Kellie Leitch would charge immigrants for Canadian values test
Fee wouldn't apply to refugees — but they would still be required to take the test
Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch says she would charge immigrants a fee to cover the cost of her proposed Canadian values screening test at the border.
"For myself, screening everyone for Canadian values, screening everyone at the border is important ... My intention is to transfer that cost to the individual who is immigrating here," the Simcoe-Grey MP told the CBC's Catherine Cullen on The House.
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"Prior to our Conservative government, the Liberals had brought in a fee for individuals that were immigrating to Canada and my intention would be to bring back that fee."
Introduced by then-finance minister Paul Martin in 1995, the $975 right-of-landing fee was reduced to $490 and renamed the right of permanent residence fee under the Stephen Harper government during the 2006 budget.
Leitch said it would be a jumping off point, but any fee would have to be adjusted for inflation and the number of immigrants coming to Canada.
The fee would only apply to immigrants, not refugees, she added. Refugees would, however, still have to take the test.
One of the key components to Leitch's campaign is a push to conduct interviews with every potential new Canadian.
Leitch's controversial platform, which has been targeted by opponents, includes conducting face-to-face interviews with immigrants for values including equal opportunity, hard work, helping others, generosity, freedom and tolerance.
How immigration officials would go about testing for generosity is still being hammered out.
"The opportunity for creating appropriate ways of questioning are absolutely there and I look forward to working with Canadian public servants and Canadians in general to make sure we have the right questions to ask," she said.