Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been hailed as a fresh take on world leaders during his tenure, largely because of his championing of liberal ideas that have been historically ignored by both parties. But, that idealism is beginning to bite him.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.” the leader tweeted last January, after U.S. President Trump called for the now infamous “Muslim Ban.” Statements like this were taken by many to be a message of full on acceptance of all immigrants into his country. This week though, the leader of the Canadian government seems to have back tracked on that statement and his views on immigration.
“Canada is an opening and welcoming society, but let me be clear. We are also a country of laws,” the Prime Minister told reporters after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. “Entering Canada irregularly is not an advantage. There are rigorous immigration and customs rules that will be followed.”
To some, this statement may seem like a startling change in tone for a historically liberal Trudeau. Not that enforcing a country’s laws is viewed as a bad thing, but such tough talk is something that much of Trudeau’s base might find concerning.
In a time where many supporters of Trudeau and his perceived ideals claim to want laxer immigration laws, or even open boarders, the PM is finding out that it simply isn’t plausible. A modern government and society the size of Canada’s isn’t equipped to handle an open boarder policy, and because of this, Canada’s Prime Minister is now appearing inconsistent in front of his opponents and supporters alike.
Such is the story of many world leaders before him. While it is a great time for politicians to appear idealistic and support populist opinions in order to get elected, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to continue doing so once elected. Lucky for the young Prime Minister, he’s already in office, and bucking off the perceptions of inconsistency is the least of his worries.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.