Canadian leaders denounce Trump's travel ban order
In a rare display of agreement, members of the Parti Quebecois have backed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to Saturday’s announcement that travelers from seven heavily-Muslim countries would be temporarily banned from entering the United States.
In two much-shared tweets on Saturday, Trudeau drew sharp contrast between the order and Canada.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
Among those who retweeted him was former PQ cabinet minister Bernard Drainville, the primary author of the controversial 2013 Quebec Charter of Values. The charter was abandoned after the PQ’s defeat at the hands of Liberal Premier Philippe Couillard in 2014.
The PQ’s Twitter account also issued a condemnation.
In an interview with CTV Montreal, Quebec Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness Minister Kathleen Weil said the province would continue to offer a home to refugees and would not discriminate based on religion.
"We work hand in hand with the federal government and, as you know, the Quebec government played an important role in the settling of Syrian refugees and we will continue to play an important role," she said.
Weil said Quebec is planning to take in roughly 6,000 refugees in 2017, with as many as 2,000 additional people seeking asylum during that time.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, currently in Europe to promote the city's upcoming 375th anniversary festivities, issued a series of posts to social media condemning the order.
Montréal est une terre d'accueil qui se définie par sa diversité et solidarité.Fier d'accueillir citoyens du monde. #MuslimBan est abject— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) January 29, 2017
Plus que jamais le "Vivre Ensemble" est crucial. Combattons l'intolérance,le racisme et la discrimination sous toutes ses formes. #MuslimBan— DenisCoderre (@DenisCoderre) January 29, 2017
The New Democratic Party also joined in, with MP Jenny Kwan calling for an emergency parliamentary debate on what action to take in response to the executive order.
Most of the candidates currently running for the Conservative leadership remained silent, including Kevin O’Leary, Kellie Leitch and Andrew Scheer.
Interim party leader Rona Ambrose called on Canada and the US to shelter groups persecuted by ISIS, including Yazidis, Assyrians, Christians and Muslims.
Immigrants and refugees from all over the world have greatly added to Canada's success and prosperity... 1/4— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) January 29, 2017
... it is a proud part of our history and built this great country. 2/4— Rona Ambrose (@RonaAmbrose) January 29, 2017
Quebec MP and Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier called the ban a "US internal matter," and said Canada's priority with immigration must be fulfilling the country's own needs first and foremost.
1/ Is this just nice sentiment on PMJT’s part or is his tweet advertising a change of policy? Will Canada welcome even more refugees? https://t.co/FQyEmGLeOU— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) January 29, 2017
2/ There are over 21M refugees in the world. It's totally unrealistic to think we can solve this problem by welcoming more.— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) January 29, 2017
Candidate Michael Chong, who serves as MP for Wellington-Halton Hills, expressed disapproval, saying the ban would not be looked on favourably by one of the most beloved Republican presidents in American history.
Judge strikes down parts of order
On Saturday night, a federal judge issued an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from the affected countries, saying the people detained had a strong argument their legal rights had been violated.
The order also suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and bars the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Initial comments from the United States State department said Canadians with dual citizenship in any of the seven countries would be barred from entering the United States but Trudeau later said U.S. officials had assured him this would not be the case.
Airlines issue advisory
On Saturday, Canadian airlines Air Canada and WestJet said passengers bearing passports issued from the seven countries would not be allowed to board their flights to the United States.
Both companies said they would waive change and cancellation fees for any travelers affected.