For a party that wants to reduce the number of immigrants and refugees coming into Canada from 350,000 per year to between 100,000 and 150,000, Jing Lan Yang (Young) is the perfect candidate.
She emigrated to Canada from Mainland China 18 years ago and in June was parachuted in as the People’s Party of Canada candidate in Cariboo-Prince George.
“My question is ‘how do we vet (refugees)?’” she said in an interview with the News. “I was vetted for almost two years. I had a test, an interview, and had to write a story about a newspaper article.”
When asked what has changed in the 18 years since she emigrated to Canada, in terms of how immigrants and refugees are vetted, she pointed to the United Nations global compact on refugees and migrants, which Canada has signed on to, but is non-binding. The compact is grounded in values of state sovereignty, responsibility-sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights.
“UN’s criteria is different than ours,” she said. “… I’m an immigrant. I’m totally for immigration. But also we need to be really careful who we let in here … We never say we don’t want immigration. We say we want to vet people who come here.”
A former school teacher, Young says her decision to run for the People’s Party of Canada came from a disillusionment with other political parties. She actually was a member of the Conservative party and voted for Andrew Scheer for leader.
She became upset with Scheer, who recently met with Muslim leaders and said the party would disassociate itself from members who are not tolerant, specifically mentioning the Yellow Vest Canada movement.
“Yellow Vest is (made up of) every day Canadians,” said Young. “They are not extreme. If you read their slogans, it’s not anti immigrant.”
However, she did admit that she has “not read every post” from the Yellow Vest Canada group. “They are against the carbon tax and want to get out of the U.N. They are not against any particular people.”
She said the group has not issued any personal attacks against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but when pressed on the issue said: “Politicians are supposed to be attacked. Trudeau deserves a little bit more because he’s done a lot of bad things to our country.”
She was also upset when by comments Trudeau made three years ago when he said Canada not defined by its history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage” and said there is no “core identity” in the country.
“I wonder why a prime minister would say such a thing,” she said. “To me it is dishonouring our country. What kind of identity does he want to put on us, so I paid more attention to what is going on. I see how he treated our own people and how he treated a convicted terrorist (referring to Omar Khadr and settlement reached between him and the federal government).”
Another issue for her was the incident a couple of years ago when an 11-year-old girl claimed a man had cut her hijab with a scissors. The claim turned out to be false, however it was how the matter was treated by our leaders that upset Young.
“They were really not talking about the damage to the girl (but rather) more about the hate crime,” she said. “Within an hour we have a nation-wide news conference … The prime minister’s office issued a statement, the minister issued a statement … (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau never made any other comments after police said it was a hoax.”
The People’s Party of Canada will do away with multiculturalism in Canada, she said.
“When they promote multiculturalism, they really add no core value to this country,” she said.
A People’s Party of Canada government would eliminate “almost immediately” trade barriers between provinces, she said.
She doesn’t like the terminology around climate, which has changed from climate change to climate crisis. In fact, when asked if she believes climate change is real, her answer is a flat: “No … They don’t give real science or statistics to prove we have a catastrophe … We need to believe in our people. Entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists are developing the technology to deal with issues that will have negative impact on the environment. We have nothing to worry about.”
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She added that Canadians are the most environmentally-conscious people in the world and have the most technologically advanced systems in the world to handle issues involving industrial development.
Even with all that, she added, the People’s Party of Canada strongly supported renewable energy.
Even though it is more of a provincial issue, she is opposed to the sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum in B.C. schools.
“They have the freedom to do whatever but they don’t want us to have the freedom to protect our kids,” she said.
She says she wants to “open a dialogue” about the forest industry in the region, adding the woes are more than simply market conditions. She says focusing more on specialty wood products is part of the answer.
The federal government needs to work on providing market and marketing advice to the industry. She adds that we should be planting at least one tree for every one that is harvested.
When she put her name forward to run in her riding, a candidate had already been chosen. She then let her name stand for other ridings and she was given several choices of four ridings she could run in and Cariboo-Prince George was her first choice.
“To me, this place means ‘true north,’” she said. “I know the people here are great people, Canadian people.”
On June 25 she quit her job and on June 26 she came to the riding and started campaigning. She says she believes politics has become too much about power and should be more about public affairs.
“This is the chance we get to voice our concerns,” she said.
So far, she will be running against incumbent Conservative Todd Doherty, Liberal Tracy Calogheros, New Democrat Heather Sapergia, and Green Party candidate Mackenzie Kerr. Canadians go to the polls October 20.