Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

An Act respecting immigration to Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger

This bill was last introduced in the 37th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2002.

Sponsor

Elinor Caplan  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System ActGovernment Orders

June 8th, 2012 / 12:30 p.m.
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NDP

Jinny Sims NDP Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP did support the designation of safe countries in Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, because at that time there was an independent panel of experts making the decision.

I want to put it on the record that there are countries the government could designate as safe, Hungary being one, and yet the government accepted over 160 refugees from there and we know that both the Jews and the Roma communities are being targeted in Hungary right now.

May 10th, 2012 / 10:10 a.m.
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NDP

Alain Giguère NDP Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Chair, I call for a recorded vote.

In addition, I have a legal question. The previous Bill C-11 talked about timeframes of 48 hours, 7 days, and 30 days. If memory serves, that was included in Bill C-11 to accommodate the decision in the Charkaoui case, where the Supreme Court had made the timeframes quite clear. Is that correct?

March 27th, 2012 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Moving on a little bit, one of the other areas that's still in relation to expenditures and backlog is the reduction that we've been able to make on the refugee side of things. Explicit under the guise of Bill C-11, there was an investment made to work in the coming year and years towards a reduction from a little over 60,000 to around 45,000. I wonder if you could comment on whether we are going to continue down that road in terms of moving down and trying to get the backlog down. I know that Bill C-31 does start to address it, but from a fiscal and financial perspective we'll have the wherewithal to be able to act on that.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System ActGovernment Orders

March 16th, 2012 / 12:25 p.m.
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NDP

Mike Sullivan NDP York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened with some interest to the comments. One of the unfortunate facets of the Conservatives' approach is they put so many different provisions that have different meanings and applications into one bill and then use that as an opportunity to say, “But you voted against it”.

There are certain aspects of this bill that clearly we agree with. We agree with the notion that the refugee system is broken, which is why we passed Bill C-11. Bill C-11 does an enormous amount to streamline the refugee system in this country and to make it less likely that people could abuse the system.

However, the amendments being proposed to Bill C-11, and the addition of Bill C-4, make it impossible for this side of the House to agree to create a system where we would be making people victims. Even if people are refugees, we do not believe that the government, or any government, should make them victims. That is what this bill would do.

I would ask for the comments of the member opposite.

Protecting Canada's Immigration System ActGovernment Orders

March 6th, 2012 / 4:30 p.m.
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NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to say that in the riding I have the pleasure of representing, there are many people with refugee status. There is a lot of confusion, and many people are worried. These people's stories are disturbing, and I am very upset and worried about them.

I have a question for my colleague from Winnipeg North because he is a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. First there was Bill C-4, which was studied in the House. Now we have Bill C-31, and before that, there was Bill C-11. Is my colleague concerned that all of these changes will make the refugee claim process even more cumbersome?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

April 20th, 2009 / 11:20 a.m.
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Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to talk about Bill C-291, which seeks to implement an appeal division for refugee claims, introduced by my Bloc Québécois colleague, the member for Jeanne-Le Ber.

It goes without saying that I wholeheartedly support this Bloc Québécois bill. It is a fairly simple bill, but it is important because it would implement the refugee appeal division. Once Bill C-291 has been passed and has received royal assent, three sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, sections 110, 111 and 171, will come into force. These three sections would come into force one year after this bill receives royal assent.

The Bloc Québécois has decided to introduce a bill to ensure full enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

A proper appeal process for refugee claimants ought to have been put in place as soon as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 2002 took effect in 2002. This is one of the significant changes required to ensure that asylum seekers are treated fairly and equitably.

The creation of the refugee appeal division is a matter of justice. To persist in not making this change, as the two most recent governments have done, is to allow a situation that is unfair to asylum seekers to continue.

When the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was drafted, the refugee appeal division was seen as a fair compromise to satisfy the desire to move from two board members responsible for examining asylum claims to just one. Yet now we have the worst of both worlds. There is only one board member, not two, to examine the files, and there is no refugee appeal division.

The arbitrary aspect of the system is being magnified by the government's inaction and the piecemeal approach to implementing the new legislation. For four years now, the federal government has been stubbornly postponing the establishment of the refugee appeal division, as called for in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It is time for the Conservative government to comply with the legislation and implement the refugee appeal division.

The federal government claims that a safety net already exists, consisting of the opportunity to request a pre-removal risk assessment—also known as a PRRA—a judicial review by the Federal Court, or permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds. However, unlike a refugee appeal division, they do not offer any protection for refugees. The Federal Court provides only for a judicial review and does not provide for a review of the facts of a case.

There is also a flagrant lack of political will to establish the refugee appeal division, or RAD, which, I would remind the House, is already enshrined in the legislation. After their own legislation came into effect, the Liberals avoided establishing the RAD. Now that the Conservatives are in power, the former immigration minister still has not established the RAD, despite the positions his party took in the past.

