Evidence of meeting #39 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 children.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

4:10 p.m.

Member of the Board, Rainbow Refugee Committee

Sharalyn Jordan

It clearly violates the constitution and our charter obligations, and there are intentions to move forward with challenges.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Okay, now, do I have any more time?

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

You have 30 seconds.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

I have 30 seconds, very good.

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Tell us a bit about your riding.

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Yes, right.

The bill removes the automatic stay of removal for several types of claimants including designated foreign nationals and claimants from safe countries when seeking judicial review. Effectively, an individual can be removed before their hearing is made.

What are the problems associated with that, when somebody has to go back before their hearing? Let's be candid.

4:10 p.m.

Member of the Board, Rainbow Refugee Committee

Sharalyn Jordan

It's an absolute denial of justice and due process, and it puts Canada at serious risk of returning someone to their death, to persecution.

When we signed on to the Geneva Convention, we signed on to be a place of refuge and protection for all refugees and to give them access to due process.

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Thank you.

4:15 p.m.

Founder and Member of the Board, Rainbow Refugee Committee

Christine Morrissey

The other thing—

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

I'm sorry, I have to move on.

I'm sorry.

Mr. Opitz.

May 3rd, 2012 / 4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

There are a few things that aren't perceived properly. Bill C-31 is proposing changes that will build on reforms that the asylum system passed as part of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act. This bill will not change any of the protections that the LGBT community has. In fact, it's going to help people from this community seeking status in Canada to get it faster and protect those refugees because that's what we do.

We are a compassionate country, and we are going to make sure that people that are needing our protection do get it. We are a signatory to the Geneva Convention and many other international agreements that we dutifully follow.

Also, I want to point out that Minister Kenney has been a great defender of the gay and lesbian community, and has encouraged the gay and lesbian community here in Canada to privately sponsor LGBT refugees. That option exists. In fact, they should listen to the minister, take him at his word, and apply to do that.

The other one, because I do want to talk to Mr. Amble about some security issues, is that 99% of people that do arrive here are out in the community, are working, and are contributing, while their claims are being processed. Only 1% are detained, and that's where the problem comes in for some of our security issues and why detention can be important until we understand who these people are.

Mr. Amble, over to you quickly on the detention side first, let's begin with that because I only have a few minutes.

A lot of these folks, especially smuggled, trafficked folks, come from places that are rife with terrorist groups and other criminal organizations.

If you were one of these people, for example, would a mass smuggling event be something you would conceal your identity under when you arrive?

Do you follow me?

4:15 p.m.

As an Individual

John Amble

Yes. The short answer is, yes, if it's available.

We've seen evidence that, particularly with people who originally travelled to western countries like Canada, in this instance, with the intent of at some point carrying out a terrorist attack, they don't care how they get there. They'll get there in any way, and if it's through a smuggling operation where they get bunched together with 20 or 400 other people and that gets them in, they're going to do it.

It happens to be that, unfortunately, too often these are from the countries that have human rights abuses too, countries where the government oppresses its people tend to generate a level of militancy amongst at least [Technical difficulty--Editor] members of the population.

That oppression often takes the form of human rights abuses, and that militancy often takes the form of terrorist activities. What happens is that the two are actually sort of linked, and the governments across the Middle East and areas of central Asia and Southeast Asia and Africa that have strong human rights abuse issues, also tend to produce the most terrorists.

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

That's interesting.

Those terrorists, even though they come to our shores, they may not necessarily be interested in doing harm to Canada or the United States, but they may actually use us as a base of operations to strike back at the place they came from. Is that a fair statement?

4:15 p.m.

As an Individual

John Amble

Yes, it is very fair.

In fact, the governments of those countries where they originally come from are aware of that. This has been a pattern since the end of the 1980s, after the Soviet war in Afghanistan when the mujahideen felt they'd defeated the Soviet Union—now what do they do? Then they were going to go back to their home countries. Those countries didn't want them there because they knew that they were going to come back and undertake activities designed to overthrow those governments.

Many of them did move to Europe and Canada and the United States from where they did continue to plot attacks on their home countries.

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Thank you.

Mr. Deakin-Macey, yesterday we had Imre Helyes, from the Embassy of Hungary, and he said people basically come here because it's easy money. In your opinion do you think Canada is easy money, and does this affect and harm our international reputation and economy?