House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I think my colleague is absolutely right with respect to this piece of legislation. It is very much in keeping with the ideology that has been put forward by the government on other pieces of legislation.

We are talking about not treating people with respect. We are talking about sending people back to a country where we know they will be persecuted further. We are talking about not reaching out and making sure that we are doing everything we can as a country to help people in these situations, knowing full well that if they are returned to their country, they may even risk death.

My concern here is that we are going down the same path as we are with the crime legislation, through which everyone would be thrown in jail, no matter how small the crime or whether it is a first-time mistake. We would build megaprisons to accommodate Canadians when instead we should be looking at prevention. We should be trying to help Canadians avoid going to prison.

We are going down the same path with Bill C-4. We are not looking out for the best interests of Canadians in the case of the megaprisons and the crime legislation, nor of those who are looking to us to help in terms of their safety and who want to come to Canada.

They are reaching out to us. We should be open and receptive to them instead of looking at them and sending them back and treating them like victims.

This bill would do nothing to help deal with human smuggling and human smugglers. Instead, we would be making victims again of those coming to us looking for refuge.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to congratulate and thank the hon. Liberal member who just spoke about Bill C-4. A large part of what she said is similar to what I wish to say.

To continue along that route, I would like to say that since May 2—the day I was elected to Parliament—and since we started sitting, I have been saddened by the fact that the legislation tabled by those on the other side sometimes contains good things, but more often than not, unfortunately, it simply divides those here. We can all support a bill that protects refugees against human trafficking; we can all work together to ensure that a pedophile never touches another child; we can all agree that someone who has committed a very serious crime should spend a long time in jail and should not easily receive a pardon, and so on.

However, all of these bills before us simply divide us: we are either for or against human trafficking, for or against the government. And we must not try to make any changes. I call this government the “photo-op government”—splashy headlines in the paper, big in-your-face news to show that the government is working for us. But, really, none of this is going to have the desired effect.

We must not forget that a similar bill, Bill C-49, was introduced during the last parliament. And that is one issue I have with us as politicians—it seems that things only get moving once an event is picked up by the media. If it is not in the news, we do not talk about it or deal with it. This bill was drafted following a media event.

I just got out of a meeting that I had to cut short with women who are part of the Sisters In Spirit, which has lost its funding. These are mothers who have lost a child, whose children have disappeared, and we are not taking care of them. They are not asking for the moon. They are asking for peanuts so that they can continue their searches. But unfortunately, that does not make the headlines in the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star. However, big ships like the MV Ocean Lady and the MV Sun Sea that arrived on the shores of British Columbia in 2009 and 2010 made the news. It was in our face. Everyone said that something had to be done and that a bill needed to be introduced, but they did not take the consequences into consideration, nor did they ensure that the bill would achieve the desired effect.

That is the problem in general with this government. Of course it was shocking to watch the news and see 500 Tamils arriving, as well as the MV Ocean Lady, which had 76 on board. I had a television show and I remember people talking to us about it. It was terrible. Rumours were swirling all around. It is incredible, but I am still responding to people who ask me how it is possible that, in Canada, a refugee makes more money than a retired Canadian. I wonder how they come up with that. Then I realize that people have been misled for years and years. In fact, some people in Canada honestly believe that every refugee arriving here in Canada receives around $1,900 a month. Come on. A person would receive $1,900 just for arriving in Canada as a refugee? We would give refugees that much while our seniors and many other people are having a hard time making ends meet? It almost makes you want to go to another country just to come back as a refugee.

That is not the reality for refugees. Refugees are people who leave their countries because their lives are in danger. These are not people who decide to come to Canada on vacation. They come here for their safety and because we have a reputation—poor us—as a supposedly welcoming, fair and open country that encourages differences and wants people to have more. Canada is a country that ensures that the people who come here are not starving, although I sometimes have doubts about this when I see the number of children living below the poverty line and the number of seniors who are abused or who cannot make ends meet.

As a legislator and with my background as a lawyer, I wonder about the purpose of this bill. The government wants to wipe out human trafficking and we all agree with that. Let them stop claiming otherwise. No one is in favour of human trafficking. I do not think any of my colleagues would support human trafficking. Would anyone in the House support it? If so, I would ask them to please raise their hands. Why? Because we definitely disagree. Do we want someone who is not a real refugee, someone whose life is not in danger, who does not meet the criteria of the existing legislation, to come to Canada to take advantage of our extremely generous system? We do not want that either. I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to ask those in favour of that to raise their hands. No one wants that.

