House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizens.

Topics

Citizenship of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question. It shows that he is quite familiar with the issue. In fact, he was the Bloc critic on this issue for several years.

He referred to a very specific feature of Quebec. We have our own civil code. It is unfortunate that the hon. member for Laval West, who sits on the other side of the House, will not recognize this. She talks about Canada being one country, coast to coast. She does not recognize Quebec's uniqueness, something the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie does quite well.

Citizenship of Canada Act
Government Orders

3:25 p.m.

Laval West
Québec

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to take part in the debate on Bill C-18, an act respecting Canadian citizenship.

As everyone knows, a bill similar to Bill C-18 was originally introduced in the previous Parliament. Because Parliament prorogued, we had to reintroduce this legislation, which is now Bill C-18. It is very similar to the former bill on citizenship, except for a few improvements.

Allow me to provide an example with the purpose of the legislation. This purpose was not mentioned in the former bill. It is in response to the comments made by members of the other place, who asked us to clarify the intention of the legislator and the values attached to citizenship, that we clarified the new Bill C-18. These clarifications will be the topic of my presentation today.

The first and most important purpose of the bill is to define who is a Canadian citizen and how citizenship may be acquired. This speaks directly to the fundamental purpose of the legislation, which is to set out: the requirements to obtain citizenship and when they can be applied with wise compassion; how people are citizens, either through birth in Canada or to a Canadian parent; how they can become citizens through adoption by a Canadian; and how citizenship may be lost, including under certain circumstances involving fraud or false representation.

The bill sets out revocation in which citizenship is lost because of fraud, annulment, second generation birth abroad and renunciation.

I will have the opportunity to talk about these issues in a few minutes. The second purpose of the bill is to encourage the acquisition of citizenship by all who qualify. In my own riding of Laval West, there is a large number of former immigrants who are now Canadians. There are also a few people who have never considered applying for Canadian citizenship, who did not think of the benefits, and the responsibilities, that go along with it.

The new Bill C-18 includes provisions that would streamline and simplify the naturalization process. We know that some immigrants are afraid to apply for citizenship and do not know how to go about it. In this bill, we set out clear and objective requirements that are easier to understand and, more importantly, easier to apply, while also taking less time.

The result that we hope to achieve is to ensure that, as regards permanent residents in Canada, no one gets special treatment and all are equal before the law, including when they apply for naturalization as Canadian citizens. In other words, we want to ensure that all applications are treated consistently and fairly.

In fact, these provisions speak to the fundamental Canadian values of openness, openness to people from elsewhere, to languages and cultures from elsewhere, and acceptance—I am not saying tolerance, but acceptance—of diversity, however it may present itself in Canada.

We want to encourage persons, regardless of their race, ethnic background, religion or country of origin—that is the great Canadian tradition we want to uphold with this bill—to become Canadian citizens, full and active members of Canadian society, which, as I said earlier, entails responsibilities of course, but also has its advantages. It is a matter therefore of making the process as accessible and straightforward as possible to allow people to have access to citizenship as easily and quickly as possible when they want to apply.

The third purpose of the bill is to protect the integrity of Canadian citizenship. Such protections reflect the conviction that citizenship matters. Citizenship is a qualified right. Acquiring Canadian citizenship cannot and should not be taken lightly. As someone who has gone through the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, this citizenship is very important to me. That is why I wanted to rise today to speak on Canadian citizenship.

Some people, those across the way in particular, seem to think that the provisions of Canadian citizenship are relatively simple. They are not. Citizenship and Immigration Canada conducts security checks with CSIS and criminal checks with the RCMP. Every person who applies for citizenship is fully investigated.

Those who take the oath during the citizenship ceremony must also sign a form. I did so myself. I also had hundreds of new citizens do the same. New citizens sign a form stating specifically that they have not engaged in any criminal activities since the time they applied for citizenship. This, combined with the RCMP and CSIS investigations, ensures that, at the time they are granted citizenship, these persons are truly free of crime.

To become citizens, applicants must also demonstrate a commitment to Canadian values. Like any people, any nation, we have values that we hold dear. This makes perfect sense. We ask that people who come here with the intention of becoming Canadians show us that these values are dear to them as well.

