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Track Irwin

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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word is justice.

Liberal MP for Mount Royal (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2011, with 41.40% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to the role of Canadian diplomatic personnel in respect to the operations of Canadian extractive companies outside Canada: (a) what is this role; (b) what policies, guidelines, and directives govern this role; (c) for each of the policies, guidelines, and directives in (b), (i) when was it enacted, (ii) by whom was it enacted, (iii) what was its objective, (iv) has its objective been met, (v) how does the government determine whether its objective has been met, (vi) how was it communicated to Canadian diplomatic personnel, (vii) what former policy, guideline, or directive did it replace or modify; (d) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel support the operations of Canadian extractive companies; (e) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel facilitate the establishment of new operations, projects, or facilities by Canadian extractive companies; (f) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel intervene in interactions between Canadian extractive companies and (i) local governments, (ii) local law enforcement, (iii) local civil society, (iv) local residents; (g) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to ensure compliance by Canadian extractive companies with (i) local laws and regulations, (ii) Canadian laws and regulations, (iii) international laws and regulations, (iv) local standards regarding human rights, (v) Canadian standards regarding human rights, (vi) international standards regarding human rights, (vii) local standards regarding environmental protection, (viii) Canadian standards regarding environmental protection, (ix) international standards regarding environmental protection; (h) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to reduce resistance to the operations of Canadian extractive companies on the part of (i) local governments, (ii) local civil society, (iii) local residents; (i) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel help Canadian extractive companies reduce resistance to their operations on the part of (i) local governments, (ii) local civil society, (iii) local residents; (j) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to facilitate the operations of Canadian extractive companies by advocating for changes to local laws or regulations; (k) in what ways do Canadian diplomatic personnel seek to facilitate the operations of Canadian extractive companies by advocating against changes to local laws or regulations; (l) based on what factors do Canadian diplomatic missions evaluate requests from extractive companies for assistance or services, including services offered as part of the Global Markets Action Plan; (m) for each of the last five years, broken down by country where the diplomatic mission is located, how many requests for assistance or services have Canadian diplomatic missions received from Canadian extractive companies; (n) for each request in (m), (i) what company made the request, (ii) what assistance or service was sought by the company, (iii) what assistance or service was provided to the company, (iv) who evaluated the request, (v) if the request was not granted, on what grounds was it not granted, (vi) who provided the assistance or service, (vii) what was the cost of providing the assistance or service, (viii) what was the objective of providing the assistance or service, (ix) in what way was that objective achieved; (o) in what circumstances do Canadian diplomatic missions provide assistance or services, including services offered as part of the Global Markets Action Plan, to an extractive company without a request from that company; (p) for each of the last five years, broken down by country where the diplomatic mission is located, (i) what companies have received assistance or services from a Canadian diplomatic mission without making a request, (ii) what was the nature of that assistance or service, (iii) who made the decision to provide the assistance or service, (iv) who provided the assistance or service, (v) what was the cost of providing the assistance or service, (vi) what was the objective of providing the assistance or service, (vii) in what way was that objective achieved; (q) for each of the last five years, broken down by country, in what legal proceedings outside Canada involving Canadian extractive companies has Canada intervened; (r) for each intervention in (q), (i) what was the nature of the intervention, (ii) what was the objective of the intervention, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to intervene, (v) who carried out the intervention, (vi) what outside counsel was retained, (vii) what is the breakdown of the cost of the intervention, (viii) what are the access or control numbers of any legal filings made by Canada; (s) based on what criteria do Canadian diplomatic personnel determine whether a Canadian extractive company is complying with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards, particularly those standards set out in November 2014 in Doing Business the Canadian Way: A Strategy to Advance CSR in Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad; (t) how frequently do Canadian diplomatic personnel evaluate the compliance of Canadian companies with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (u) what action do Canadian diplomatic personnel take when a company is found not to comply with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (v) for each of the last five years, broken down by country in which the diplomatic mission is located, what extractive companies have been deemed in non-compliance with Canada’s corporate social responsibility standards; (w) for each company in (v), what action has been taken by Canadian diplomatic