The government said that it was concerned that many of these people had ties to the Tamil Tigers, a group on the list of terrorist organizations. I said to myself that our friends opposite were introducing their next buzzword: terrorist. This word scares everyone. Anyone who reads the bill will think that the government is protecting their safety, ensuring that people with ties to terrorists do not sneak into our country under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Why is nothing done when people arrive in great numbers at airports? Is there anything more dramatic than watching refugees arriving by boat on television? But that is not the case for refugees who arrive at an airport chock full of passengers from all over. Someone told me that thousands of refugees arrive at Canadian airports. The number of refugees who arrive by boat is smaller. This bill, once again, attempts to mask the reality and give a false impression. It gives even great powers to the Minister of Immigration under the guise of public safety.

What struck me when they introduced Bill C-4, the former Bill C-49—this is not the first time that our Conservative friends have tried to introduce such a bill—is that it was introduced by the Minister of Public Safety. Why? Because they are trying to send a message that our security is at stake, that terrorists are streaming into Canada. I do not say this flippantly, as though I could not care less about terrorism.That is not at all the case. But let us call a spade a spade, and identify the true terrorists. The trouble is that, in real life, when you cry wolf too often, people stop believing and will not pay attention when there is a real terrorist threat. That worries me. They are trying to portray all refugees as potential terrorists. Unfortunately, that is more or less the general impression.

I hosted a public affairs show on television and radio before I came here. In my practice as a lawyer, I still have frequent contact with the general public, at least in my region, the national capital region. I can say that people were automatically making the equation that a refugee is a terrorist. If someone is hiding, it is because they are running from something. People forget to consider that there is more to it.

The bill may contain some clauses that are worthy of being examined, but, as always, the government is using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. As a lawyer, my primary concern is that this will end up before the courts some day. I had the same concern about Bill C-10. If the government wanted to use its bills to make improvements, protect Canadians better, eliminate human trafficking and ensure that criminals receive punishments that suit their crimes, that would be good. The danger is that with bills like this, it is the opposite, and there will be never-ending cases before the courts. In the end, the answer will be that this violates existing treaties and the charter. The government had better not respond that it intends to abolish the charter one day. I do not think so. I think that Canadians are extremely happy with the charter. If a government adopts unconstitutional legislation, it will be contested.

At some point, the House will end up debating this issue again, since we will be back at square one and the problem of human trafficking will not have been resolved.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the point I want to make is that Canada has a very proud history of being welcoming and very inclusive, not only to new immigrants, but to those who arrive here as refugees. As Canadians we value that image the world holds of us as being very compassionate and caring.

One key concern I have with this legislation is this sends a message that Canada is prepared not only to break some of its own laws but to break some UN conventions. How does the member think this legislation is going to impact the image Canada has abroad?

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has asked an excellent question.

As I was saying, further to the legal analysis of this bill, my biggest concern is that there will be many court challenges related either to the charter or to the UN's Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Any challenges related to the UN's Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which we have signed, would threaten Canada's image.

Our government speaks on our behalf. The government is not just the Conservatives. The government is all Canadians from coast to coast to coast, not just the small 39% of 61% of the vote in the last election represented by the Conservatives.

It is clear that the image of Canada will suffer.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted Hsu Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, it strikes me as ironic that the Conservative government seems to care a lot about finances, but it does not seem to want to talk about the cost of its legislation. It seems to me this legislation, being unconstitutional, would just result in a lot of court challenges and a lot of work at the Supreme Court, and at the end of the day a lot of very smart people working a long time with the end result of no change.

I wonder if the member would care to comment about that.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I love my colleague's lawyers, but they will not love what I am going to say right now. I wish they would not have that much work, but my sneaking suspicion is that because of the government, they will have so much work, especially those constitutionalists and all those specialists on international conventions. Definitely, they cannot just lie there and do absolutely nothing when we see so many inequities that are created through this piece of legislation. I am sad.

When I was a labour lawyer, I often joked with the employers that I represented that, if I did my job well when establishing a collective agreement between the two parties, they would never need me again because the terms would be so clear and precise. I can say that the parties involved in all the collective agreements that I helped to draft rarely needed my help to interpret those agreements later because we found the words to say what the parties wanted to say at the negotiating table. However, when we draft bills such as this one, unfortunately, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation and inequality. We are going to find ourselves before the courts more often than not and it will cost the government a fortune.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, a couple of times today there has been the innuendo that somehow we are cutting back on the number of asylum seekers and refugees that we accept. I want to remind Canadians who are watching that the Balanced Refugee Reform Act that was passed recently adds 20% or 2,500 refugees per year, so we are up to 14,500 refugees per year that we are accepting.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague would correct the record. In terms of Canada's reputation in the world, it is quite strong. We receive many refugees and the Canadian population needs to be reminded of that.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is so easy, but I will not make fun of the comment because Bill C-4 does not exist yet. So, in a sense it is going to be interesting to see how it unfolds after and what type of challenges it is going to bring on.

