Evidence of meeting #43 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 amendment.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Jennifer Irish  Director, Asylum Policy and Programs, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

May 9th, 2012 / 7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This particular clause isn't that far off, even though it is different from the one we're proposing.

What I would suggest to the government is that they should give serious consideration to the consequences of what this particular bill is doing. It's a fairly simple, straightforward proposal. We believe that if you have a refugee here in Canada, he or she should have the ability to go to a third-party country to meet with family members.

Many would argue that it's cruel to try to intentionally keep families apart. Again, in my opening remarks I talked about how important it is for families to be kept together and about the additional cost of forcing them to be apart. At this point, I want to emphasize that this particular amendment deserves to have the government hopefully responding favourably, because it is all about families.

If you support the idea of families at least having the opportunity to get together, this is an amendment worth supporting.

Thank you.

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Okay.

Is there further debate?

(Amendment negatived)

We'll have Mr. Lamoureux on LIB-11.

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Chairperson, I would move that Bill C-31 in clause 16 be amended by replacing lines 41 to 43 on page 10 with the following:

staying in Canada when they are conferred protection or refugee protection status.

Again, from my understanding, this allows refugees to have access to having a travel document, something that we believe is critically important in terms of the foundation of a family. We believe that all refugees should be treated equally, whether they are deemed irregular or not irregular. They should be allowed to visit family members in third-party countries where they are able to reconvene. I don't think we should be doing anything to discourage it.

Again, we would appeal to the government to recognize the value of families and allow this particular amendment to pass.

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

A point of order, Chair.

I'm just wondering if it's possible for you to actually ask who is in favour of and who opposes the motions. I believe that some of our votes are not being recorded, because you're asking, “Shall it carry?”

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

They're only recorded when someone asks to have them recorded.

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

I was advised by the clerk that every vote is recorded. The numbers are recorded, and the vote counts are not accurate, based on....

Is that possible so that we can get it right?

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

Where were we?

Is there further debate on LIB-11?

(Amendment negatived)

(Clauses 16 and 17 agreed to on division)

(On clause 18)

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

There is a government amendment, G-3.

Go ahead, Mr. Dykstra.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This is one of two very substantive changes we are offering up as an amendment to the bill. First—and I think it's important to do this every once in a while—on this issue I compliment both opposition parties for providing some clarification, from their perspective, on their feelings on the cessation issue. In particular, Mr. Lamoureux's amendment, which follows ours in clause 18, is very similar to the amendment we are suggesting here. I want to thank him and obviously those who put the amendment together. It's very close to the resolution we think will satisfy the issue of cessation.

Our amendment specifically states that a permanent resident who acquired that status through a favourable refugee determination cannot lose that status or be made inadmissible based on an IRB cessation determination. That includes changed country of origin circumstances.

In other words, it's the whole issue of retroactivity, as it were, and as it was put by a number of the witnesses who came forward, especially from a legal perspective, identifying this concern. It was never the government's intent, from the beginnings of the bill in itself, to suggest or in any way have it be interpreted that refugees who came to this country who were successful in their applications would actually potentially have those applications or the identified refugee status removed because of what may transpire in their country three, four, or five years down the road.

We are convinced, and I'll perhaps ask those ministry folks who are here to confirm, that this change will indeed end and eliminate that concern.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

I guess they're looking at you, Ms. Irish.

7:15 p.m.

Director, Asylum Policy and Programs, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Jennifer Irish

Thank you, Chairperson.

Yes, I confirm that the effect of this amendment is to ensure that if you have lost your protected person status as a PR as a result of changed country circumstances, then you would not be made inadmissible after your PR status has been revoked.

Thank you.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

I have Ms. Sims on the floor.

Mr. Lamoureux and Ms. Sims, just so you're aware, if government amendment 3 is adopted, NDP-11 and LIB-11.1 can't be moved because they're amending the same line, and you can only amend a line once.

Ms. Sims has the floor.

7:15 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Chair, I have a document here. We would like to try to amend the amendment that is before you.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair David Tilson

An amendment to the amendment.

7:15 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Yes, an amendment to the amendment.