For example, under the proposed bill, a person could not be granted citizenship for three years after being convicted of an indictable offence outside Canada, or an offence committed in another country that would be indictable under Canadian law.

This is an example which shows very clearly that there are rules that must be followed and that all those outside Canada who wish to become part of our society must accept those rules as we accept them as citizens.

The fourth objective of the bill is to reaffirm that all citizens have the same status. This should be a fundamental right of all Canadians. Whether they were born in Canada or became Canadians through a naturalization process, all citizens should have the same rights and privileges before the law.

As everyone knows, I was not born in Canada. I came to Canada from another country and became a Canadian citizen. I am very proud to say that I am standing in the House today and participating in the debate because I was elected by some of the people in my riding of Laval West. I am extremely proud of this. This is not possible in a lot of countries.

The only people who can run for office in some countries are those who were born in that country and whose parents are citizens. That was not the case for me, and I am certainly not the only example of this. There are many other examples of people here in the House who were not born here and were not citizens, not only members of Parliament but also ministers. We are very proud of the fact that all citizens are equal whether they are citizens born or citizens made. This is a tradition that we have in Canada and Bill C-18 builds on that tradition.

The fifth purpose of the act is to require a strong attachment to Canada to acquire citizenship.

We know of cases where people have used Canadian citizenship for their own purposes when they did not really want to live in Canada or did not really adhere to Canadian values. This is something that we cannot accept. In fact people must live here for a certain amount of time, show that this is the country of their choice and that this is where they want to live for quite some time.

Residence is defined as a physical presence in Canada. It does not mean that people cannot travel for business reasons or travel for pleasure. They can do all this but they must show that they intend to reside in Canada before they can become citizens. Under the bill, claimants would need to know that they have to live in Canada for at least three of the six years prior to their application; this means an accumulation of three years within a total of six.

The sixth element of this bill is increasing awareness of the significance of Canada citizenship. I myself have seen just how emotional new citizens are about becoming Canadians. The ceremony is an important event. I would like to relate a personal experience.

On July 1 last year, on Canada Day, we organized a major event in the riding of Laval West. We invited recent and not so recent citizens. The ceremony was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. but most of the people who would be taking the oath that day were already there at 8 a.m., so anxious were they to be sworn in as new citizens.

They took pride in becoming new citizens. It was touching for all of us there, not just myself, but the long-established citizens, Quebeckers and Canadians, who were there with me. They told me “We see how happy these people are to become citizens and be able to live in this country”.

The bill also attempts to touch on this element. In the new oath, new citizens must clearly express their loyalty to Canada. We must not forget that Canada is our country. It is a country, again, that accepted me, and that has accepted thousands and millions of people, and we owe it our loyalty.

This bill contains a new mandate for those who used to be called citizenship judges, who will now be known as citizenship commissioners. These commissioners will continue to preside over citizenship ceremonies, but they will also champion and promote the active participation of citizens in their communities, as well as advise the minister on citizenship matters.

One role of the commissioners, and a fine one it is, will be to underline that all citizens should demonstrate mutual respect and understanding so that each citizen can contribute to the best of their ability to Canadian society.

The final purpose of the act is to promote respect for the principles and values underlying a free and democratic society. This too, is supported by the new wording of the oath, which explicitly requires citizens to respect our rights and freedoms and uphold our democratic values.

In addition, another measure would allow citizenship to be refused when an applicant has demonstrated a flagrant and serious disregard for the principles and values underlying a free a democratic society.

Canadians have worked hard to build a democratic society where the rights of women and children are respected. And we ask that those who want to live here and become citizens recognize that women have full rights in our society, and that children also have equal rights.

It is relatively easy to take for granted something so many of us acquire simply by being born here. But as anyone who has chosen to become Canadian will tell us, there is nothing more fundamental that ties us to each other and to Canada.

Our citizenship is about a lot more than just the right to hold a Canadian passport. Whether we realize it or not, it is fundamental to our sense of belonging and to our sense of purpose—to living up to our responsibilities to respect the laws and traditions that allow us to live and work alongside one another peacefully, in a climate of mutual respect and trust.

