SAINT-HYACINTHE — The decision by Ottawa to sign global Pact on migration of the United Nations does not limit the sovereignty of Canada and its ability to choose its own immigrants, has reiterated the prime minister Justin Trudeau during a public meeting hosted in Saint-Hyacinthe.
The prime minister was cheered and sometimes heckled when he answered the questions being addressed on a variety of topics, ranging from the environment to immigration, passing the free trade agreements, during the two-hour meeting.
The exchange of the most vivid took place on the theme of immigration, after a woman had asked Mr. Trudeau why his government had signed the global Pact on migration of the United Nations without consulting the Canadians.
Justin Trudeau replied that the entire world was plunged into a crisis of migration and the signing of the agreement would allow Canada to share its approach and to cooperate with other countries in terms of immigration.
“It is a pact that does not in any way limit the sovereignty of Canada to determine how and who we will accept as immigrants,” said the prime minister.
“There are a lot of false information spread on the subject,” he added.
Justin Trudeau has had to raise his voice to be heard above the shouting accusers. He has the critics of the covenant to practice a “politics of division” and pointed out the generosity of Canadians towards the 25,000 syrian refugees welcomed in recent years.
“Yes, madame, I think we were right to continue to demonstrate leadership in the area of immigration in the world”, has hammered Mr. Trudeau, attracting both boos and applause.
From the opening of the public meeting, the prime minister has been challenged in the area of climate change.
Many of the early questions focused on the environment. One man in particular asked Mr. Trudeau how he could claim to be environment friendly, after that his government had decided to purchase the oil pipeline of Trans Mountain.
Justin Trudeau has responded that economic development and environmental protection must go hand-in-hand.
He added, however, that Canadians will continue to rely on fossil fuels in the foreseeable future and that, in this case, the country needs pipelines to carry the oil to markets.
Mr. Trudeau has also been questioned about the opposition’s indigenous oil and gas pipelines in British Columbia, which has led to the arrest of 14 people in the north-west of the province.
He acknowledged that the way the situation was handled was “an error” and it said that the process of reconciliation remained bumpy.
“We are doing our best, but there are always mistakes,” he said describing the situation to Wet’suwet’en “neither ideal nor positive”.
This public meeting is the latest in a series of popular gatherings in the form of questions and answers organised throughout the country.
Justin Trudeau was confronted with difficult questions on topics ranging from oil pipelines to relations with aboriginal Peoples at public meetings in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.