(Ottawa) Conservative MP Richard Martel drew strong criticism on Tuesday from Bloc and New Democrat elected officials who believe he should apologize for refusing to help Salvadoran nationals living in his riding and, above all, , of having defined them as “irregular immigrants”.
Bloc Québécois Mario Simard criticizes Mr. Martel for his remarks, which were reported by Radio-Canada and which are intended as an explanation for the fact that he did not offer his support to these newcomers – when they were threatened with deportation — since they arrived in the country irregularly, crossing Roxham Road, in Montérégie.
There are people who have made requests that are unusual, but there is no such thing as an illegal refugee. […] I think Richard (Martel) should apologize […] because what he said without knowing the file and without knowing all that the various statutes suppose can have negative consequences on these people.
Mario Simard, Bloc Québécois MP
The deputy leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Alexandre Boulerice, considers that the words and actions of Mr. Martel are “disgusting”.
Frankly, I think that’s a pretty inhumane way to treat people.
Alexandre Boulerice, deputy leader of the New Democratic Party
In addition to demanding an apology from the Conservative MP, Mr. Boulerice would like his party leader, Pierre Poilievre, to give “directives, very clear instructions that he does not accept this kind of speech”.
“If he is honest with the fact that he wants to be open to immigrants and immigration, well, let him give a clear message to his entire caucus that this is not a how to treat people, ”said the man who is also the MP for the Montreal riding of Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.
A Tory spokesperson had not, at the time of this writing, responded to a request for comment that would be made by Mr. Poilievre’s office.
Interview requests from The Canadian Press with Mr. Martel as well as with Pierre Paul-Hus, political lieutenant of Quebec for the official opposition, had also been left unanswered.
Nevertheless, a written statement from Mr. Paul-Hus was provided. “Our MPs help people from all walks of life and support Canadians who have been left behind by the Trudeau government while defending a fair and compassionate immigration system,” said the elected Conservative.
Mr. Paul-Hus took the opportunity to criticize the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau on the immigration file.
“The Conservative Party believes that Canada is an open, inclusive and diverse country, but also a country that protects its borders, respects the rule of law and promotes security,” he said. Instead of creating a massive backlog and years of delays like the Liberals did, we are going to fix the mismanagement and make sure the process for regular immigrants is seamless so they can join our communities and enrich our country. »