Non-citizens in Canada found guilty of supporting terrorist organizations like Hamas should be deported, says Pierre Poilievre. The Conservative leader also directed criticism at foreign nationals taking advantage of Canada's student visas during a Thursday morning press conference.
There would be no need for drafting new laws he said, pointing to existing provisions in the Criminal Code in response to a question from Rebel News boss Ezra Levant.
Individuals calling for violence against an identifiable group can already be charged Poilievre pointed out, and he would "encourage law enforcement make sure those provisions are upheld for any and all people who incite — deliberately incite — violence against an identifiable group,” he said.
“That has been criminalized for many years, and anyone who is convicted of that who is not a citizen should obviously not be in Canada.”
Poilievre was clear in his support for free speech with regards to protests, saying that "people should be allowed to say things that I disagree with, even things I find appalling.”
This, he said, “is the price of living in a free country. The alternative is to have state censors who then decide what kind of speech is acceptable and what is not.” If this were the case, censors would “pick and choose” which speech was permitted and which was not — “that's why I believe in freedom of expression,” the Conservative leader said.
Those gaming Canada's student visa process also shouldn't be in the country, according to Poilievre, who said his party believes student visa fraud needs to be rooted out.
“If someone comes here on a student visa and they're not actually a student, then on that basis alone they should go home,” he said. “One of the problems we have with the student visa program is that it has been used as a fraudulent point of entry, particularly for corrupt employers trying to get labour from abroad.”
Recent polls have consistently showed Poilievre's Conservatives with a large lead over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals.