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 senators.

Topics

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

6:15 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the government were to introduce a bill that gives the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies greater power to catch people who engage in the trafficking of immigrants, in human trafficking, I would be the first to support it. I can see they are not really interested in my answer. Like Bill C-10, the vast majority of these documents have to do with denying status, with creating a designated foreign national status. If the government really wanted to solve this problem, it would introduce a bill to do so.

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

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to note that the government members like to compare Canada to the rest of the world when it comes to the economy, as though Canada were the best. However, whey they talk about human rights, they tell us that other places are doing this and they do not see why we should not do it here. Why should we in Canada be able to violate the rights of a group of people?

I wonder if the hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup could share his thoughts on the fact that the minister would have the right to designate an arrival as irregular and refuse to consider an application for permanent residence.

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

6:15 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question. Like him, I think that when we compare ourselves to others, we must do so in all things, not only when it suits us to make one specific point.

In November 2010, the High Court of Australia found in favour of two Sri Lankan refugees who alleged that the laws preventing them from appealing their cases before Australian courts were unfair. Other countries that have tried to impose extremely strict laws on refugees have been told by their legal systems that they cannot do so. So, yes, we know that other countries' attempts to do the same thing have failed.

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

6:20 p.m.

London North Centre
Ontario

Conservative

Susan Truppe Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind members opposite that human smuggling is a criminal enterprise that spans not only Canada but the globe. Human smugglers facilitate for a profit individuals reaching Canada illegally. By charging people large sums of money for their transportation, human smugglers have made a lucrative business out of facilitating illegal migration, often by counselling smuggled persons to claim asylum in the country to which they are smuggled.

In particular, the human smuggling networks in Southeast Asia are large and growing. Human smuggling undermines Canada's security and large-scale arrivals make it difficult to properly investigate whether those who arrive, including the smugglers themselves, pose risks to Canada on the basis of either criminality or national security. They ignore the fact that human smuggling is not just a profitable business but dangerous and puts the lives of those smuggled in jeopardy.

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

6:20 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am trying to figure out the question. I only heard a very long statement. I am surprised that the hon. member elaborated on the same issue as the first member from the governing party. I will give the same answer.

I would be prepared to discuss and support a bill that contained every possible means to attack someone who has defrauded people and put them in a container. However, I cannot support a bill that unfairly treats people who tried to flee an extremely difficult situation and suffered abuse. I invite the government to do the same thing it should have done with Bill C-10, in other words, something concrete to address this serious problem—

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

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order. Unfortunately, the time has expired. Members never have enough time for questions.

Resuming debate. The member for Shefford has the floor, but I will have to interrupt him at 6:30.

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

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am a Canadian living in the 21st century, and I am proud to be recognized as a citizen of a host country. Yes, Canada is a host country. I have had the opportunity to travel in my lifetime and this has allowed me to discover three things, among others.

First, my Canadian identity is highly regarded, which is not a surprise. A number of young people came to my riding office this summer to pick up some Canadian flag stickers to put on their backpacks to ensure that they would treated well wherever they went and as a symbol of pride. Second, in other places I have been able to visit, such as Colombia, people do not have the same opportunities. Families are evicted from their land and violence is ever-present.

The third is existential in nature. While I am addressing you in this chamber, there are mothers and fathers who are hoping to give peace and joy to their families and to be able to feed them. They are hoping to come to Canada and build a better world with us. They are hoping to go to sleep at night knowing that all their children are asleep in their beds and that none of them have stepped on a mine. How many parents here are thinking of that?

Yes, there are other peace-loving people like you and me, Mr. Speaker, who want a good life. That is the hope of every human being. What is our duty? Is it to shut the door, to tell them that it is not our problem? In my riding of Shefford I have the opportunity to represent immigrants from 104 countries. That is right, 104 countries. You have no idea how pleased I am, as an MP, to be able to help them. I did not start this wonderful resettlement work. We have an organization known as SERY, or Solidarité ethnique régionale de la Yamaska. SERY does great work. It helps all manner of immigrants who have been in Canada for less than five years: refugees, independents, asylum seekers, caregivers, work permit holders—

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

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh,oh!

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

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order, please. There is a lot of noise in the House. Hon. members are arriving for the upcoming vote. I ask them to take their seats.

The hon. member for Shefford.

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

6:25 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, these newcomers make an important contribution in my community. There are professionals, agricultural workers and students. They have high hopes for their future, and that future is bright.

Why is this government trying so hard to change our Canadian identity? Our identity has been established. We are happy to live together and we want to continue building together. Why is this government trying so hard to have us believe that immigration is a threat? Why does this government not know how to appreciate this human wealth?

I am lucky to have an excellent doctor who immigrated to Canada. His expertise has been extraordinarily beneficial to me in these past few weeks.

I invite my colleagues to think back to January 2010, when Haiti was struck by an earthquake. The government had announced that it would facilitate the arrival of Haitians in Canada, including through the family reunification program. While family reunification claims can take up to three years to be processed under normal circumstances, the fast-tracked files could be settled within weeks, or in two or three months at most.

Remember that the Immigration Canada offices in Haiti were inaccessible; the Canadian Embassy building in Port-au-Prince had been evacuated for safety reasons.

“Accepting of any kind of additional applications or actual coordination on the ground in Haiti at the moment is extremely difficult,” said the Prime Minister during a press conference.

“It is impossible to recover the files that are in Port-au-Prince,” added the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

“We think it will take a couple weeks before we can start processing immigration applications from Haiti again,” explained the minister. “Some of the paperwork can be filled out and processed here in Canada,” he added.

Two facts should have been taken into account at the time: the entire world was tuned into this sad event and the government was in a minority position. Is this government acting out of partisanship or for the sake of democracy?

In closing, how do university professors define Canadian identity? In two words: multiculturalism and bilingualism. This is our identity and we want to preserve it.

I am asking this government to stop insisting on changing our perception of ourselves. We live and want to continue living in trust, not in mistrust.

The House resumed from September 29 consideration of the motion.

Opposition motion—Canadian Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order, please. It being 6:30 p.m., pursuant to order made Thursday, September 29, 2011, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #35

Business of Supply
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

Motion No. 5
Ways and Means
Government Orders

October 3rd, 2011 / 6:55 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved that a ways and means motion to implement certain provisions of the 2011 budget as updated on June 6, 2011 and other measures be concurred in.