No riots when Kenney visits MRU
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney visited Mount Royal for a meet-and-greet with the university’s Conservative Party Campus Affiliation on Jan. 25.
Kenney, MP for Calgary Southeast, arrived after being stuck in rush hour traffic and began chatting to students throughout the room. He then gave a half-hour speech, followed by a Q and A session.
“Usually when I go to speak at college campuses there’s a riot that breaks out,” Kenney opened. “The lefties, the anarchists — at two or three of my last campus speeches they actually had to bring out bodyguards and, in one case, the riot squad in Montreal.
“What’s wrong with Mount Royal? This is far too peaceful. Where’s the left here?” he joked.
A voice from the back responded, “What left?”
Well, it’s the left that Kenney said he once connected with.
“I was a very active, obnoxious, young, Liberal twerp,” he said, referring to pre-college days.
Kenney talked about going to college in the United States where he began reading his roommate’s copies of the National Review and “shocked himself” when agreed with the conservative ideals he was seeing.
“I realized over the course of time that basically my values were conservative, as are the values of most people,” he said. “It just takes time for them to figure it out.”
The club asked Kenney to participate because of his recent work. Kenney was front and centre last November when the Conservative government banned facial coverings during citizenship ceremonies.
“We thought he would be a really great guy to come in and influence some of the youth and get some of the people on campus out,” said Siobain Quinton, one of the club’s founders.
Kenney said he tries to speak on campuses whenever possible.
“To meet young people who are idealistic and hopeful, it’s always refreshing for me,” he said.
Kenney added that he hopes to give students a sense of how to ground themselves and advance sound principles in politics rather than getting caught up in personal ambition or power for its own sake.
“Not that I’m a perfect example of that, we could do better,” he said. “I wanted to convey my own personal approach to my public service.”