The point here is not the number of refugees. What saddens me is that there are such problems in some countries, where people fear for their lives and need to find a host country like Canada.

My concern about Bill C-4 does not have to do with the number of refugees. If someone is a legitimate refugee, I would hope that we would not prevent them from entering our country.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to voice my strong opposition to Bill C-4. The bill violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as Canada's international obligations, such as the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

The Conservatives are well aware that the bill is unlikely to stand up to a legal challenge if it is enacted.

However, the government feels the need to push the bill through the House of Commons, wasting the opportunity to ensure that Canada's immigration system really protects refugees and ensures fairness, and taking up time on the parliamentary calendar while Canada's economy stalls.

The bill would concentrate far too much power in the hands of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He would be able to designate refugees as irregular arrivals, which would subject them to new rules, creating a second, lower class of refugees. These irregular arrivals would then be subject to mandatory detention, with no review for a year, except for at the discretion of the minister.

In effect, the minister would become judge and jury for any group of refugees which he designates.

Are there problems with human smuggling in Canada? Certainly. However, the problem lies with traffickers and smugglers, those people who profit off of people's suffering.

However, this bill would ignore those people and, instead, would target legitimate refugees, people who, by definition, have left their country of residence for fear of persecution, people who have given up everything because they fear for their lives, people who believe Canada has not only a legal obligation but a moral obligation to protect. Are these the people who the government really wants to victimize?

As I said, there are problems with human smuggling and trafficking in Canada. However, the major problem that we have with human smuggling has nothing to do with inadequate legislation, but with support and funding of the RCMP. If the government wants to address the issue of human smuggling, we should ensure that people on the front lines have all the resources they need to do their job.

Current legislation already allows for life sentences for individuals convicted of human smuggling. New legislation is not needed. What we need are the tools for better implementation of existing laws, not additional draconian legislation.

Perhaps the most disturbing provision of the bill would be the ability to arrest and detain any permanent resident or foreign national on suspicion of serious crime, criminality or organized crime.

Think carefully about what this would mean. This provision would mean that any person in Canada who is not a citizen can become detained on the mere suspicion of criminality, with no need for proof or evidence. Simple suspicion would become enough to not only arrest but to also indefinitely detain people.

The rule of law in a democracy is founded on the principle that the police's powers of arrest and detention are only legitimate if there are reasonable grounds for arrest; specifically, the notion of reasonable grounds means that there must be an objective component to the notion of suspicion. This objective component is met by evidence. Suspicion alone is subjective. There would be no way to prove whether that suspicion is warranted or not, and this would leave the system open to abuse.

While Canadian citizens would not be affected by this provision, this would set a worrying precedent. I am reminded of the famous quote by Martin Niemoller, which ends:

--they came for me--

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Once we accept that arrest and detention without an objective reason is justified for foreign nationals and permanent residents, what is to stop the same government extending the provisions to include Canadian citizens?

We cannot turn a blind eye now and hope that these disturbing changes are never applied to us. If we believe that arrest and detention without objective evidence is unacceptable when applied to ourselves, our friends and our families, then surely it is unacceptable when applied to people who immigrated, either permanently or temporarily, to Canada.

How would our government react to news that a Canadian citizen was arrested and detained abroad simply on the suspicion of criminality?

I believe that the government, rightly, would be outraged and would call on the foreign government to provide evidence of any wrongdoing or release the person in question immediately. Canada should be a world leader in human rights and freedom, not a laggard whose legislation we could criticize in other states.

The NDP is not alone in opposing this legislation. Amnesty International has said that the bill:

--falls far short of Canada's international human rights and refugee protection obligations and will result in serious violations of the rights of refugees and migrants.

The Canadian Bar Association, the voice of the legal profession in Canada, has stated that the previous version of this bill, introduced in the previous Parliament:

--violates Charter protections against arbitrary detention and prompt review of detention, as well as Canada's international obligations respecting the treatment of persons seeking protection.

The bill is opposed to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees which states:

The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

It is clear that the government is on the wrong side, both on its legal obligations to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and various international treaties, as well as its moral obligations to the people fleeing persecution.