In 2004, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration adopted a motion calling on the then Liberal government to establish the refugee appeal division or rapidly come up with a solution. Yet the government has consistently refused to comply with the committee's motion.

The Bloc Québécois tabled an almost identical bill in the 39th Parliament. Our bill was passed by the House on October 16, 2007 and sent to the Senate to be studied. The bill passed third reading stage in the other chamber. However, because of the elections in the fall of 2008, our bill did not receive royal assent and died on the order paper.

Many groups in civil society in Quebec, Canada and the international community are demanding that a refugee appeal division be established. These include the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Committee against Torture, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty international, the Civil Liberties Union, and the KAIROS group.

There are four reasons why the refugee appeal division should be established: efficiency, consistency of the law, justice, and political reasons that I will explain.

A specialized refugee appeal division is a much more efficient means of dealing with unsuccessful claimants than the Federal Court, an application for pre-removal risk assessment or requests on humanitarian grounds. The refugee appeals division can do a better job of correcting errors of law or fact.

The second reason is consistency of the law. An appeal division deciding on the merits of the case is the only body able to ensure consistency of jurisprudence both in the analysis of facts and in the interpretations of legal concepts in the largest administrative tribunal in Canada.

In other words, an appeal mechanism helps the system to make decisions by establishing precedents that will be applied to lower court rulings when the facts are exactly the same.

The third reason has to do with justice. The decision to refuse refugee status has extremely serious consequences, including death, torture and detention. As in matters of criminal law, the right to appeal to a higher court is essential for the proper administration of justice. Because human error occurs in any decision-making process, it should be standard practice to have an appeal process, especially to offset the fact that decisions are now made by a single board member.

As I said earlier, the fourth reason is political. By not establishing the refugee appeal division, the federal government is going against the will of Parliament—which is a serious matter—and of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, which has called for such an appeal division. As I said, this is a serious matter.

The Bloc Québécois is dismayed by the lack of justice shown by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration when dealing with refugees since the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force in 2001.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to place this bill in context.

In 2001, during the first session of the 37th Parliament, the Minister of Immigration introduced Bill C-11 in this House, concerning persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger who apply to enter Canada and receive refugee protection.

Bill C-11 was designed to update the former Immigration Act, which had been passed in 1976 and amended more than 30 times.

Unlike Bill C-11, which was passed in 2002, the Immigration Act, 1976, did not provide for a refugee appeal division. To make up for the fact that there was no refugee appeal division, two board members examined refugee claims.

Claims were granted if one of the two board members ruled in favour of the claimant. However, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act cut the number of board members from two to one.

The refugee appeal division makes up for the absence of one board member and offsets the arbitrary power the remaining board member has in ruling on refugee claims. The Bloc Québécois considered this an acceptable compromise under the new act.

Why was the number of board members reduced from two to one? It would seem it was for the sake of efficiency.

On March 20, 2001, the former chair of the IRB, the Immigration and Refugee Board, Peter Showler, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that:

In contrast to the present model, where claims are normally heard by two-member panels, the vast majority of protection decisions will be made by a single member. Single-member panels are a far more efficient means of determining claims. It is true that claimants will no longer enjoy the benefit of the doubt currently accorded them with two-member panels, and I think that should be noted. However, any perceived disadvantage is more than offset by the creation of the refugee appeal division, the RAD, where all refused claimants and the minister have a right of appeal on RPD decisions.

According to the former chair of the IRB, the presence of the refugee appeal division justified moving from two members to one for asylum claims. However, we still do not have an appeal division.

The act contains three sections to create an IRB-administered refugee appeal division. Citizenship and Immigration Canada briefly defines the refugee appeal division as follows:

The refugee appeal division will provide failed refugee claimants and the minister with the right to a paper appeal of a decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board. Unsuccessful refugee claimants have the right to apply for judicial review in the Federal Court.

More specifically, the three sections that create the refugee appeal division are as follows:

110. (1) A person or the Minister may appeal, in accordance with the rules of the Board, on a question of law, of fact or of mixed law and fact, to the Refugee Appeal Division against a decision of the Refugee Protection Division to allow or reject the person’s claim for refugee protection, or a decision of the Refugee Protection Division rejecting an application by the Minister for a determination that refugee protection has ceased or an application by the Minister to vacate a decision to allow a claim for refugee protection.

Mr. Speaker, I hope that these arguments have persuaded members of other parties, particularly the governing party, to vote in favour of Bill C-291.

March 12th, 2008 / 4:30 p.m.
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Director General, Operations, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Krista Daley

On the first comment, so that everyone is aware of this, not all persons with criminal convictions who are permanent residents have a right of appeal to the IAD. There is certain serious criminality that doesn't, and that was dealt with as an amendment at the time of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The average processing time for a removal order appeal is currently 15 months.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

December 12th, 2007 / 7:05 p.m.
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to speak on this fine legislation submitted by my colleague from Parkdale—High Park.

