Pierre Poilievre promises to work with provinces and territories to “remove red tape” and speed up wait times for approving foreign work credentials — within 60 days.
The leadership candidate for the federal Conservatives chose to make a first announcement on labour and immigration policy in Markham, at the end of a five-day visit in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
This mirrors prime minister Stephen Harper's move, who chose Markham to make a similar promise. His government managed to mandate responses for foreign skilled workers’ within one year of their application.
Poilievre, who served as his Minister of Employment and Social Development, now promises to achieve this same goal in less than two months if he becomes prime minister.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, a rival for the Tory leadership, quickly attacked Poilievre on his immigration policy.
“Pierre has no credibility announcing any sort of policy which largely impacts minority communities, such as immigration, because he’s never publicly stood against policies that disproportionately impact them, like the niqab ban, the (barbaric cultural practices) tip line, or Bill 21,” read Brown’s press release on Monday morning.
“Rather than making this the most welcoming country to immigrants in the world, he has happily pushed rhetoric that only attempted to divide people rather than bring them together.”
Poilievre responded that Brown will "say and do anything" to win. He also criticized his carbon tax stance.
“The reality is that he and I disagree on his carbon tax. Mr. Brown, in endorsing a carbon tax, believes that gas prices should be more expensive. I can’t understand that point of view,” said Poilievre. “I will get rid of the tax and I will pursue technology not taxes, results and not revenue.”