Should this law pass, the government would undoubtedly face years and years of expensive legal battles in the Supreme Court. Now is the time for the government to realize that this bill is flawed and to invest in the policing resources which will crack down on human smugglers and protect vulnerable refugees.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on his speech.

My question for him has to do with the international consequences this bill would have for our country, particularly with respect to its unconstitutional nature.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

October 3rd, 2011 / 4:20 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are many things that could come to play with this type of legislation out there already. We could look at some of the organizations that are already commenting on this legislation. For example, the Canadian Council for Refugees has called for this bill to be scrapped entirely. Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, the equality program director with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, has issued a scathing attack on the government's attitude toward refugees generally, and on Bill C-4, in particular, stating that there is no need for the draconian measures contemplated.

As mentioned earlier in my speech, the Canadian Bar Association stated that it did not support this legislation in its previous form in Bill C-49 as it violated the charter protections against arbitrary detention and prompt review of detention as well as Canada's international obligations respecting the treatment of persons seeking protection. So there are many organizations out there that are talking about the impact this would have on Canada's reputation.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one could wonder why the government would have brought in Bill C-4 in the first place. I go back to the ship, the Ocean Lady. It comes to port and then on the back of the ship we see the Prime Minister of Canada saying that we are upset at these profiteers and smugglers.

I have had the opportunity to read the bill as I am sure the member has, and I am convinced that the number of profiteers who will be penalized and become victims of this bill is probably pretty close to zero, if not at zero, and that the real victims here will be the individuals who are genuine refugees seeking asylum in order to protect their lives and continue to live. They look to Canada as a caring, compassionate country, and even the government member himself tried to say that there is value to refugees. There is more than just value to refugees. They are a part of what has made Canada what it is today.

I would look to my colleague and ask him how many profiteers he feels will actually get persecuted or be a victim of this particular legislation. I do not see any profiteers. Does he see who will be the victims? Will it be the profiteers or will it be the refugees themselves?

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raised a very good point as to who would be affected the most by this legislation. I believe it would be the refugees who would be detained for a year. What would happen if there were children involved? What if the refugees came here in a plane rather than a boat? Would they be fine?

There are many things we can talk about in relation to this, but the member also brought up the point that we already have legislation in place. A smuggler who is caught will go to jail for life. What are we doing? We are not giving the RCMP the necessary resources to go after and capture the smugglers. The RCMP officers are fantastic. They can do their job phenomenally if we actually give them the resources to do their job. However, this legislation makes sure that when refugees come here they will be detained for a year and will be treated like criminals, when they were probably fleeing a situation that was very similar to that.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last summer, a small cargo ship entered Canadian waters off the coast of British Columbia, where it was intercepted by the RCMP. There were 492 Tamils crammed on board, including women and children. This is the particular case the government is talking about, since no other cases apply to its Bill C-4. The government claims to be concerned about the origin of the passengers seeking asylum when arriving by boat. It is worried that among these legitimate refugees are Tamil Tigers, members of a terrorist organization that has been banned in Canada.

The summer before that, a ship carrying 66 Tamils was intercepted on the shores of Vancouver. The government arrested them all and detained them for months, alleging that a third of them were Tamil Tigers sent to infiltrate Canada. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, their concerns were unfounded and they had to release the refugees. This is the example the government is using to justify its bill. This bill is based on unfounded concerns. Bill C-4 is based on a prejudice that has been refuted.

The public is not sympathetic to the reality facing refugees. Surveys show that 46% of Canadians believe that immigration has a negative effect on the country. When asked specifically about Tamils, closer to 50% of people want them deported back to Sri Lanka. The Conservative government knows these statistics. And this populist bill proves that the government is not afraid to divide the public on the basis of false perceptions. It also demonstrates that it prefers to increase fear among those who are afraid of the unknown instead of informing and educating the public and ensuring that Canadians live in harmony with one another.

This attitude is surprising for Canada. More than 20% of Canadians are immigrants. There are countless descendants of immigrants. Approximately 20,000 Sri Lankans have immigrated to Canada because of the devastation of a 25-year civil war and the 2004 tsunami. Last year, more than 280,000 immigrants received their permanent resident status in Canada. Bill C-4 is aimed at the 492 Tamils who arrived by boat, simply because the government believes that two of them had ties to a terrorist organization. We are talking about two people out of 280,000 immigrants that year. And the government thinks that justifies its ideological laws.

