Chris Alexander: “Unbalanced [Paul Wells] manages to mention 1885 head tax, for which [Prime Minister Stephen Harper] apologized, w/o listing historic #Lib immigration misdeeds.”
By: Tyler Sommers on
Chris Alexander, Conservative MP for Ajax—Pickering, in a Tweet on June 12, 2015
Several Liberal government “misdeeds” are listed in the Maclean’s article in question.FactsCan Score: Farcical
Claims, checks, and more claims.
First, a quick note on why we decided to cover this. At FactsCan we think it’s important to challenge one another – for the media and public to challenge politicians and, yes, for politicians and the public to challenge the media. However, this should be done respectfully and based on facts. When people attempt to discredit one another through misleading the public or lying, it does the public a disservice.
Here’s what went down: Earlier this week, Chris Alexander gave an interview to Vice that drew fire in the House of Commons. After Question Period, the immigration minister spoke with reporters again, and made a remark that Paul Wells of Maclean’s then fact-checked.
The claim Wells looked into is this: that before Liberal prime ministers Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King, according to Alexander, “there were no laws that limited immigration to certain groups on an ethnic basis.”
Wells concluded, “he’s a liar.”
Alexander responded on Twitter, “Unbalanced [Paul Wells] manages to mention 1885 head tax, for which [Prime Minister Stephen Harper] apologized, w/o listing historic #Lib immigration misdeeds.” The minister continued, “Liberal legacy of Laurier & Mackenzie King bans, restrictions or quotas on black, Indian, Japanese, Chinese immigration lasted decades.”
Calling Wells’ piece unbalanced is a matter of opinion, however claiming that he didn’t list “immigration misdeeds” of previous Liberal governments is a factual claim, and one that turns out to be false.
Here are some of the black marks on the Liberal record that Wells did mention in his article:
- Alexander himself is quoted speaking about “decades of racism by [the Liberal Party] under Mackenzie King blocking South Asians from coming to this country, blocking East Asians from coming to this country, blocking Caribbeans from coming to this country.” Wells writes, “that’s actually a fairly accurate list of policies under King’s government.” King was Canada’s tenth prime minister and a Liberal.
- Again, Alexander is quoted on “the injustice of backlogs under the Trudeau regime and the Chrétien era.” Wells gives a nod to the accuracy of that too, calling it “the administrative mess of later Liberal governments on the immigration file.”
- Wells also writes, “there was much in King’s record, especially, of which no Canadian can be proud.”
We asked Alexander whether he had carefully read Wells’ piece before responding, but as of publication have not received a response.