personnel to address the non-compliance; (x) what training do Canadian diplomatic personnel receive to ensure that they can advise and monitor Canadian extractive companies with respect to corporate social responsibility; (y) what assistance or services have Canadian diplomatic personnel provided to (i) Tahoe Resources in Guatemala, (ii) Nevsun Resources in Eritrea, (iii) Fortuna Silver in Mexico, (iv) Excellon Resources in Mexico, (v) IAMGOLD in Ecuador, (vi) Cornerstone Capital Resources in Ecuador, (vii) Kinross Gold Corporation in Ecuador, (viii) Lundin Mining in Ecuador, (ix) Barrick Gold in Chile, (x) Goldcorp in Chile, (xi) Yamana Gold in Argentina, (xii) Barrick Gold in Peru, (xiii) Candente Copper in Peru, (xiv) Bear Creek Mining in Peru, (xv) HudBay Minerals in Peru, (xvi) Eldorado Gold in Greece, (xvii) Esperanza Resources in Mexico, (xviii) TVI Pacific in the Philippines, (xix) Infinito Gold in Costa Rica, (xx) Blackfire Exploration in Mexico, (xxi) Skye Resources in Guatemala, (xxii) Glamis Gold in Guatemala; (z) for each instance in (y) of providing assistance or service, (i) what was the cost, (ii) what was the objective, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to provide the assistance or service, (v) who provided the assistance or service; (aa) what lobbying or advocacy activities have Canadian diplomatic personnel undertaken with respect to (i) laws relating to the extractive sector in Guatemala, including Decree 22-2014, (ii) laws relating to the extractive sector in Ecuador, including Ley Orgánica Reformatoria a la Ley de Minería, a la Ley Reformatoria para la Equidad Tributaria en el Ecuador y a la Ley Orgánica de Régimen Tributario Interno in Ecuador, (iii) laws relating to the extractive sector in Honduras, including amendments to the Honduran General Mining Law; and (bb) for each instance of lobbying or advocacy in (aa), (i) what was the cost, (ii) what was the objective, (iii) in what way was the objective achieved, (iv) who made the decision to engage in lobbying or advocacy, (v) who carried out the lobbying or advocacy?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada as dependent children of Canadian residents: (a) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children of Canadian citizens; (b) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (a), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (c) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has CIC received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children of non-citizen permanent residents of Canada, excluding the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP); (d) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (c), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (e) broken down by source country and year of application, for each of the last ten years, how many applications has CIC received from applicants seeking permanent residence as dependent children under the LCP; (f) broken down by source country and year of application, how many of the applications in (e), (i) have been accepted, (ii) have been denied, (iii) are still being processed; (g) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (a); (h) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (a) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (i) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (a) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (j) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (c); (k) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (c) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (l) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (c) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (m) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (e); (n) broken down by source country and year of application, what is the average processing time of applications in (e) by applicants who, at the time of their application, were (i) under 15 years old, (ii) between 15 and 17 years old, (iii) over 17 years old; (o) broken down by source country and year of application, how many applications in (e) were denied or abandoned subsequent to the applicant becoming too old to qualify as a dependent; (p) has the government set processing times it considers acceptable for applications by applicants seeking permanent residence in Canada as dependent children (i) of Canadian citizens, (ii) of non-citizen permanent residents, (iii) under the live-in caregiver program; (q) how were the acceptable processing times in (p) determined; (r) who determined the acceptable processing times in (p); (s) what variance, if any, exists for acceptable processing times in (p) based on (i) source country, (ii) age of applicant, (iii) visa office, (iv) other factors; (t) what changes, if any, have been made to the acceptable processing times in (p) over the last ten years, and what accounts for these changes; (u) if no acceptable processing times have been set, why have they not been set; (v) what evaluations of processing times has the government undertaken; (w) what were the results of the evaluations in (v); (x) if no evaluations of processing times have been undertaken, why has this not been done; (y) broken down by year, for each of the last ten years, what operational bulletins, changes to operational manuals, or other directives, published or unpublished, formal or informal, written or oral, have been issued by CIC to visa officers regarding applications by individuals seeking permanent residence as dependents of residents of Canada; (z) for each of the directives in (y), (i) how was the directive issued, (ii) by whom was it issued, (iii) what was the objective of the directive, (iv) how were its effects evaluated, (v) is it still in force; and (aa) for each directive in (y) no longer in force, (i) why was it terminated, (ii) who made the decision to terminate it, (iii) how was the decision to terminate it communicated to visa officers?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns January 26th, 2015

