Evidence of meeting #35 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 detention.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Andrew Wlodyka  Barrister and Solicitor, As an Individual
  • Jennifer Egsgard  Member, Human Rights Watch Canada
  • Bill Frelick  Director, Refugee Program, Human Rights Watch
  • Meb Rashid  Medical Doctor, Crossroads Clinic, Women's College Hospital
  • David Matas  Lawyer, As an Individual
  • Christine Hyndman  Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand
  • Stephen Dunstan  General Manager, Settlement and Attraction Division, Immigration Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand
  • Fraser Richards  Acting Director, Legal Business, Legal Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

6 p.m.

Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Christine Hyndman

We do believe very much in working with other countries to address the issues in the countries of origin. New Zealand is a very active member of the Bali process, in which Canada is also a participant. That is very focused on preventing the root causes of asylum seeking.

6 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

It seems to me that here...and I suppose I'm a little bit puzzled by the motive behind the legislation. It's not for you to justify because I know you're part of the staff there. It seems that in a country that hasn't had boatloads arrive, even one, here you're taking a very extreme approach, an approach that actually has been demonstrated not to work.

I'm going to take Australia as an example. Australia has found, or evidence has shown—and we've had a number of witnesses testify to that—that detention actually does not act as a deterrent. It once again punishes people who are already suffering and are victims.

6 p.m.

Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Christine Hyndman

Obviously, our situation and our policy package is somewhat different from Australia's current situation. But yes, the detention itself is not actually the major deterrent. The detention is intended to ensure that we can safely house people whose identity we are not certain of for the period of time that it takes us to determine their identity. But Australia's situation is very different.

6 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

As soon as you have determined their identity and they have their status, will they get travel papers, and can they sponsor their family members to come?

6 p.m.

Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Christine Hyndman

No. Once people are determined to need protection under the convention or the convention against torture—and the rest of the things it's against—we will give them temporary status for three years, reassess at the end of the three years, and at that point they would be able to be granted permanent status.

6 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Thank you.

6 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Thank you.

6 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Mr. Karygiannis, you have up to five minutes.

Mr. Karygiannis is with the opposition Liberal Party.

6 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Thank you, and good morning, Down Under, if I might say.

In coming up with the legislation you've got in front of your Parliament today, did you have an opportunity to discuss this with the Canadian department and/or our minister?

6 p.m.

Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Christine Hyndman

I have not been party to discussions. There may have been some general discussion around things that countries were thinking of, but we haven't undertaken consultation, as far as I'm aware.

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Do your colleagues, Mr. Richards and Mr. Dunstan, know of any discussions with our minister, your minister, and/or the department in Canada?

May 1st, 2012 / 6:05 p.m.

Fraser Richards Acting Director, Legal Business, Legal Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

No, I know of no discussions.

6:05 p.m.

General Manager, Settlement and Attraction Division, Immigration Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Stephen Dunstan

No, we don't.

We've obviously been aware of the Canadian bill going through, but our legislation was developed in New Zealand for our circumstances.

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

You've got about, what, 300 people who come into your country as refugees per year, if I remember the number?

6:05 p.m.

Manager, Immigration Policy, Policy and Research Group, Department of Labour, New Zealand

Christine Hyndman

At present. It was around two and a half thousand ten years ago—