Federal election candidates debate immigration in Calgary

Conservative candidate Jason Kenney, the Liberal's Kerry Cundal and of Abdou Souraya of the NDP debate Canada's role in Syria.

Liberal, NDP and PC candidates in hotseat for the 2nd of the Calgary Eyeopener debates

Three candidates square off on the issue of energy and the environment. From left: NDP's Abdou Souraya, Conservative Jason Kenney and Liberal Kerry Cundal. (Candidate websites)

In the second of three Calgary Eyeopener debates with federal candidates in local ridings, the focus was on immigration and foreign policy.

In the hotseat was Liberal candidate Kerry Cundal, the NDP's Abdou Souraya and the minister of citizenship and immigration prior to the election, Jason Kenney who is a Conservative candidate in the new riding of Calgary Midnapore.

Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the debate.

Conservative candidate Jason Kenney, Liberal candidate Kerry Cundal and NDP candidate Abdou Souraya join us in studio to discuss immigration and foreign policy issues. 10:23

Kerry Cundal, Liberal candidate, Calgary Signal Hill

  • "It's a little late in the game during the election to be responding. I've very glad to see a shift now... but it should have happened sooner."
  • "Munich and Germany are not falling apart. They are taking hundreds of thousands. Now to be fair, I'm not advocating for hundreds of thousands of refugees to be resettled in Canada but it certainly gives us pause for reflection that we could do more and we must do more."

Jason Kenney, Conservative candidate, Calgary Midnapore

  • "The number of immigrants coming to Canada through family reunification has increased by 10 per cent on average per year under our government — 66,000 per year versus 61,000 under the previous Liberal government — so we've actually increased family reunification."
  • "When I opened the first dedicated program for Syrian refugees, it was for gays, lesbians and women who were victims of sexual violence. You can't take 15 million people, so I think we should take the most vulnerable."

Abdou Souraya, NDP candidate, Calgary Forest Lawn

  • "My parents did immigrate from Lebanon and some of my relatives who still reside there say they've [the country] taken on so many refugees over the past year or so and it's a pain on the infrastructure. As Canadians, I think we should set the bar a little higher to help out."
  • "In regard to the values and prices that's put on the sponsorship families, we need to give them a break."
  • "Definitely we want to make the process easier for them. Less red tape and have them expedited into our communities."