My colleague follows a long line of New Democrats who have proposed this idea to the House and who will keep proposing this idea to the House until it becomes a reality. Why? Because it is a good idea, it makes sense, and it will contribute enormously to the future of this country.

Those members who have tried to persuade Parliament to go down this path deserve acknowledgement and congratulations. My colleagues from Burnaby—Douglas, Vancouver East and of course Parkdale—High Park all deserve congratulations for their persistence and perseverance in bringing this forward to the House of Commons.

Because one day the bill will pass. One day the NDP will persuade a critical mass in the chamber that it is worth pursuing, because we are not talking about some outrageous, outlandish proposal that is going to bring this country to its knees. No, we are talking about a proposal that will fact build this country and create enormous potential for ensuring an economically prosperous future for every one of our citizens.

It is ludicrous for anyone to suggest, as has been suggested many times in this debate, that this proposal will cause the floodgates to open and thousands of immigrants will be knocking at our doors and pounding at the immigration system's door and demanding to get in. That is not going to be the case. We are talking about a proposal that would simply expand the definition of family to bring it into the 21st century, a definition of family which recognizes that sometimes it takes a whole group of extended family members to raise children and provide nurturing care because they have to or because they want to.

All the NDP is saying to members today is to get their heads out of their little boxes and think creatively. I want them to think about what it would mean to have aunts and uncles, cousins or other relatives coming to join them if they were alone and isolated in a foreign land. I ask them to think about what it would do for that family unit.

I ask them to think about what it would do to strengthen our communities. I ask them to think about what it would do in terms of providing services and supports that otherwise are required to be provided by the government and would cost the taxpayers money.

As we see this, it is a cost saving that we are talking about, not an added burden on our economy or to the taxpayers of this country. We are talking about strengthening society. That can only be good for us in all senses of the word.

I come from what I would consider probably the most diverse constituency in this country. I am sure my colleague from Vancouver East or others might take umbrage at that, but in fact Winnipeg North has such a great diversity of people that one could say we have the world in one constituency.

Many decades ago, immigrants built our community, whether they were of Ukrainian, Polish or German origin. Now there are waves of new immigrants who are continuing with that pioneering tradition and building the community, including Filipinos, Punjabis and many more. These are people who have contributed a great deal to the province of Manitoba and in fact to this entire country.

I want to say for the Conservative members here, and especially for the parliamentary secretary, that they should go back to a few years ago, six years, when this idea was presented to the immigration committee as those of us on that committee were dealing with Bill C-11, the supposed framework piece of legislation to revamp our immigration legislation and bring it into the modern century.

At that time, the NDP proposed an amendment to that bill to in fact expand the definition of family. That proposal was taken very seriously by the Conservatives, to such a point that they actually voted for the amendment. They joined with New Democrats to send a message to the Liberals to get their heads out the sand and start thinking about what it really means to build community, to give families support, and to create a country that is truly respectful of everyone's differences.

A motion was presented in 2001 during that debate on the bill and it was only narrowly defeated, by one vote, in a vote of seven to six at the immigration committee. Conservative members joined with New Democrats in supporting this idea because it truly is worthwhile to pursue.

Let us remember that we are not talking about a wide open, permanent solution. In effect, we are talking about a pilot project, a test run. We are talking about an idea that actually came from the minister of immigration at the time, Elinor Caplan, in discussions with my colleague from Vancouver East. The minister said that perhaps they could try, on a pilot project basis, this idea of once in a lifetime: that a family here, either citizens or permanent residents, could in fact sponsor a relative who was outside the traditional definition of family.

That was a very important suggestion. Unfortunately, her colleagues in the Liberal Party never pursued it and in fact have vetoed it and stopped it every step of the way.

I want to remind members that it was a Liberal cabinet minister who ran against me in the 2004 election and was defeated at the polls largely because he refused to accept this notion that family has a broad definition, and that if we are truly serious about an open door policy we would encourage this kind of sponsorship, knowing full well that it does not open the floodgates.

It is not going to produce all kinds of illegal immigrants because in fact these sponsorships have to go through the same rigorous rules that now apply to anyone who is sponsored, whether we are talking about a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, a grandparent or a child under the age of 22. We are just saying to open the definition, to try it and see what happens.

Let me say that I am disappointed in the Conservatives. I am not surprised given their record, which is like that of the Liberals, with respect to other proposals dealing with sensible family policies in the area of immigration. This is a government that claims to represent family but turns down a family because one child in that family has a disability.

I have now half a dozen cases on my plate of families that were accepted under the Manitoba provincial nominee program, because their skills were needed in our province and in this country, and they were turned down by the federal government because one child in that family of four, five or six has a disability.

I want to say shame on the Conservatives for that kind of discriminatory anti-human rights policy. If they are serious about building families, they will fix this matter of immigrants who come here with disabilities and stop enforcing this rigorous definition of economic and social demand on our society. We are talking about children with disabilities who are not going to cost our system one penny because they have families and relatives who will support them and help them every step of the way.