The saddest part is that this is all it takes for the public to continue fearing all other immigrants. Because their government is so afraid of refugees that it locks them up, Canadians have every reason not to trust newcomers. Bill C-4 does not fix anything, but it is still important because it is a very powerful symbol. It widens the gap between Canadians and certain classes of immigrants. It contradicts the open-mindedness of the majority of Canadians by siding with their more radical compatriots. Those 492 refugees suffered through exile and a horrific voyage, and then they were imprisoned because two of them posed a threat. Because they were cheated by a smuggler, they were treated as criminals. And if that were not enough, the government is forcing dishonour upon more than 6 million Canadian immigrants by reinforcing this idea that it is reasonable to have doubts when it comes to immigrants.

An article published in The Walrus magazine, which we all received in our offices in June 2011, reminds the government that this anti-immigration trend is similar to other sad initiatives like the Chinese head tax during the construction of the railway and the internment of Germans, Turks, Bulgarians and Japanese Canadians during the two world wars in the 20th century. The government's new approach recalls two other particularly ugly moments in Canadian history. In 1914, a Japanese plane carrying 400 passengers from India landed in Vancouver, but the refugees were denied entry to Canada and were deported to India. Twenty of them were killed upon their return.

Twenty-five years later, a ship carrying over 900 Jews fleeing the Nazis was turned away, forcing the refugees back to Europe, where over a third of them would die in the Holocaust.

These communities, whether South Asian or Jewish, which are now considered pillars of Canadian society, have experienced their share of discrimination and stigmatization. It is inconceivable in 2011, when Canada is not at war or threatened by mass immigration, that the government would propose new measures that amount to profiling and discrimination. It is even less conceivable that these initiatives would be considered urgent, in contrast to Canada's values and commitments when it comes to respecting and promoting every individual's rights and freedoms.

Such abuses seem to come about every time Canadian society is threatened by a crisis. Immigrants become scapegoats. The popular belief, which is unfortunately confirmed by this government's unjustifiable actions, is that immigrants steal jobs and ruin the standard of living in our neighbourhoods.

Nearly half the population believes the common perception that immigration increases the crime rate. Although many Canadians realize that immigration is a powerful tool for developing our society, the government chooses to fuel fear and pit classes of people against one another. Instead of promoting openness and education, the government chooses to fuel division and isolation.

In fact, every known indicator paints an entirely different picture. In fact, the mass arrival of Europeans since the 1970s has been accompanied with a notable decline in the crime rate. In Toronto, immigrants make up more than half the population and the crime rate has dropped by 50% since 1991. The crime rates in that city are also lower than the national average. A study conducted by the University of Toronto over a period of more than 30 years found that with increased immigration comes a decrease in the crime rate. These observations were made in every immigrant group, regardless of where they came from.

But the Conservative government prefers to govern based on public opinion polls rather than on facts. It prefers to spread prejudice by discriminating against certain immigrant groups, in this case the Sri Lankans who arrived by boat, over championing truth and fairness among Canadian citizens.

The Conservative government is trying to present certain groups of immigrants as acceptable and others as a threat. Such is the nature of Bill C-4, legislation that makes misinformation the norm and stigmatization a rule.

Studies by Statistics Canada go even further. They show that in the Montreal and Toronto regions, the crime rates are inversely proportional to the immigration rates. In other words, immigration acts as a safety net against crime. Researchers have all been encouraged by these observations that refute old perceptions. However, these same researchers question the government's attempts to perpetuate these myths about immigration. Immigrants are motivated by a great determination to integrate into Canadian society and by their desire to understand their host society.

The Conservative government claims that it must take this action to denounce the abuses committed by these smugglers, the real criminals behind all this. It is not by putting the only witnesses behind bars and acting as a torturer that the government will ensure fairness in the immigration process and it is certainly no way to ensure the safety of Canadians.

Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Blackstrap
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

Mr. Speaker, the member talks about targeting smugglers. We are targeting smugglers because of the abuse of Canada's immigration system and how it has been undermined by human smugglers. Her statistics do not tell how generous our program for the refugee resettlement is and she distorts our policies.

Our resettlement program is one of the most generous ones in the developed world. Each year we resettle 10,000-12,000 refugees through government assisted privately sponsored refugee programs. Globally, countries with resettlement programs resettle about 100,000 refugees, which means we take one out of every ten refugees resettled. These refugees often spend many years, sometimes decades, in squalid refugee camps or urban slums.

To suggest that we are not being generous with our immigration and our refugee system is false and very misleading. We are trying to ensure there are no queue jumpers. I would like the member to be more generous in how our refugee system is one of the best in the world.