Robin Grant/ Red Deer Express

WATCH: National Citizens Alliance speaks in Red Deer

Alberta refugee centre says National Citizens Alliance could fuel hatred towards minority groups

The leader of a Calgary-based group that holds controversial views on immigration and multiculturalism was in Red Deer Saturday where he spoke to a small crowd who came out to hear him talk.

While the event, called ‘Mass Immigration,’ was originally supposed to take place at the Sheraton Hotel, it was moved to 5233 54th Ave. on Saturday afternoon.

The theme of the National Citizens Alliance (NCA) talk presented by founder Stephen Garvey was that ‘mass immigration’ is having a significant negative impact on Canada. Garvey said immigration policies are failing and Canada should stop accepting immigrants into the country.

“We believe it is harming the economy, the environment,” he told Red Deer Express before the event. “It is harming our culture in Canada, our society and it’s harming the countries where these people are coming from.”

He added,”We are not against immigrants. We want responsible, balanced immigration, but this mass immigration, you know 200,000 to 300,000, it’s supporting certain interests. It’s not in the best interest of Canadians.”

He said he believes the largest negative impact is economic.

“There is a taxation negative of $40 billion,” he said. “That means immigrants are consuming more services than taxes paid. Also, the administration of immigration is costing over $24-billion a year on the federal level. We feel this should be a public discussion. We should have a national dialogue. It shouldn’t be dictated.”

The group, which is an unofficial political party, has spoken at venues across Canada. It is often met with pro-diversity group protesters. However, protesters did not show up at the location on Saturday.

Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E) Executive Director Frank Bauer said individuals have the right to be against Canadian policies, such as immigration. But he said he is concerned about what the group considers to be facts about immigration in the country.

“The concern I have is there might be less tolerance for immigrants in general and minorities so people who are already vulnerable to discrimination. I’m not too happy with that.”

According to his statistics, Canada requires, “Around 300,000 new immigrants every year to keep the working population up and have enough people to pay for pensions and to keep the jobs filled,” he said.

The group also spreads the message that most immigrants use social assistance, he said, which is not true.

“Sixty per cent of immigrants are economic immigrants,” Bauer explained.

“These people have to prove they are able to look after themselves, so they are not relying on any special assistance. They will bring in their families, but still, they have to look after them.”

He said the second largest percentage of immigrants who come to Canada each year is called ‘family-class immigrants.’ They are often sponsored by individuals who have immigrated themselves.

But again, he said, the sponsoring family must provide evidence that they can look after the new immigrants. They do not have access to social assistance.

Bauer also pointed out that the NCA seems to conflate immigrants with refugees. He said that two-thirds of roughly 25,000 to 35,000 refugees coming to Canada each year are privately sponsored.

“Many of the big church groups and community groups, they also have to look after their sponsored immigrant. So they look after housing and all that.”

There is a small portion of government-sponsored refugees, he said.

“The Government of Canada will give special support in the first year and this special support is not more than anyone else would have. It helps with initial housing.”

Just Posted

Culture Days offers amazing variety Sept. 27 to 29

“Taste of Wetaskiwin” followed by “Connect 4”

Join Leduc singer/songwriter Julia Vos raising funds for youth shelter Fri to Sun

Mulhurst Bay’s singer/songwriter busking in Edmonton for Youth Emergency Shelter

Pipestone Creek Grouse Walk a success Aug. 24

Event hosts over 40 participants near Wetaskiwin

Beef barley soup with great cake idea for dessert

Zucchini Carrot Cake only takes about 40 mins in oven

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors get payback against Fort Mac

Wetaskiwin earns decisive 43 to 12 victory in week 2 action

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Most Read