OTTAWA — Conservative MP Lisa Raitt says leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist by suggesting the federal government should screen potential immigrants and refugees for anti-Canadian values.
The Leitch campaign floated the idea in an questionnaire emailed to potential supporters last week, sparking swift and ongoing reaction from Conservatives and others on both sides of the issue, including fellow leadership candidates Maxime Bernier, Michael Chong and Deepak Obhrai.
Maxine Bernier looks on as Lisa Raitt speaks with the media in the Foyer of the House of Commons in Ottawa on Feb. 4, 2016. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
Raitt says there is nothing wrong with discussing an idea, but questioned why Leitch is making this a priority without spelling out the specific issue her proposal would aim to resolve.
The Conservative finance critic says she would prefer to focus on issues like the economy, child poverty and health care.
Raitt also says she has made up her mind about whether to join the race to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper as Conservative party leader, but is not yet ready to reveal her decision.
She says she continues to call her Conservative caucus colleagues for their support, but now knows what she would like to do.