Diversity and mutual responsibility are hallmarks of what it means to be Canadian. Our citizenship, the way in which it is acquired and the circumstances under which it can be lost, must reinforce these core values.

This bill both respects and revitalizes the covenant that binds us to each other and to our country, regardless of whether we chose to become Canadian or were born to it.

I urge the members of the House to keep these intentions in mind as they review the contents of this proposed legislation, particularly in the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in the questions and comments period following the speech made by the hon. member for Laval West, who sits on the other side of the House.

I agree with her when she says that this bill reflects Canadian values. I am willing to acknowledge that. The problem is that it does not take into account the unique nature and distinct character of Quebec. I have used the example of children adopted abroad before, and will do so again.

Under this bill, children adopted abroad by Canadian citizens will now be able to get their citizenship on request and therefore bypass the immigration process. There is a problem with this since, pursuant to Quebec's civil code which is recognized in Canada, adoptions must be finalized by a Quebec court.

So, in Canada, children adopted abroad who settle in Quebec might have to meet different eligibility criteria than if they settled elsewhere in Canada.

Therefore, my question is the following: would it not be wiser to agree to what various Quebec ministers have been asking for since 1998, which is to set up some kind of tripartite partnership? We could work together to speed up the process, to consider how we can ensure that children adopted abroad who want to settle in Quebec will not be penalized and, lastly, to ensure that the federal government will take into account the unique nature of Quebec, including one of its very distinct characteristics, its own civil code?

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I find the logic of the member across the way somewhat twisted, if I may say so, since it happens that I was chair of the Conseil des communautés culturelles et de l'immigration of the Quebec government at the time when the issue of foreign adoption was a hot topic.

At that time, the Quebec government intended to--I do not want to elaborate too much on this, but it answers the question put by the member across the way--streamline the adoption process to allow children to be reunited with their adoptive parents in the fastest and simplest manner possible.

What I see here is that through Bill C-18, this is exactly what the Government of Canada wants to do, namely to meet this need for children who are adopted abroad by Canadian parents. It is quite reasonable to think that a child's parents want the child to become a Canadian as quickly as possible, fit into the social fabric, go to school and feel equal to other children at school.

I found the word used by the member across the way passing strange when he mentioned that such children would “avoid” the immigration process. Nobody wants to avoid anything. The purpose of this bill is to streamline the process so that it meets the needs of families, especially those families in a difficult situation, and to ensure that the situation is sorted out as fast and as simply as possible.

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in this very instructive debate today.

The parliamentary secretary forgot to refer to November 6, 1998. At the time, ministers Rochon and Boisclair sent a letter to the then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in which they mentioned the problems generated at the time by Bill C-63 on the reform of the Citizenship Act.

The Quebec ministers stated that this bill raised various problems in Quebec, particularly with respect to the connection with and the specifics of our civil code, to the health care issue and to the additional costs that might be incurred as a result. The ministers referred, among other things, to the issue of adoption.

As for us, we are not at all opposed to the adoption process. We are simply saying that there is a problem with our civil code regarding immigration and international adoption of children. This is what we are saying to the parliamentary secretary. We want this bill to take this specificity into consideration.

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the member opposite referred to the letter, I found it interesting that she told us about the health care issue. However, she finished her speech before quoting the Quebec minister on the issue of international adoption. I wonder why she did not quote the minister on this issue.

I know there were talks between the federal immigration minister and the Quebec minister responsible for immigration. There is an agreement between the Quebec government and the Canadian government. I would simply suggest this--I am not a minister, I do not know what the two ministers agreed on—, if indeed there is a problem—and I am not saying there is one. If there is a problem with reconciling the legislation and the civil code, I cannot see why the Quebec minister does not send a letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to try to see how to reconcile these two documents.

We have had this kind of problem many times. Each time the federal government wants to come forward to help Canadian families, whether on international adoption or parental leave, and it tries to provide greater benefits to Canadians, some members opposite say, “This does not help the spirit of separation”. Perhaps not, but it certainly helps Canadians.

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, of all the vexing problems that we as members of Parliament have to deal with in our ridings, one of the toughest is our ability to advocate for our constituents in terms of immigration issues.