I want to say that if the government is serious about family, it will also deal with the backlogs that my colleagues in the House have mentioned today. They will deal with the fact that so many people cannot complete their sponsorships, whether we are talking about mothers, fathers, grandparents or children under the age of 22. They have to wait years because this government, like the previous Liberal government, refuses to bolster the numbers in the immigration department to ensure that all of our offices are properly resourced to provide for decent, humane treatment in our immigration system.

I call upon the government and all members in this House to support this bill. It is the least they can do if they are serious about an open door policy, about attracting skilled immigrants to this country, which we need so desperately, and about ensuring that the family is the bedrock of our society. If we cannot do that, we cannot guarantee a future for our citizens in this country. I would suggest that every member in this House should give this a chance and let it get to committee.

We are not saying that the whole thing must be supported right now. We are saying that for once in the history of this Parliament, after four private members' bills have been initiated in this chamber, allow one of those bills to go to committee for input, discussion and consideration. If we were to do that, we would truly know whether there are serious obstacles to this constructive proposal or whether the government and the Liberal members are simply being destructive and counterproductive in terms of building a strong country that is built on an open door policy and that is founded on the principles of humanitarian and compassionate actions.

I suggest that there is only one way for this Parliament to go and that is to give this bill a try and send it to committee. Let us ensure that we have an immigration policy that we can all be proud of.

Bill C-280—An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act—Speaker's RulingPoints of OrderOral Questions

May 15th, 2007 / 3:05 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The Chair is now prepared to rule on a point of order raised by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform on May 3, 2007 in relation to Bill C-280, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (coming into force of sections 110, 111 and 171), standing in the name of the hon. member for Laval.

In his submission, the parliamentary secretary explained that Bill C-280 proposed to change the manner in which provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would come into effect. That act was amended in 2001 by Bill C-11, which contained a clause, clause 275, providing that:

The provisions of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

This sort of clause is frequently found in bills and is commonly known as the “coming into force clause”.

Some provisions of Bill C-11 have yet to be proclaimed by the governor in council. Bill C-280 proposes to have three such provisions, namely sections 110, 111 and 171 of the act, brought into effect immediately upon royal assent of Bill C-280, and not by way of proclamation to be determined by the governor in council.

The parliamentary secretary noted that the substantive effect of implementing sections 110, 111 and 171 of the act would be to establish the refugee appeal division at the Immigration and Refugee Board and that this would entail significant new expenditures of an administrative nature. He then went on to explain that through its coming into force clause, Bill C-11 gave the governor in council the power to determine at what time the division would be created and the associated expenditures would be incurred.

The parliamentary secretary contends that by changing the coming into force of these sections of the act, the terms and conditions of the royal recommendation accompanying Bill C-11 are being altered. He read from citation 596 of Beauchesne's sixth edition, which explains that the royal recommendation not only fixes the amount of an expenditure but also the way that it would be incurred.

He went on to cite two precedents from 1985 and 1986 to support his arguments that Bill C-280 should therefore be accompanied by a new royal recommendation.

The Chair has examined the two precedents cited by the parliamentary secretary in support of his basic argument that an alteration in the coming-into-force provisions of a bill infringes on the financial initiative of the Crown.

The first precedent, in 1985, concerns a report stage motion to Bill C-23, an act to amend the Small Business Loans Act. The bill sought, among other things, to restrict to 90% the amount of loss sustained by the minister for loans made to small business enterprises after March 31, 1985. The report stage motion sought to maintain the existing law and make the minister liable for the full amount of the loss. On March 26, 1985, Mr. Speaker Bosley ruled the amendment inadmissible because it relaxed a condition of the royal recommendation.

The second precedent, in 1986, concerns an amendment put forward during consideration in committee of the whole of Bill C-11, an act to amend the Income Tax Act. The bill sought to allow the prepayment of a child tax credit in the following taxation year. The amendment would have permitted the prepayment during the greater part of the current taxation year. In ruling the amendment inadmissible on October 17, 1986, the chairman of the committee of the whole simply explained that the proposed amendment infringed on the royal recommendation.

While these precedents may be useful in understanding how programs may be limited or extended in their application, they do not assist us in better understanding the issue at hand.

The fundamental issue in the present case is whether the coming-into-force provision of an act which was originally accompanied by a royal recommendation can be altered without a new royal recommendation.

After considerable reflection on the matter, the Chair would present the situation as follows.

In 2001 Bill C-11 sought an authorization from Parliament to establish the refugee appeal division. As I see it, the action of setting up the statutory framework for the new division required that a royal recommendation accompany Bill C-11 because a new and distinct authority for spending was being requested.

As it happened, Bill C-11 also contained a coming into force provision which would allow the governor in council to decide when the refugee appeal division would be formally established. In the view of the Chair, it is very important to remember that even after the governor in council proclaims the establishment of the division, Parliament would still have to approve spending plans for its operations through the estimates and the subsequent appropriation act.