With regard to the changes announced in October 2014 to the Caregiver Program (the Program), formerly known as the Live-In Caregiver Program: (a) what individuals, organizations, agencies, and other governments did the government consult as part of the process of developing the changes; (b) when did each consultation in (a) occur; (c) how did each consultation in (a) occur; (d) who in the government carried out each consultation in (a); (e) for past or current participants in the Program, (i) what opportunities existed to participate in consultations, (ii) how did the government make them aware of these opportunities, (iii) when did the government make them aware of these opportunities; (f) for other individuals, organizations, agencies, and other governments, (i) how did the government make them aware of the opportunity to participate in consultations, (ii) when did the government make them aware of the opportunity; (g) what results of the consultations in (a) were presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (h) how were the results of the consultations in (a) presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (i) when were the results of the consultations in (a) presented to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; (j) according to what criteria were the inputs that were received through consultations in (a) evaluated by the government; (k) what studies, reports, surveys, or other documents were consulted by the government; (l) based on what factors did the government cap at 2750 the number of applicants for permanent residence through the Caring for Children Pathway; (m) based on what factors did the government cap at 2750 the number of applicants for permanent residence through the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway; (n) what was the number of principal applicants for permanent residence through the Program for each of the last ten years; (o) do the caps in (l) and (m) refer only to the number of new applications that the government will accept each year, or do they refer to the total number of applications that will be processed each year; (p) broken down by province and territory, how many temporary residents are currently in Canada as part of the Program; (q) broken down by province and territory, how many temporary residents have been in Canada as part of the Program for each of the last ten years; (r) how many temporary residents does the government expect to be in Canada as part of the Program for each of the next ten years; (s) what studies has the government carried out or consulted to determine whether the number of temporary residents in Canada as part of the Program is likely to change in the coming years; (t) what are the conclusions of the studies in (s); (u) for each of the last ten years, not including spouses and dependents, how many applications for permanent residence under the Program have been (i) submitted, (ii) accepted, (iii) denied; (v) if the number of principal applicants for permanent residence exceeds the cap of 2750 in either category in a given year, how will the government determine which applications to consider; (w) who will make the determination in (v); (x) based on what factors will the determination in (v) be made; (y) how many applications for permanent residence under the Program are currently being processed, not including spouses and dependents; (z) how many applications for permanent residence under the Program, not including spouses and dependents, does the government intend to process for each of the next five years; (aa) how will the government reduce the backlog of permanent residence applications under the program; (bb) by what date does the government intend to reduce the backlog in (aa); (cc) how many applications must be processed before the government will consider the backlog in (aa) to be reduced; (dd) when will the six-month limit on processing times for applications under the Program take effect; (ee) what impact will the six-month limit in (dd) have on applications underway at the time the limit takes effect; (ff) what measures will be implemented to ensure that applications for permanent residence will be processed within six months; (gg) what recourse will be available to applicants whose applications are not processed within six months; (hh) how will applications that remain in process after six months be dealt with by the government; (ii) will the six-month limit apply regardless of (i) the number of dependents, (ii) the country of origin of the principal applicants, their spouse, or their dependents; (jj) what measures are being introduced to give recourse to temporary residents in Canada under the Program who feel that they are being exploited or treated inappropriately by their employers, whether or not the caregiver lives with the employer; (kk) what changes have been made or will be made to the criteria used to evaluate applications for permanent residence under the Program; (ll) what directives have been or will be issued to visa officers; (mm) when do the directives in (ll) take effect; and (nn) how will applicants with applications currently underway be affected by the changes?