I have a couple of questions for the hon. member. First, why is there no hotline for members of Parliament that would enable us to work with the department to solve some of the immigration problems we have?

At the end of June of this year the department changed the rules without informing anybody, especially the people applying for landed immigrant status. Applications that were received a couple of days after the end of June changeover were immediately returned without including the money. It was completely unfair that people were asked to endure and to go through the same process again.

Is the member willing to put in a window of opportunity, like a grandfather clause, so that those people who applied before the end of June of this year would have their applications dealt with as per the rules and regulations that existed in the first half of this year?

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that the member is as involved with immigration as I am but he is addressing the wrong person. I am Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources Development, not Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

On the question of hotlines for MPs, a few of us have a lot of people in our constituency who ask for our advice or help with immigration problems, whether it is with regard to visas or whatever. I have a full time person in my constituency office who does nothing but immigration cases. I know other MPs have this arrangement as well. All I can say to the member is that I will make that suggestion to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and we will see what happens.

With regard to his second question, I would remind the member that there is a government website that contains a lot of information to which most Canadians can have access if they have a computer, which a lot of them do today.

Citizenship of Canada Act
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3:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will continue on the line of questions that I asked the hon. parliamentary secretary.

It is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-18, an act respecting Canadian citizenship. I will deal with some specific problems the immigration department has been facing and which it has not been dealing with for a long time; issues of fundamental rights and wrongs and issues of fundamental fairness.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Langley--Abbotsford.

The first problem has to do with the admission of qualified professionals into Canada. As members know, I am a physician. However getting medical professionals into Canada, whether they are physicians in particular or other medical professionals, has been exceedingly difficult even though their qualifications meet the needs of our country.

I will give some examples. A highly competent female physician, who was trained in the U.K., has been working in northern British Columbia for more than a year. She would like to move to another part of British Columbia but all kinds of obstacles have been put in place so she cannot do that. Her husband, a highly qualified paramedic in the U.K., cannot work in Canada. As a result, both of them are leaving to go back to England. We are losing two highly qualified medical personnel who want to work in an underserviced area in Canada but cannot because the Department of Citizenship and Immigration has created all kinds of roadblocks for them.

A second example is that of a South African physician who worked in Saskatchewan for five years, and who paid taxes in British Columbia for five years. He applied for landed immigrant status. His application has gone back and forth. The department asked for more money and it said that small questions, which were irrelevant to his application, were not answered to its satisfaction. For example, the department wanted to know what he was doing between the ages of 14 and 21, and what his employment record was in his early 20s. Few people in their 40s or early 50s would know that.

Those are the obstacles that are being put in place for highly trained professionals. It is miraculous that the individual is still working as a physician in an underserviced area of northern British Columbia because he certainly has options in other areas.

A third example is that of a highly trained specialist who was trained in the United States and who wants to work in northern British Columbia. He would be the only person practising his trade in an area that deals with individuals suffering the ravages of diabetes. All kinds of obstacles have been put in front of this highly qualified individual who wants to immigrate to Canada and work in our country, even though he is licensed and trained to practise in the United States.

What kind of immigration department would put blockades in front of highly trained people who have skills that Canadians desperately need in the medical field and, I believe, in other fields? The department has to deal with this problem and it has to deal with it fairly and rapidly for the sake of everyone.

In the case of the South African physician, even though he has been paying taxes for five years, his children cannot work here. Why can his children, who are in high school and would like to work, not work in Canada even though their father has been paying taxes?

We have umpteen cases of individuals applying for landed immigrant status who simply cannot work in Canada for lengthy periods of time while their application process is taking place.

Work is an important element for people who wnat to integrate and contribute to Canadian society but the Department of Citizenship and Immigration has such ossified rules that it does not allow people to do that in our country.

What the department does allow are individuals who have been convicted of indictable offences to stay in Canada. I am shocked at the number of people who have been charged and convicted of indictable and non-indictable offences and who have been allowed to stay in Canada even though they have proven not once but a number of times to be a danger to Canadian society.

