Our MP, Ahmed Hussen, has been much in the news this past week. As the Immigration Minister, he has been busy putting out fires as Trump takes a torch to years of American refugee policy.
On the whole, the coverage is positive, even glowing—but Hussen has been drawing criticism for not allowing more refugees into Canada. His response: “We don’t develop policy on the fly”. Fair enough: the government is already struggling to bring refugees in as quickly as sponsors will welcome them.
Yet Hussen, though new to his position, has quickly mastered the art of not answering a direct question. On Tuesday, he was asked, quite simply: will Trudeau condemn Trump’s dangerous, racist policies, yes or no? Hussen’s answer:
[W]e are very proud of our record of being open and welcoming to refugees and immigrants as a way to meet our international obligations, but also viewing immigration as a great ingredient for our economic prosperity. We will continue that tradition. We will make sure that we continue to be open to people and ideas. We will continue to thank Canadians for their generosity and continue to welcome Syrian and other refugees.
Wait, wait! That’s the answer to a different question. Hussen was asked whether Trudeau would stand up to Trump, not whether Canada would continue to welcome Syrian refugees.
But about that. Will we?
Well, maybe. Hussen wouldn’t answer how many Yazidi refugees will be resettled, nor whether LGBT refugees will be hurried. He wouldn’t raise the cap on church- and community-sponsored refugees either.
He did, however, find time to commend his own government. And you. You’re great. He said so six times. We should be “proud” of being “welcoming”, “generous”, “welcoming” (again), “compassionate”, “welcoming” (three times), and “proud”.
How great we all are seems to have become a Liberal talking point or a verbal tick.
In fact, that I propose a drinking game: every time Hussen,—or any Liberal—tries to hypnotize us by telling us to be proud of what we are legally and morally required to do, we do a shot.
God knows, this week makes me want a drink.
Here’s a selection of from Hussen’s speeches, just from the past three days!
Canada can be proud of its tradition of being an open society that welcomes refugees.
Canada’s refugee system is recognized as being one of the most compassionate and generous systems in the world.
Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our record of being open and welcoming to refugees
Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a welcoming country to newcomers, including those refugees fleeing persecution and war.
Mr. Speaker, our government has been recognized widely as being a great government for welcoming and resettling refugees from across the world.
… we are proud of the fact that Canadians continue to be generous to those seeking protection.