Questions on the Order Paper January 26th, 2015

With regard to federal judicial appointments from 1993 to 2014 inclusive: (a) broken down by year, province, level of court, (i) how many judicial appointments were made, (ii) how many of those appointments were women, (iii) what percentage were women, (iv) how many indicated French as a first language, (v) what percentage indicated French as a first language, (vi) how many were visible minorities, (vii) what percentage were visible minorities, (viii) how many were Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis, (ix) what percentage were Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis; (b) broken down by year, how many persons were appointed to the following Judicial Appointments Advisory Committees or their predecessors, if any names changed, (i) Alberta, (ii) British Columbia, (iii) Manitoba, (iv), New Brunswick, (v) Newfoundland and Labrador, (vi) Northwest Territories, (vii) Nova Scotia, (viii) Nunavut, (ix) Ontario, East and North, (x) Ontario, Greater Toronto Area, (xi) Ontario, West and South, (xii) Prince Edward Island, (xiii) Quebec, East, (xiv) Quebec, West, (xv) Saskatchewan, (xvi) Yukon, (xvii) Tax Court of Canada; (c) for the persons named by the Justice Minister to the committees in (b), how many and what percentage were (i) women, (ii) Francophone, (iii) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis, (iv) visible minorities, broken down by committee and year; (d) how many applications were received total, and of these, how many were from (i) women, (ii) Francophones, (iii) Aboriginals, First Nations, or Métis, (iv) visible minorities, broken down by year and Judicial Advisory Committee; (e) what percentage of applicants were appointed, broken down by (i) gender, (ii) first language, (iii) visible minority status, (iv) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis status, broken down by year for all federal judicial appointments; (f) what was the ratio of men to women on the committee and the ratio of women to men in terms of appointments for each year, broken down by Judicial Advisory Committee; (g) in what ways were appointment demographics measured, tracked, and monitored; (h) were any targets, quotas, or principles set with respect to the diversity of those serving on the Advisory Committees; (i) were any targets, quotas, or principles set with respect to the diversity of those who received judicial appointments; (j) what specific efforts were made to ensure diversity on Judicial Advisory Committees; (k) what documents are available that substantiate the answer in (j) with reference, control, or access numbers; (l) what specific efforts were made to ensure diversity in federal judicial appointments; (m) what documents are available that substantiate the answer in (l) with reference, control, or access numbers; (n) what meetings did the Department or Minister have with regard to ensuring diversity on Judicial Advisory Committees, broken down by year; (o) what meetings did the Department or Minister have to ensure diversity among federal judicial appointees, broken down by year; (p) how many Supreme Court of Canada appointments were made, broken down by Prime Minister; (q) how many of the appointments in (p) were of women; (r) what efforts were made to ensure gender parity on the Supreme Court of Canada; (s) how many federal judicial appointments were made to the (i) Federal Court, (ii) Federal Court of Appeals, (iii) Tax Court of Canada or their predecessor bodies, broken down by year; (t) of the appointments in (s) how many were (i) women, (ii) Francophone, (iii) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis, (iv) visible minorities; (u) of the candidates considered for each position filled in (s) how many were (i) women, (ii) Francophone, (iii) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis, (iv) visible minorities; (v) are women statistically more likely to be appointed to some courts over others and, if so, what explains this difference; (w) are women statistically less likely to be appointed to some courts over others and, if so, what explains this difference; (x) in what ways does the likelihood of an Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis person receiving a federal judicial appointment vary; (y) in what ways does the likelihood of visible minority receiving a federal judicial appointment vary; (z) regarding the statistics needed to answer (x) and (y), have any quantities studies been completed by the government regarding any relationship between likelihood of appointment and demographic factors; (aa) have any studies been conducted on the demographics of individuals receiving federal judicial appointments; (bb) have any studies been conducted on the demographics panels, boards, and committees responsible for federal judicial appointments; (cc) regarding applications for judicial appointment, how do the percentage of applicants compare with general Canadian population as a whole, broken down by (i) year, (ii) gender, (iii) visible minority, (iv) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis status; (dd) regarding federal judicial appointments, how do the percentage of appointees compare with the general Canadian population, broken down by (i) year, (ii) gender, (iii) visible minority, (iv) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis status; (ee) regarding appointment to Federal Judicial Advisory Committees, how does the percentage of applicants compare with general Canadian population as a whole, broken down by (i) year, (ii) gender, (iii) visible minority, (iv) Aboriginal, First Nations, or Métis status; (ff) for each appointment made within the period, what was the duration of time between the date the vacancy arose and the date of appointment, broken down by court; (gg) what policies, guidelines, or targets exist regarding the timeliness of filling vacancies on courts; (hh) for each appointment made within the period to a judicial advisory committee, what was the duration of time between the date the vacancy arose and the date of appointment, broken down by advisory committee; (ii) what policies, guidelines, or targets exist regarding the timeliness of filling vacancies on advisory committees; (jj) what was the average time between a vacancy arising and it being filled, broken down by (i) year, (ii) court; (kk) what accounts for variations in the delay between a judicial vacancy arising and its being filled; (ll) when multiple vacancies exist concurrently, in what order are appointments made; (mm) for each court to which federal judicial appointments are made, what is the vacancy percentage, broken down by (i) year, (ii) court; (nn) do any requirements exist regarding the deadline by which a vacancy must be filled, broken down by court; (oo) what are the consequences of judicial vacancies on courts to which federal judicial appointments are made; (pp) what studies has the government undertaken or completed with respect to the impact of judicial vacancies; (qq) what metrics, if any, has the government identified with respect to judicial vacancies, (i) how are these measured, (ii) how often, (iii) by whom, (iv) for what purpose, (v) with what reporting; (rr) what metrics, if any, has the government identified with respect to judicial appointments, (i) how are these measured, (ii) how often, (iii) by whom, (iv) for what purpose, (v) with what reporting; and (ss) in what ways have any of the federal judicial appointments processes changed over the period indicated?

