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Exploring what Canadian values mean after Conservative leadership debate

Click to play video: 'Exploring the meaning of Canadian values after Conservative leadership debate' Exploring the meaning of Canadian values after Conservative leadership debate
WATCH ABOVE: What are Canadian values? Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch wants to screen new immigrants to ensure they are following our values. Leitch is considered a front runner after last night's debate in Saskatoon. Today our own David Baxter hit the streets to see what people actually think are Canadian values. – Nov 10, 2016

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch can be considered a front-runner following her performance in that party’s first leadership debate in Saskatoon Tuesday night.

A major point in her campaign involves establishing measures to screen visitors, immigrants, and refugees for Canadian values.

“I believe Canada was founded on the values of hard work, generosity, freedom, and tolerance. I will protect these Canadian values,” Leitch said in her opening remarks during the debate.

Leitch’s website says this would be done through one-on-one interviews with specially trained immigration officers.

READ MORE: Conservative leadership hopefuls talk immigration, trade and Trump at first debate
Canada is a broad and diverse country, so just what are Canadian values? Global News hit the streets of Regina and asked.

“It’s integrity and honesty,” Doug Jones said.

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“I think it’s diversity, inclusion, and open opportunity for everyone,” Saurabh Jaura explained.

“The Canadian value is respect, giving, and just expecting,” John Findura, Ward 5 City Councillor, said.

Findura moved to Regina from Poland 40 years ago. When he enrolled in Miller Comprehensive High School at age 15, he didn’t speak any English.

He said people at the library and tutors were not just a big help in teaching him the language, but showed him Canadian values.

“That made me a better person that I am today. With that basic help and that’s where the Canadian values are. It’s stepping up and saying this person needs the help,” he explained.

In addition to his work on council, Findura is heavily involved in Mosaic, Regina’s annual multi-cultural festival. He said these values are shared throughout the Queen City’s various cultural organizations.

“We are all equal here. Everyone has the right to speak and practice their own religion,” Nirmal Singh Maur said.

Maur is a member of the Sikh Society of Regina, and came to Canada from India in 1991. He made the move after his brother told him there was more opportunity in Canada.

He said it’s much easier to live in Canada than India.

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Maur and the rest of Regina’s Sikhs recently finished their Diwali celebration, and their community centre is still decorated.

Findura said it is great to maintain cultural traditions in Canada, but there’s something important to keep in mind.

“Yes we come from somewhere, but we need to recognize where we are and what this country means to us.”

Most Canadians learn their values at home through family. These lessons are also taught in the classroom. This gives teachers, like Tricia Wood from St. Angela’s School, a unique perspective.

“Kids trying to figure out how to treat each other equally, regardless of cultural background and languages spoken at home and financial backgrounds. Kids are in the process of learning that,” she explained.

Wood’s husband is also an immigrant, and knows it is a long process to attain Canadian citizenship.

“The basic value of everyone is accepted and welcomed in regardless of what their backgrounds are and why they’re here. I mean the immigration process itself is long, but it’s worthwhile,” she said.

The values talked about, tend to line up with Leitch’s beliefs, but not everyone agrees with her proposed method.

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“We’re a diverse nation with diverse values, and it seems to me that the premise is who gets in and who doesn’t based on whether or not they meet the requirements of our, in quotes, values,” Brenda Maclauchlan said.

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