The argument put forth by the department was that we cannot deport these people because they are refugees. Obviously we have sympathy for people who are applying for refugee status, but I have no sympathy for somebody who applies for refugee status in Canada and yet breaks the laws of this country in a manner that is severe. To commit an indictable offence means to commit a very serious offence, and some of them are violent offences. These violent offenders are allowed to stay in our country. Furthermore, they are allowed to receive medical care and are covered by our medical system, while those individuals who emigrate to Canada and are working here cannot get medical coverage for their children. I do not think that is fair.

I have a couple of specific cases from my riding.

One is the case of Dhamret Inderjit Kaur. She is a young woman, married to a Canadian, who has applied and reapplied for landed immigrant status. Every time we write a letter to the department asking where her application is, the processing time has been 10 to 12 months. In the meantime, there have been a number of deaths in her family in her country of origin. She would like to go back. Her husband is here in Canada, yet the department does not allow her to go back for bereavement cases, saying that she can go if she wants to but she might not be able to get back into the country.

What kind of person, knowing that she may not be allowed back into Canada, would leave her husband in Canada to go back to see family when there has been a death in the family? It is a Catch-22 for these people and I think it is fundamentally unfair given the circumstances they find themselves in. First, she is dealing with a death in her family in her country of origin. Second, she may not be able to see her husband again because she is allowed out of the country but not allowed back in.

There is also the case of Marcus Murphy. He applied for landed immigrant status in February. We sent a request on November 1 asking about this man's landed immigrant status and asking that he be allowed to work because of extreme financial hardship. The response? It will take another 10 to 12 months to process his application. That is not right.

There is the case of Edward Mukahanana. He applied on January 31. He is a qualified graduate in financial administration. There was no word on his application. We wrote to the minister on November 4 but got no answer. He cannot work. His wife is supporting him. They are in financial hardship. Why does it take from January 31 to November 4 to not even receive an answer on the status of this gentleman's application? He is not allowed to work and therefore cannot contribute to his family and our country.

Last, there is the case of Mariyka Ferrier. She applied on July 3. On August 14 her application was returned because one answer to a question was missing. What was that question? She had failed to explain what she had been doing between the ages of 14 and 21. How is that relevant to an application for this individual? The application was resubmitted on August 27. A new process was started October 1. She is a graduate linguist and cannot work or get medical benefits. We wrote to the minister on October 29 and so far there has been no answer.

This speaks to the frustrations of all members of Parliament with respect to the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. We all want to do our job. In fact, it would help the ministry if it enabled us to do our job by having a hot line we could call so that we could get answers rapidly for our constituents and deal with their immigration problems.

Second, it would also help to allow people and their children to work while they are waiting for landed immigrant status to be determined. It is good for them and it is good for Canada. They would be contributing to our country not only in terms of manpower but also in terms of taxes. Their contributions to our country would enable them to integrate and engage in our multicultural society, of which we are very proud.

In closing, I will say with respect to Bill C-18 that there are some good things and some bad things about it. What is good is that the revocation of citizenship is long overdue and this does get it into the hands of the Federal Court. I compliment the hon. member from the government who gave up his position as parliamentary secretary to make a stand on the issue. He is a courageous person who did the right thing for the right reasons and that should be known.

However, on the issue of adoption in the bill, why the government would allow people to adopt adults we can only surmise, but we are fundamentally opposed to that. Rather than allowing people to adopt adults, we should allow them to adopt children instead.

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4 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak to Bill C-18 today. Based on personal experience, I have a lot of things to say about citizenship and immigration but I want to talk about two specific things today.

I want to talk about one particular aspect of the bill. The reasons why citizenship applications could be refused are in the bill, but the fact that citizenship applications would not be terminated if a person broke the law before the conditions were fulfilled really would be a mistake for this country. I want to talk about two cases I am working on right now. Since I have been a member of Parliament, I have been an intervener in something like seven or eight criminal cases and at the Immigration and Refugee Board. Those people have been deported.

I am currently working on two situations. Both of these situations involve individuals staying in Canada and eventually getting citizenship. The first case is that of an American wanted in the United States on drug charges. He has come to Canada and has applied for refugee status, which is unheard of in this country. The refugee board is giving him a hearing. I applied to become an intervener in this case in order to fight it. I had the most difficult time trying to get into this hearing, because I am Canadian, for one thing, and also because the individual said he did not want me at this application hearing. The decision was up to him, not me, which is incredible to say the least.

