At some point, they’ll need to start representing what the majority of their supporters and the majority of Canadians want: Lower levels of immigration.
Canada is currently undergoing a nearly unprecedented experiment:
How high can immigration levels be raised despite the opposition of the public?
And how long can that opposition be hidden?
During the Harper Government, Canada already had high levels of immigration, with about 250,000 people immigrating to Canada every year.
That would be the equivalent of the United States bringing in about 2.5 million people yearly, when their actual rate of (legal) immigration is closer to 1 million.
And now, the Trudeau Liberals are massively ramping up immigration levels, to 360,000 people per year.
This means that Canada, with about 1/9th the population of the United States, has an immigration rate nearly 1/3 of that in the US. And the US already has one of the highest immigration rates in the world, on both a total and per capita basis.
In short, Canada’s immigration levels are massive.
Now, as the son of an immigrant father, some may say it doesn’t make sense for me to be talking about immigration. However, that’s an argument the left loves to use to shut down any discussion of immigration. And since most Canadians are descended from immigrants, following that leftist ‘logic’ would mean no discussion of immigration would ever be possibly, which is of course absurd.
The fact is that immigration is among the most consequential policies a government can undertake, with far-reaching consequences, both positive and negative for a country.
And any democracy worthy of the name must have a robust debate on immigration.
Unfortunately, that debate isn’t happening.
Despite a clear majority of Canadians wanting immigration levels to be lowered, and with almost nobody supporting the record-high levels under the Liberals, all the main political parties are unwilling to discuss it in any meaningful way.
The political and corporate elites have managed to create a false consensus on immigration, using the political parties to make it appear as if there’s no dissent on the issue.
Yet, with the Conservatives seeking a path back to power, they can’t run from the issue forever.
On the issue of immigration, the Conservative base represents the majority of Canadians: Opposition to Trudeau’s huge immigration increases.
Additionally, pushing back against ever-increasing immigration gives the Conservatives the opportunity to shift the political spectrum. Many working class Canadians, and members of the labour movement oppose higher immigration, because massive immigration reduces the bargaining power of individual workers, and makes it easier for corporations to cut wages and keep people scared and desperate for any job whatsoever, no matter how low the pay or how bad the treatment.
By having the courage to debate immigration, and taking a stand for a lower, more sustainable immigration level, the Conservatives can gain attention and reach out to many new voters.
Keep in mind, many immigrants themselves oppose endlessly increasing immigration. Also, Trudeau’s massive immigration increases are generating a growing backlash to immigration, so lowering immigration levels will ironically help stabilize trust in Canada’s immigration system (a system which is breaking down under the Liberals).
Canada can’t avoid a debate about immigration forever, and the Conservatives must have the courage to lead that debate.