January 17, 2017 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given the first indication that he is prepared to stand up to the protectionist views of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Trudeau is currently conducting a series of town hall-style meetings facing questions from members of the Canadian public.
During one of those meetings he was asked about Trump, and he answered that he would take a stand for immigration, Muslims and feminism in his dealings with the new leader of Canada’s closest neighbour.
“Canada is a separate country from the United States and there are things we hold dear that the Americans haven’t prioritized,” Trudeau said.
“I’m never going to shy away from standing up for what I believe in, whether it’s proclaiming loudly to the world that I am a feminist, whether it’s understanding that immigration is a source of strength for us and Muslim Canadians are an essential part of the success of our country today and into the future.”
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Trump has promised to crack down on U.S. immigration, and introduce aggressive screening of Muslims wanting to enter the country. At one time during his election campaign he spoke of requiring all Muslims to sign a register.
His attitude towards women was also laid bare in leaked audio in which he made ugly remarks about his dealings with the opposite sex, later shrugging them off as ‘locker room talk’.
Trudeau says his primary concern in dealing with Trump is the national interest.
“Every step of the way, our focus is on making sure that Canadian businesses, Canadians and their families have good jobs, have economic growth, have opportunities. And that is the lens from which I dealt with the possibility of this American election throughout.”
New federal Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland believes Canada has assumed the mantel of world leader on positive attitudes towards immigration and international trade following the election of Trump and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
She recently told the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations: “The complexity of the international situation presents enormous possibilities for Canada. I believe we are the best-placed country in the world to emerge from this complexity.
“Out of all industrialized countries, Canada is the only one to go up against this tendency. Canada is defending an open society and saying: ‘We are open to immigration … we are open to trade.’”
Freeland is keen to promote the message that Canada is open for business to the global economy, the opposite of the rhetoric coming out of its major competing nations.
There are fears Canada could be under threat from Trump’s plan to either tear up or make wholesale changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trump has been significantly more negative towards Mexico, the other member of NAFTA, highlighting plans to build a wall along the border as a key policy during his election campaign.
In terms of immigration, there is a feeling Canada could benefit from bringing in skilled workers no longer welcome in the U.S. and the U.K.
Traditionally Canada has struggled to hold on to its bright young people, with an estimated 350,000 of them lured to Silicon Valley or other parts of America.
They could be about to be forced to beat a retreat back home, and Canada is waiting with open arms to welcome them.
Conservative estimates suggest Canada will have 182,000 vacancies in the technology sector by 2019. The growing sector is driving the economy, with 71,000 companies employing 5.6 per cent of the workforce and responsible for 7 per cent of the country’s output.
More people are employed in technology than a combination of oil and gas, mining and forestry – a startling indication the Canadian economy is undergoing a significant transition, meaning it needs workers with the right expertise.
The British Columbia city of Victoria is growing as a technology hub, but companies are spread all over Canada looking for the right kind of people to help them grow. There are jobs everywhere for those with the required qualifications.
The message is simple: If the U.S. and the U.K. no longer want these skilled workers, Canada is ready to take them.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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