Robin Grant/ Red Deer Express

WATCH: National Citizens Alliance speaks in Red Deer

Alberta refugee centre says National Citizens Alliance could fuel hatred towards minority groups

The leader of a Calgary-based group that holds controversial views on immigration and multiculturalism was in Red Deer Saturday where he spoke to a small crowd who came out to hear him talk.

While the event, called ‘Mass Immigration,’ was originally supposed to take place at the Sheraton Hotel, it was moved to 5233 54th Ave. on Saturday afternoon.

The theme of the National Citizens Alliance (NCA) talk presented by founder Stephen Garvey was that ‘mass immigration’ is having a significant negative impact on Canada. Garvey said immigration policies are failing and Canada should stop accepting immigrants into the country.

“We believe it is harming the economy, the environment,” he told Red Deer Express before the event. “It is harming our culture in Canada, our society and it’s harming the countries where these people are coming from.”

He added,”We are not against immigrants. We want responsible, balanced immigration, but this mass immigration, you know 200,000 to 300,000, it’s supporting certain interests. It’s not in the best interest of Canadians.”

He said he believes the largest negative impact is economic.

“There is a taxation negative of $40 billion,” he said. “That means immigrants are consuming more services than taxes paid. Also, the administration of immigration is costing over $24-billion a year on the federal level. We feel this should be a public discussion. We should have a national dialogue. It shouldn’t be dictated.”

The group, which is an unofficial political party, has spoken at venues across Canada. It is often met with pro-diversity group protesters. However, protesters did not show up at the location on Saturday.

Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E) Executive Director Frank Bauer said individuals have the right to be against Canadian policies, such as immigration. But he said he is concerned about what the group considers to be facts about immigration in the country.

“The concern I have is there might be less tolerance for immigrants in general and minorities so people who are already vulnerable to discrimination. I’m not too happy with that.”

According to his statistics, Canada requires, “Around 300,000 new immigrants every year to keep the working population up and have enough people to pay for pensions and to keep the jobs filled,” he said.

The group also spreads the message that most immigrants use social assistance, he said, which is not true.

“Sixty per cent of immigrants are economic immigrants,” Bauer explained.

“These people have to prove they are able to look after themselves, so they are not relying on any special assistance. They will bring in their families, but still, they have to look after them.”

He said the second largest percentage of immigrants who come to Canada each year is called ‘family-class immigrants.’ They are often sponsored by individuals who have immigrated themselves.

But again, he said, the sponsoring family must provide evidence that they can look after the new immigrants. They do not have access to social assistance.

Bauer also pointed out that the NCA seems to conflate immigrants with refugees. He said that two-thirds of roughly 25,000 to 35,000 refugees coming to Canada each year are privately sponsored.

“Many of the big church groups and community groups, they also have to look after their sponsored immigrant. So they look after housing and all that.”

There is a small portion of government-sponsored refugees, he said.

“The Government of Canada will give special support in the first year and this special support is not more than anyone else would have. It helps with initial housing.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Sylvan Lake looks to add an adopt-a-road program

A policy for the newly proposed program will come forward to council at a later date

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Sylvan Lake adds 25 new events to the 2019 line up

Sean Durkin announced 25 new events, in addition to community favourites, are planned for 2019

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Most Read