rights and freedoms of gays and lesbians “feeling discriminated against.”
That person is fellow Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost, who is not himself an immigrant but instead opposes same-sex marriage.
Tory leadership hopeful Brad Trost says same-sex marriage opposers being “discriminated against.”
“Not so fun is it?” Said same-sex couples.
— 22Minutes (@22_Minutes) September 21, 2016
Trost wonders if Leitch’s ideological purity test is truly testing for “Canadian values” – or could it be a “screen for liberal values” instead?
Leitch herself has suggested she would ban immigrants who hold beliefs displaying “intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations.” And while most people have taken this as a dog whistle aimed at Muslims, Leitch recently admitted she’s not closing the door on a ban on Catholics either.
But as the Canadian Press reports, all this talk of tolerance for “sexual orientations” may be a tad too cosmopolitan for Trost’s tastes:
“But another threat to social conservatives, Trost suggested, could come from ideas like the one proposed by Leitch, who has defined Canadian values as including tolerance for all sexual orientations.
‘If Canadian values all of a sudden become a screen for liberal values, that is going to keep out a lot of Canadians,’ he said.
Trost said he and the Conservative party remain pro-immigration.
‘I mean, let’s be blunt — that’s probably going to be one of my stronger demographics inside the party,’ said Trost, who is planning to attend a rally against the Ontario sex-ed curriculum at the provincial legislature Wednesday.
‘Almost all Conservatives who are newcomers are very socially conservative,” he said when asked to elaborate. “Some, I would say, even more so than me.’
Who could have predicted Leitch’s bad idea would boomerang back on itself?
In the meantime, both candidates are seeking the support of those who share their vision on the core identity of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Leitch was recently spotted at an event in Markham, Ontario rubbing elbows with defeated Conservative MP and noted anti-refugee conspiracy theorist Joe Daniels.
During the 2015 election, Daniels was filmed telling a crowd of supporters that Syrian refugees were part of an “agenda” to fill European countries with muslims to “change these countries in a major way.”
Having a great time with colleagues CS Leung, Joe Daniels and Costas Menagakis. pic.twitter.com/xXlYnUhF6M
— Kellie Leitch (@KellieLeitch) September 18, 2016
And Trost continues to court the support of social conservatives:
— CBC Saskatoon (@CBCSaskatoon) September 21, 2016
The Conservative Party of Canada will choose Stephen Harper’s successor in May 2017.