In this light, therefore, it appears to the Chair that the chief financial components which require a royal recommendation are: first, authorization for setting up the statutory framework for the refugee appeal division, duly provided by Bill C-11 with its original royal recommendation; and the operational funding to be sought in a future appropriation act where financial authority can be duly provided in the usual estimates process.

Although the proclamation of the coming-into-force provision will set into motion the establishment of the refugee appeal division, it should be seen as independent of the royal recommendation and not part of its terms and conditions.

Our rules and practices hold that coming into force clauses of bills have always been open to amendment and a vote. If we were to accept the argument that an alteration in the coming into force provision would somehow infringe upon the royal recommendation, then it should not be admissible for a committee or the House to negative or amend such a clause unilaterally. Such is clearly not the case.

Essentially, it is a question of timing. The royal recommendation originally attached to the bill applies, unaltered, to its provisions irrespective of the point in time at which such provisions come into force and, from a procedural standpoint, the alterations to the coming into force provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as expressed in Bill C-280, cannot be seen as infringing on the financial imitative of the Crown.

Consequently, Bill C-280 may proceed for debate and a vote at third reading.

I think that the hon. Leader of the Opposition wishes to rise on a question of privilege.

Bill C-280--Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

May 3rd, 2007 / 3:20 p.m.
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Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened as my colleague from across the way tried to put up a roadblock to Bill C-280. However, Bill C-280 is not an amendment to Bill C-11. We only ask for implementation. Bill C-11 already received royal assent. It has been voted on and studied. We only ask for the implementation of a measure included in Bill C-11. I do not see where the problem lies.

In concluding, I reserve the right to speak again to the issue.

Bill C-280--Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPoints of OrderOral Questions

May 3rd, 2007 / 3:15 p.m.
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Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my point of order I must say that while I recognize I am raising this point of order today, I also recognize the fact that a ruling by yourself will not be made before third reading debate takes place on Bill C-280.

It is on Bill C-280 that I rise today. Without commenting on the merits of the private member's bill, I would appreciate your consideration, Mr. Speaker, on whether Bill C-280, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, requires a royal recommendation under Standing Order 79.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was adopted as Bill C-11 by the 37th Parliament and received royal assent on November 1, 2001. Bill C-11, which was accompanied by a royal recommendation, specified in clause 275 that:

The provisions of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Bill C-280 seeks to amend section 275 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to stipulate that, despite the coming into force provisions adopted in 2001, sections 110, 111 and 171 would come into force on the day Bill C-280 receives royal assent.

The substantive effect would be to establish a refugee appeal division at the Immigration and Refugee Board. This would involve significant new expenditures to cover the appointment of adjudicators to hear appeals; the administrative officers to establish, receive and process applications for appeal; office space to conduct appeal hearings; and other activities required for the operation of a new appeals division.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration estimates that the initial start-up cost would be at least $8 million and ongoing annual costs would be over $12 million. This does not include the considerable costs associated with the provision of legal aid.

Those estimated costs also do not take into consideration the potential significant costs of implementation should the bill fail to include transition provisions, without which, could potentially lead to an immediate backlog of approximately 40,000 additional cases.

Of course, the creation of a refugee division was contemplated by the original legislation. However, this was accompanied by a qualification in clause 275, that the timing of its creation would be subject to a future decision of the governor in council, namely, when to bring in sections 110, 111 and 171 into force.

The procedural authorities and precedents indicate that the royal recommendation, which accompanies a bill, fixes not only the amount of an expenditure but also the way in which it will be incurred.

Beauchesne's 6th edition, page 183, citation 596, indicates:

...the communication, to which the Royal Recommendation is attached, must be treated as laying down once for all...not only the amount of the charge, but also its objects, purposes, conditions and qualifications. In relation to the standard thereby fixed, an amendment infringes the financial initiative of the Crown not only if it increases the amount but also if it extends the objects and purposes, or relaxes the conditions and qualifications expressed in the communication by which the Crown has demanded or recommended a charge.

On March 26, 1985, on page 3353 of Hansard, the Speaker cited this section of Beauchesne's in ruling an amendment to a government bill out of order because, by eliminating a legislated deadline, it would relax a condition of the royal recommendation.

On October 17, 1986, at page 473 of Hansard, the Speaker ruled that an amendment to an income tax bill was beyond the scope of a royal recommendation, even though it did not change the overall expenditure, because “It changes the intent of the Bill”.

The intent of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as clearly expressed in clause 275, was that the governor in council would determine at what time clauses 110, 111 and 171 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would be brought into force. In other words, that the governor in council would determine at what time the expenditures associated with those clauses would be incurred.

This was a condition of the royal recommendation for Bill C-11, which members of the 37th Parliament accepted and which is, therefore, inseparable from the authorization for expenditures for a refugee appeal board.

