In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier was uncannily prophetic on immigration. Right now immigration, and its impact on housing, jobs and affordability becomes a successively bigger topic each week. More and more columnists, journalists, economists and politicians are talking about it. Yet none of them has given even a grudging acknowledgement to Maxime Bernier’s 2019 platform on this issue. Then, Maxime Bernier was still the Member of Parliament for the riding of Beauce in Quebec. A former Harper-era cabinet minister, he left the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in 2018 after failing to win the Party’s leadership contest in 2017. He then went on to form his own firebrand libertarian party known as the PPC. Among his key promises during the 43rd Canadian federal election in 2019, was that a PPC government would lower Canada’s immigration levels to between 100,000 and 150,000 newcomers per year. He also railed against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government, decrying their immigration policy as one of “extreme multiculturalism” that was “putting Canada on a road to destruction.” This position was widely denounced by… pretty much everyone. Bernier also proposed people wanting to immigrate to Canada should be subject to an interview and background check by immigration officials. The purpose would be to determine if their values and ideals corresponded to Canada’s “societal norms.” Bernier declared “immigrants whose responses or background checks demonstrate they do not share mainstream Canadian values will be rejected.” Again, he was pilloried far and wide for his contentious proposals. The media and most pundits accused him of racism and anti-immigrant views. Yet, if we fast forward to the present, none of that sounds so extreme any more. Following the brutal Hamas massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7th last year, we have seen a tsunami of antisemitic hate in this country. Jewish neighbourhoods have been singled out for demonstrations, Jewish businesses have been fire-bombed, Jewish schools have been shot at and Jewish places of worship have been defaced. It would be naïve to say that some of this wasn’t enabled by latent, endemic, antisemites. It goes without saying that there are people everywhere who harbour all sorts of terrible prejudices. But it would be equally naïve to say immigration hasn’t brought much of the hate we are seeing on display in our streets. On a daily or weekly basis we are seeing large protests in many of our major centres in support of terrorist organizations. From celebrating the actions of Hamas and calling for intifada, to rallying in support of the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, Mike from Canmore is likely not the guy responsible for importing it or carrying it out. All of this has obviously been a terrible shock on the Canadian psyche. Gone are the days of blindly accepting the prime minister's trope that “diversity is Canada’s strength” without demanding some contextualization, or boundaries on such a statement. For example, maybe it’s okay to ask new immigrants if Israel has the right to exist. Because we think it does. Or maybe more encompassing, “have you ever been a member of, or do you currently support any ideologies of the following recognized terrorist organizations?” Because if the answer is ‘yes’ to the latter, then sorry, but your diversity isn’t going to be much of a strength here. In fact, it’s more likely to be an insidious Trojan horse which will contribute to the downfall of a society that has been relatively benign for the past 156 years. Now, add on to that the realization that in order to support high levels of immigration, the societal infrastructure needs to be in place to support not only those new Canadians, but the existing ones too. Housing, health-care, jobs and ideally, a strong national identity to which newcomers and existing Canadians can aspire to contribute to are all key. However, our housing is inadequate, our health-care system is on the brink of collapse, our job growth has stalled and our national identity put aside in favor of an idiotic concept called a post-national state — whatever that is.It’s all a shambles. As result, the annual study “Canadian public opinion on Immigration,” published by Environics last October, showed a 17 percentage point increase from the previous year in the number of Canadians who think there is too much immigration in Canada. Which takes me back to my opening statement about Mr. Bernier’s foresight on this particular file. He could have hardly known how prescient his words on unrestricted immigration would be when he said, "support for immigration will continue to diminish and social tensions are likely to rise. We need to slow down." So, while the fact remains that some immigration is beneficial and may have positive outcomes for our country’s ongoing development, it needs to be done responsibly.And there needs to be boundaries upon who we accept. We do need to slow down — if for no other reason than Maxime Bernier was right.