France’s Le Pen criticizes Canadian immigration, refugee policy

TORONTO, Mar 21:  French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen, who is touring the Canadian province of Quebec, said the country’s immigration policy was on the “wrong path,” at an event where one of her bodyguards reportedly struck a protester. The Canadian Press news agency reported the Front National leader’s remarks at a news conference in Quebec City. Le Pen and her party could not immediately be reached for comment. Quebec police were at the scene but made no arrests, they said. The Huffington Post posted a video of the event, which showed a man hitting another in the face. It said the Canadian Press identified the attacker as a bodyguard of Le Pen. Le Pen also said that if her party were to take power in France, it would recognize Quebec as a sovereign state, the Canadian Press reported. Le Pen began a six-day trip to the largely French-speaking province yesterday. Her party strongly opposes immigration and has been criticized as xenophobic. Quebec political leaders, including those from the separatist Parti Qu?b?cois, have declined to meet with her. In an interview with Canada’s French La Presse newspaper published on Sunday, she labeled Canada’s decision last year to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees as “insanity.” Le Pen has sought to make the National Front more mainstream after taking over its leadership from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen. She had him expelled last year for renewing past declarations playing down the Nazi Holocaust. The elder Le Pen has also endorsed Donald Trump. The Republican US presidential candidate yesterday declined to condemn supporters who had attacked protesters at his increasingly chaotic rallies.  (AGENCIES)

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