Evidence of meeting #11 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was immigration.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Neil Yeates  Deputy Minister, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Claudette Deschênes  Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Daniel Paquette  Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

That is exactly what it is, Mr. Chair, advertising.

We already have it in hand, in any event. If I feel like looking at it, I will look at it that way, but I would ask—

11:45 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Okay. We're going to move on and we're going to take the blue things down—just the blue things. Those other charts are fine. In my view, it's blocking members of the public from seeing the minister's back, and, more importantly, Mr. Minister, me.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

From the official opposition's point of view, we're quite content to see the minister's back.

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Okay, let's stop this.

Ms. Sitsabaiesan, we're in the second round. You have up to five minutes.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Mr. Minister, you have frozen applications for sponsorship of parents and grandparents for the next two years. Can you give Canadians an assurance that they will be able to sponsor their parents and grandparents after the two-year freeze expires?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Yes.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

So you're guaranteeing that at the end of two years, I can submit my application for my grandparent to come here.

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

I'm guaranteeing that after two years, when we put in place the new redesigned program about two years from now, we will reopen the parents and grandparents program for new applications. But it will not be unlimited. We will not go to a situation where we're receiving 40,000 and 50,000 applications a year, because then we'll just find ourselves back in a serious backlog all over again.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Basically, it's going to be revamped and potentially have limits on the number of applicants allowed in?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Yes, that's the idea.

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Okay.

With respect to the super visa, obviously you must know that Canada has had a five-year multiple entry visa for decades now. Somewhat surprisingly, to me anyway, testimony last week revealed that it appears our visa posts around the world do not keep track of how many of these we actually issue.

I suspect this is maybe because they're not used frequently. People are not told that this is an option when they apply for a visa. There isn’t a check box on the visa application form indicating that this is an option for people.

In my constituency office, I hear many stories of parents who are denied temporary resident visas because they have a permanent residency application pending. The fear is that if the TRV gets approved, they won't actually go back to their country and will just stay.

My question is, will there be different criteria for the super visa than for regular TRVs and the five-year multiple entry visas so that we can ensure that they are granted to our parents and grandparents who want them?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

That's a very good question. I will say that one of the reasons we require people to demonstrate they've obtained health insurance when they come to Canada is to add greater certainty for our visa officers—that admitting people is not going to end up representing a net cost to Canadian taxpayers.

The department informs me they're confident the approval rate for these parent super visas will actually be very high, so I'll—

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

So the fact that they may have a permanent residency application pending is not going to be held against them, as it has been in the past, traditionally?

11:50 a.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

It will not be held against them.

People may apply for the parent super visa regardless of whether they have an application in for permanent residency, and that will not be held against them.

I would invite Claudette Deschênes to supplement the answer.