Evidence of meeting #31 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 system.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Dawn Edlund  Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Jennifer Irish  Director, Asylum Policy and Programs, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Les Linklater  Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Program Policy, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
  • Daniel Thérrien  Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • Michael MacDonald  Director General, National Security Operations Directorate, Public Safety Canada

4:50 p.m.

NDP

The Vice-Chair (Ms. Jinny Jogindera Sims) Jinny Sims

We gave you a few more seconds there.

Now I would like to hand it over to Mr. Giguère.

April 26th, 2012 / 4:50 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Good afternoon, Mr. Minister.

I would like to thank the committee for allowing me to ask these questions.

Right now, we have a detention centre in my city, in Laval. I have a lot of questions about it. Have you had the opportunity to visit this detention centre in Laval?

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Not yet, but I intend to, since your colleague encouraged me to do so. I am planning to go.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Very well.

I just heard that my colleague Mr. Leung was able to visit a detention centre rather quickly. Would we be able to have quick access to the detention centre in Laval? It would be relevant if we needed to ask questions.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Yes, as members of Parliament, I am sure that the office of the Minister of Public Safety and the CBSA can arrange for access to the detention centre.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Very quickly?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

I cannot speak for him, but I don't see why not.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Thank you very much.

The Canada Border Services Agency did some studies showing that the changes to Canadian legislation will increase detention and the deportation of bogus refugees, while changing the mandate of the refugee board.

Mr. Minister, based on your estimates, how many additional detentions will this new legislation entail?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

There are two parts to the bill. In terms of the asylum system, we don't think that there will be an increase in the percentage of claimants who will be in detention. In other words, the percentage will stay the same.

As for the smuggling of illegal refugees, it is hard to predict, because we don't know how many immigrants will arrive under circumstances designated illegal.

Would CBSA like to complement that answer on detention?

4:55 p.m.

Director General, National Security Operations Directorate, Public Safety Canada

Michael MacDonald

What the minister is saying is correct. Canada overall has a multi-phased approach to combatting human smuggling and the criminal networks overseas, and that whole idea is built on the pillar of prevention.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

I am sorry, but you are not answering my question. I don't have much time and I cannot listen to a speech.

What is the expected increase? Can you tell us how many new detainees there will be?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

We have estimates for the number of people who will be in detention under the new system. We can provide you with the figure, but I don't have it with me right now.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Thank you very much.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

It is not a major difference.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

What will happen if the number of detainees is greater than the number of spots available in the detention centres for immigrants? Is there a plan to send them somewhere else?