Jewish Refugees December 12th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we recently commemorated the 67th anniversary of the UN partition resolution, the first ever blueprint for two states for two peoples. Regrettably, Arab leaders declared war on the nascent Jewish state, and repressed and expelled their Jewish nationals, resulting in two sets of refugees—Palestinian Arab refugees and some 850,000 Jewish refugees, the forgotten forced exodus.

Canada can be proud that Prime Minister Paul Martin was among the first western leaders to recognize the plight of Jewish refugees, recently joined by all parties in the House. This past November 30, Israel observed its first annual national day of commemoration to mark the exile and expulsion of Jews from Arab states and Iran.

Regrettably, this forgotten exodus has been expunged and eclipsed from the international and Middle East peace and justice narrative for 67 years. It must now be affirmed, acknowledged, and acted upon in the interest of history, justice, and peace.

In this spirit of peace, I take this opportunity to wish all members a happy Chanukah, a merry Christmas, and a happy new year.

Political Prisoners December 4th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the passing of Nelson Mandela, a historic role model in the struggle for freedom.

Indeed, this morning we held an all-party press conference, together with the Minister of Justice, to raise the cases of three political prisoners, each of whom embodies Mandela's courage and commitment and all of whom are heroic role models in their own right.

They include Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, imprisoned for his advocacy of democratic reform; Mauritanian anti-slavery leader Biram Dah Abeid, imprisoned in a country that has the largest percentage of enslaved people in the world; and Iranian Shiite cleric Ayatollah Boroujerdi, who has been languishing in prison for eight years for advocating the separation of religion and state.

Mandela's emergence after 28 years in a South African prison is an enduring source of inspiration and hope, demonstrating the transformative impact of freeing political prisoners.

I invite colleagues in the House to join me in calling for the release of these three political prisoners to let them know that they are not alone, that we stand in solidarity with them, and that their cause is our cause: the cause of freedom.

Justice November 28th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Maître Suzanne Côté on her nomination to the Supreme Court. I remain concerned, however, that yet again the government has gone about filling a Supreme Court vacancy with a closed, unaccountable, unrepresentative approach with no selection panel, and no parliamentary or public participation.

In 2004, in concert with Parliament, I implemented a series of reforms that made the appointment process more transparent, inclusive, and accountable. Ten years later, the Conservative dismantling of that process is apparently complete.

What steps, if any, will the government take to reverse this regression, thereby respecting Parliament, the court, and the people?

Justice November 24th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, Justice Louis LeBel is about to retire from the Supreme Court, but it appears that no appointment process has been put in place, no published protocol of consultation, no selection panel, no parliamentary review, no public engagement, no transparency and no accountability. Yet in 2004 Conservative members of the justice committee, including the now Minister of Justice himself, recommended “...there must be a public review of a short list of nominees before a parliamentary committee”.

Does the minister stand by his own recommendation for a public, parliamentary, accountable, transparent process?

Justice November 21st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, in less than two weeks Justice Louis Labelle will retire from the Supreme Court, yet Canadians remain in the dark about what, if any, process has been undertaken to replace him. As was the case with the last appointment, it appears that there will be no published protocol consultation, no selection panel, no parliamentary review, no public engagement, no transparency, and no accountability.

Will the minister tell us what, if any, process has been initiated to fill the upcoming vacancy?

Petitions November 19th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition today on behalf of Canadians who are concerned about the cruel practice of forced organ harvesting by the Chinese regime on vulnerable prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners.

The petitioners call upon the government to take measures to stop the Chinese regime's crime of systematically engaging in forced harvesting of the organs of Falun Gong practitioners, to amend Canadian legislation to combat forced organ harvesting and to publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Having introduced Bill C-561 to further restrict organ trafficking, I am pleased to stand in solidarity with these petitioners.