There are real world consequences to politician virtue-signaling

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

June 28, 2018

Anyone else sick of virtue-signaling politicians who turn out to be nothing but hypocrites?

We’ve seen this trend repeat itself in recent years. A politician makes a big, bold gesture, only to later completely contradict themselves with their actions.

This trend starts at the top. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the last election in part because of his bleeding-heart position towards Syrian refugees, and his unrealistic campaign trail pledge to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees in just a few weeks in late 2015.

Trudeau showed up at the airport for selfies with a few lucky Syrian refugees, but his government skipped important security and integration steps and abandoned local resettlement agencies who are responsible for the heavy lifting.

Syrians were housed in cramped budget motels, many were confused and felt misled about their lives in Canada, and some even told the CBC they were trying to get back to the Middle East.

There were year-long wait lists for English language courses, a lack of Arabic translators at local schools, and hospitals were unprepared and overwhelmed by the number of migrants arriving with acute illnesses.

Integration policies are vital when it comes to a newcomer’s success in Canada. And yet, these programs were the first thing to get thrown out in Trudeau’s vain pursuit to bring in more and more refugees.

When it comes to today’s migrant crisis unfolding on our border, it’s déjà vu all over again.

This time, Trudeau’s virtue-signaling came via a reactionary tweet. In the aftermath of Trump’s travel ban on individuals from countries with terrorist-ties, Trudeau proclaimed on social media that refugees were welcome in Canada.

The world’s migrants listened. More than 70,000 self-selected asylum seekers have come to Canada since that tweet was posted in January 2017. In 2018, most of these asylum seekers have crossed illegally at Roxham Road in rural Quebec.

At the same time, other politicians followed Trudeau’s lead.

The mayors of Canada’s two biggest cities, and the cities most affected by the sharp increase in illegal border crossings – Toronto and Montreal – proclaimed themselves to be “sanctuary cities.”

Toronto city council and mayor John Tory voted to reaffirm Toronto’s status as a city that provides a safe-haven for illegal immigrants.

“’You are welcome here,’” read a January 31, 2017 headline on CBC News.

But virtue-signaling has its limits. It’s designed to show off a politician’s self-proclaimed moral superiority – to show off a big heart and good intentions – without having to do anything specific.

The problem for politicians, however, is when their virtue-signaling causes a real-world reaction.

We’ve learned this week that the city of Toronto is no longer welcoming refugees with open arms. Mayor John Tory says the city is not equipped to handle the “unprecedented pressure” on the shelter system, and there simply isn’t enough housing for all the asylum seekers in the city.

What did he think was going to happen?

You can’t simultaneously tell the world’s migrants to come to Toronto, and then act surprised and claim there is nowhere for them to live when they show up.

Virtue-signaling is easy.

What’s hard is teaching newcomers English, helping them find a job and a place to live, and making sure that those who arrive at our border without a visa are legitimate refugees and not terrorists or criminals.

But these politicians aren’t interested in doing the hard work. Their cheap gestures are needlessly sacrificing Canada’s model immigration system – once the...(READ MORE)