Since Bill C-280 seeks to relax that condition by removing the Governor in Council's determination of the timing of the crown's expenditure, Bill C-280 is beyond the scope of the original royal recommendation and, I submit, should be accompanied by a new royal recommendation.

Opposition Motion--Citizenship and ImmigrationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2007 / 1:30 p.m.
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Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform you that I will share my time with my colleague, the member for Jeanne-Le Ber.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity today to discuss the Liberal motion before us, which states that immigrants to Canada and persons seeking Canadian citizenship are poorly served by this government.

The Bloc Québécois supports this motion. In fact, immigrants to this country and persons seeking Canadian citizenship are very poorly served by the current Conservative government. Unfortunately, I must also add that they were just as poorly served by the previous Liberal government. The crazy thing is that it is the Liberal Party that introduced this motion in the House today.

There is plenty of proof that immigrants and persons seeking Canadian citizenship have been and are being very poorly served by both the current and former governments.

For my part, I just want to discuss the issue concerning three sections of Bill C-11, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which came into force on June 28, 2002. In sections 110, 111 and 171, the act provides for a refugee appeal division. That division was never created.

Bill C-280 is quite straightforward. It simply aims to implement the refugee appeal division, commonly known as the RAD. Adopting this bill would mean that the three sections already included in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act concerning the refugee appeal division, or RAD, would simply be implemented.

This is a little strange, in fact it is nearly the height of absurdity, since the Bloc Québécois already introduced a bill to implement the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which was adopted in 2001 and which came into effect in June 2002, in its entirety. I am a new member of Parliament, but I did not know that a piece of legislation was needed to enact another piece of legislation.

A proper appeal process for refugee claimants ought to have been put in place as soon as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act took effect, namely, in 2002. This is one of the significant changes required to ensure that all asylum seekers are treated fairly and equitably.

The creation of the refugee appeal division is a matter of justice. To persist in not making this change, as the two most recent governments have done, is to allow a situation that is unfair to asylum seekers to continue. When the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was drafted, the refugee appeal division was seen as a fair compromise in response to the desire to move from two board members responsible for examining asylum claims to just one.

Yet, now we have the worst of both worlds. There is only one board member, not two, to examine the files, and there is no refugee appeal division in effect. This results in terrible, irreparable harm to asylum seekers, who are all too often victims of an arbitrary and faulty decision made by a board member, whose competency can be, in certain cases, uncertain, and all this with no appeal process.

The federal government maintains that a safety net already exists by virtue of the opportunity to request a pre-removal risk assessment, through judicial review by the Federal Court and through a request for permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds. But these two solutions do not offer any protection for refugees, because, as my colleague from Vaudreuil-Soulanges pointed out this morning, the Federal Court conducts only judicial reviews, reviews of form, and does not review the facts of a case when someone applies for asylum.

In addition, there is a blatant lack of political will to establish the refugee appeal division, because this division is already enshrined in the legislation, in sections 110, 111 and 171. In June 2002, after their own legislation came into effect, the Liberals avoided establishing the RAD. Now that the Conservatives are in power, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration still has not established the RAD, despite the positions her party has taken in the past.

In 2004, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration adopted a motion calling on the Liberal government at the time to establish the refugee appeal division or rapidly come up with a solution. The government consistently refused to comply with the committee's motion.

Many groups in civil society in Quebec, across Canada and in the international community have called for establishment of the RAD. Among these are the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Committee against Torture, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, la Ligue des droits et libertés and the KAIROS group.

In a Canadian Council for Refugees report, Professor François Crépeau, who teaches international law at the Université de Montréal, gave four reasons why the refugee appeal division should be put in place. I will simply list them, because my colleague also spoke about them this morning. The four reasons are efficiency, uniformity in the law, justice and politics.

The definition of a refugee or an asylum seeker has long been established in international conventions. The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees was adopted by the United Nations in 1951. More than 145 countries, including Canada, ratified the convention and its protocol.

According to this convention, Canada cannot directly or indirectly return refugees to a country where they will be persecuted. Refugees find themselves in very difficult situations and are very vulnerable.

We must never forget that when a person applies for refugee status, that person is always in a state of vulnerability and helplessness that we as citizens here, for the most part, have never known. This person leaves a difficult situation where their life was in danger for a number of religious, political or other reasons. This person arrives in the country and, in many cases, does not understand the language—neither French nor English. This person also arrives in a precarious economic situation, sometimes with just the shirt on their back. These are fragile, vulnerable and very poor people.

It is our moral duty to welcome these people with respect and compassion. To do so, Canada must do everything it can to ensure asylum seekers a fair process when they arrive in Canada, especially since a negative decision can have tragic consequences and very serious repercussions.

The Bloc Québécois is dismayed by the lack of justice toward refugees demonstrated by Citizenship and Immigration since the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect in 2002. The worst part is that Bill C-11 in 2002 was intended to correct the former Immigration Act of 1976, which did not include a refugee appeal division. Furthermore, this lack of a refugee appeal division was compensated for, at the time, by the presence of two board members who reviewed the asylum claims. Only one of the two board members needed to rule in favour of the asylum claim for the person to be granted asylum.

