Conservative MP Michelle Rempel held a press conference in Burnaby, British Columbia this week to discuss much needed changes to Canada’s immigration screening process.
Rempel, the Conservative immigration critic, wants Parliament to study the issue of screening and vetting migrants coming to Canada.
“Residents of Burnaby know all too well the consequences of poor security screening after the horrific and tragic murder of a young girl in 2017,” said the popular Calgary MP.
“Cases like this highlight the gaps in our immigration screening system.”
Rempel was referring to the tragic case of 13-year-old Marissa Shen, who found raped and murdered in a park near her home in Burnaby in July 2017.
Ibrahim Ali, 28, a Syrian refugee who had only arrived in Canada three months prior, has been charged with her murder. His trial is set to begin later this month.
According to police, Shen did not know her murderer, and police say the attack was random.
Single, military-aged men were explicitly excluded from Canada’s fast-tracked Syrian refugee program — a policy announced by the Trudeau government to reduce public anxiety about possible ISIS fighters slipping in among the refugees.
Ali, however, was able to bypass this rule and slip in through connections to extended family already in Canada.
The murder outraged many in the community, with several large demonstrations and vigils taking place in response.
When asked about Shen’s murder in an interview with Macleans last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s “not one of those people” who believes Shen’s murder could be connected to his fast-tracked Syrian refugee program — even though the man accused of her murder came into Canada through this program.
When asked again during a recent town hall meeting, Trudeau said that Canadians shouldn’t be concerned about crimes committed by migrants.
He said it was “dangerous” to look at crime statistics or study the issue of crimes committed by migrants.
Rempel disagrees. She wants to take action and study the impact of migration from a warzone and whether Canada is taking proper steps to ensure Canada’s public safety.
“A Parliamentary study is the perfect venue to study this issue and hold Justin Trudeau to account to ensure Canadian safety.”
The press conference last week was held with fellow MP Glen Motz and Conservative Party candidate in Burnaby South, Jay Shin.
Shin is facing a tough race between newly appointed Liberal candidate Richard Lee and the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.
Last week Liberal candidate Karen Wang was removed as a candidate by the party for racial comments she made on the Chinese social platform WeChat.
When asked about Rempel’s proposal, neither the Liberal nor the NDP candidate responded to requests for comment.