The individual is claiming that he has been persecuted in the United States because of its drug laws, so he is claiming refugee status in Canada. In his mind, it is not prosecution but persecution. Hon. members can imagine the outcome of this application if he wins it. Basically everybody in the United States who is wanted on drug charges could apply to Canada for refugee status, have a hearing and get it.

The consequences of this are very severe indeed. I cannot understand the government on the other side actually acquiescing to some form of protest from an individual from another country, in particular the United States, because he does not happen to like the laws. If this individual wins, not only do we have somebody here who is running from the United States because he does not like the drug laws, but he will in fact become a citizen of Canada. The hearing will take place, so that part of it is a done deal. Let us hope this is not a done deal behind closed doors, because if it is we will have one heck of a lot of Americans applying to come into this country.

As it happens, I found out just recently that this same individual, a non-citizen in our country, applied for a certificate for medical use of marijuana. There are all kinds of people in this country looking for certificates for medical marijuana. What happened? Because of the ingenuity of the other side, he got the certificate. Not only did he get a certificate to carry, grow and smoke marijuana, and as an American citizen no less, he is permitted to grow 59 plants and store up to 2.6 kilos, enough to keep 20 people going for a month.

I do not understand the government. I do not understand the logic. I do not understand the stupidity across the way. I do not understand why we cannot intervene in cases like this. I do not understand why Americans get to claim refugee status in this country. Americans do not understand why Americans can claim refugee status in this country.

But we are not going to get an answer here and we are not going to get an answer under Bill C-18. Basically it states that if one applies for citizenship one will get it, with the exception that once in a while an application may be refused. The bottom line on all of this activity is that nobody quite understands what the heck is going on in this place, much less in the citizenship hearings, the immigration hearings and the refugee board hearings.

I know I am talking to myself here, because no one over there is listening--

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4:05 p.m.

An hon. member

I'm listening.

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4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

That member is listening, is he?

Now let me talk about a fellow by the name of Phrasanonh. He did 14 months in the prisons in my riding for deliberately running down some young people with a car. One of these people eventually lost his life. Phrasanonh, after a long fight, was ordered deported. Not only was he ordered deported, he was ordered deported promptly. I asked the government to me know when he was to be deported, knowing full well that the chances of that were a joke. The government said it could not let me know when it was to deport him because that is privacy. We are not supposed to know that. That is a secret. I waited and I waited and, sure enough, he showed up again. He was never deported. Even though he was ordered deported, he was never deported. Where does he show up? In Abbotsford, in my community, once again on assault charges.

So what have we achieved with Mr. Phrasanonh? He does a little time, he is ordered deported and I am not allowed to know if he is deported. I have to stumble over it. I have to find out by accident that not only was he not deported, he is up for assault. So I guess he is going to stay because the government has no intestinal fortitude to do anything other than that, and he will get his citizenship eventually. Congratulations, I say, we really need him in our crowd.

There is something terribly wrong here, but I have been talking about this for 10 years. It has been 10 years and the government is listening as much today as it always did. The Liberals over there have a closed mind about the problems in our country. They are passing citizenship bills but they are not looking after the basics of our country. There are people here who should not be here. They should be moved out. They should not get citizenship. But the other side just does not give a damn. No matter how much we talk about it, it goes in one ear and out the other.

I have about one minute left to say what I think about those fellows over there.

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4:05 p.m.

An hon. member

There's not enough time.

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4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

There is not enough time, because I have case after case after case of individuals who are criminals, serious offenders, and who are still in this country after being ordered deported. They are still wreaking havoc on our society. They will eventually become citizens and then can wreak more havoc on our society.

This stuff here today is not worth the paper it is printed on unless the government starts to make some productive changes in our society in terms of kicking out people who do not deserve to be here. I feel a little better after saying that, but not much better about the government doing squat about it.

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4:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will let my colleague from the Canadian Alliance pursue his rhetoric. According to his reasoning, what do we do? Do we let them in? What solution does he see to all these problems?