Currently, now there is just one board member instead of two, the refugee appeal division, RAD, seems even more important. Without the RAD, the risk of error is even greater and asylum seekers have no recourse if they are victims of an arbitrary negative decision.

Establishing a refugee appeal division would ensure that justice is done. It would also address the inconsistencies in the determination process. Furthermore, the costs of implementing this measure would be minimal. According to Jean-Guy Fleury, the chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, operating the RAD would cost $8 million per year. When we consider that the financial resources of the IRB are estimated at $116 million for 2006-2007, the RAD annual operating costs would represent only 7% of the total budget. The resulting savings must be considered.

In closing, I would just like to say that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of the Liberal motion presented today. While it is true that immigrants to Canada and individuals who seek to obtain Canadian citizenship are poorly served by the government, I sincerely believe that by establishing this principle of fairness and justice for those asking for asylum, we could improve the condition of individuals seeking refugee status. The principles of fairness and justice must come from establishing the refugee appeal division.

Therefore Bill C-280 must be adopted to ensure that the three sections of the 2002 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which have not yet come into force, are implemented.

Statutory Instruments ActPrivate Members' Business

June 11th, 2002 / 6:30 p.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate on behalf of the P.C. Party of Canada. Let me first congratulate the member for Surrey Central on his Bill C-202, an act to amend the Statutory Instruments Act, disallowance procedure for statutory instruments.

For our viewers, let me repeat the intent of the bill. This enactment would establish the statutory disallowance procedure that would be applicable to all statutory instruments, subject to review and scrutiny by the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations. In so doing, this enactment would ensure that parliament would have the opportunity to disallow any statutory instrument made pursuant to authority delegated by parliament or made by or under the authority of the cabinet. In other words, the committee would have the right to really have some teeth and scrutinize the regulations that come before the committee.

This disallowance procedure is very necessary to hold the government accountable. Currently there is no provision to disallow badly flawed regulations.

We heard the member from the government side state that the committee could send to the government by resolution the suggestion or list of regulations that should be disallowed. Through the years I have been here, I have not experienced that.

I have had real experience and I have sat on the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations. Back in 1997, when I first came to this House, I really found out how difficult it was to get rid of poorly crafted regulations, thousands of regulations, that came before the committee. One thing I realized was we were looking at regulations not one or two years old, but three, four, five and six years old.

My own opinion is that the joint committee really has no teeth. In other words, because it takes so much time to scrutinize the regulations that come before committee, it takes years and years of work before anything can possibly happen.

If the House is to have some control over the thousands of regulations that are written, then a disallowance procedure is a must. Surely there must be some regulations that are unnecessary. At this time there is no method to disallow other than reporting back to the House. A case in point are the regulations pertaining to Bill C-68. Many of the regulations under that piece of legislation are unnecessary and need to be rejected.

Over the last 30 years we have seen government abuse the use of orders in council to approve all kinds of regulations with no formal scrutiny. In my opinion this is a pure abuse of power.

The government members say that authority is delegated to the government. Yes, I believe they do have lots of delegated power and authority, but all authority needs to be scrutinized at all times.

Today in a world of framework and enabling legislation, which seems to be the kind of legislation we experience daily in this House, legislators have very little control over legislation. As the House knows, it is still the norm that ministers rarely table any regulations with the standing committees. The exception to that is the immigration committee which I sit on. In the last month we literally scrutinized Bill C-11 regulations, which was rather unusual to say the least.

Let me talk a little about regulations per se. As members know, regulations cover all areas of our life and they impact all of us daily. On the fiscal side certainly, regulations are a form of hidden taxation. As they raise the cost of doing business, Canadians end up paying relatively higher prices for goods and services.

They also kill jobs by making Canada less competitive. In fact on the agricultural side, farmers are always complaining, rightly so, about the new taxes they have to pay. Again a lot of it is assessment by regulations.

The government does not always consider whether a new regulation will meet its goal, whether it is the most cost effective method of protecting the public or whether it will have unintended side effects. I guess that is why we have a joint committee to scrutinize regulations, but again if that joint committee does not have real teeth to deal with bad regulations then it really is just exercise in futility.

In some cases less costly alternatives such as negotiated compliance are not considered. A regulatory environment that subjects the economy to regulations only where and when needed is critical to the creation of a vital and vibrant economy. However the regulatory burden imposed on Canadian business acts as a costly impediment on the productivity growth that is essential to an improved standard of living. We hear very little about regulations that impact the economy on the economic side.

The view of the PC Party is that governments should work toward the co-operative elimination of excessive regulations, overlap, duplication and waste in the allocation of responsibilities between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. We are probably the most over-governed and over-legislated country in the world. We love to create legislation without reviewing old legislation. A member from the opposition side asked why a lot of our bills did not have sunset clauses. That is an excellent idea.

Governments should implement an annual red tape budget which would detail the estimated total cost of each individual regulation, including the enforcement cost to the government and the compliance cost to individual citizens and businesses.

Governments should also establish regulatory service standards and devote the resources needed to meet those standards, thus ensuring they do not result in undue pressure being placed upon regulators to improve questionable products.

Governments should also work toward ensuring that user fees which are tied to regulatory approval are limited to no more than the cost of actually providing that approval. Further, those fees should be used to improve services allowing for greater regulatory approval.

In light of the effect it has on the economy of the country and on the lives of people, does it not make sense that all new regulations be scrutinized by the standing committees of the House? That at least should be a minimum requirement. We would require new regulations to be written in a way that is simple and easy to understand. All new regulations should be scrutinized by the standing committees, as I have just indicated.

A Progressive Conservative government would ensure that all proposed regulations are put on the departmental website for 30 days to allow for greater public awareness before they are published in the Canada Gazette .

In closing, regulations impact us daily but the problem is we really do not have an effective vehicle to scrutinize regulations and get rid of the ones that should not be there and that in effect do nothing for the country or for us as people of the country. The PC Party of Canada supports Bill C-202.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

May 3rd, 2002 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it shows us how seriously the government takes the legislation. It took 20 minutes to get enough of its members in the House to begin parliament. I even question whether there are enough members in here at the present time.

The government introduced the legislation as an anti-terrorism bill in response to September 11. I would argue that the bill is anything but a bill that deals with terrorism.

In his speech on Bill C-42, the minister said the bill was another important step in the fight against terrorism. In the omnibus bill the only common theme, which omnibus bills are supposed to have, was that it centralized the power in the hands of the executive branch of government with little or no parliamentary review. Bill C-55 remains a ministerial power grab.

The Minister of Transport in November 2001, in response to a question by the member from Fraser Valley, said:

When there is a localized one time emergency ministers need to act quickly. That is what happened on September 11. Had there been further terrorist attacks and the country was in a state of apprehension then obviously the Emergencies Act would have been invoked.

This question has to be asked. If there was legislation that allowed the ministers to respond in kind at that time, why do they need this legislation today? I would argue that they want to enhance the powers of the minister and take it out of the hands of parliament.

The amendments that Bill C-55 brings to bear are not exact. It introduces two new security measures. One is about unruly passengers or air rage, and the opposition thinks the measures are a good thing. The other is the requirement of air carriers to provide information on their passenger manifests to various departments.

The difference between the old bill, Bill C-42, and the new one, Bill C-55, is that Bill C-55 is very specific about how this is to be handled. In the old bill the minister was given the discretion through regulations on how to handle this.

Before the Christmas break the transportation committee produced an excellent report on how to handle airline security. It balanced all the details of implementing the system with some discretion for the minister to act. Instead, the current Minister of Transport wants carte blanche to do whatever he wants to do and to be the sole authority on security measures.

It is interesting that the Liberal backbenchers seem quite willing to allow the executive branch of parliament, the cabinet, to take away their ability to be involved.

Another change from Bill C-42 is with regard to the Immigration Act. The new bill deletes parts from the previous bill which referred to the Immigration Act. In Bill C-42 the government introduced amendments to the Immigration Act that it had just put into place through Bill C-11 but which had not been implemented. Bill C-42 would have repealed Bill C-11 changes such as a 72 hour time limit on referrals and a 90 day limit on processing time which would have severely curtailed the appeals process. Bill C-42 removed that.

In February 2001 we had proposals of changes to Bill C-11. In November 2001 we had the elimination of those proposed changes. Now in April 2002, we are now getting rid of the proposed changes to Bill C-11 that would have been done in February. It is no wonder that Canadians have little or no faith in the immigration department, the minister and the Immigration Act. Does anybody over there on the government side know what is going on with the Immigration Act?

Other changes are proposed for the National Defence Act. Some are good, some are bad and some are questionable. The proposed inclusion of armed conflict in the definition of emergency, which already includes insurrection, riot, invasion and war, is presumably meant to ensure that the events of September 11 would be officially designated as an emergency. However it is questionable whether the term armed conflict appropriately defines the terrorist acts of September 11, or a biological or chemical attack, or even a major cyber attack on our computer networks. Rather the government should specifically include terrorism in the definition of an emergency.

The opposition supports job protection for officers and non-commissioned members of our reserve forces. We have been calling for such protection for years however we are concerned that this job protection is only limited to emergencies. What does this mean for the reservists that are called out for peacekeeping duties? Are they not afforded any job protection?

We are also concerned about the creation of controlled access military zones. The government claimed under Bill C-42 and again under Bill C-55 that these controlled access military zones would only protect military equipment and personnel and would not be used to battle public demonstrations. However by changing the section from how it was drafted in Bill C-42 to how it has been drafted now, the government is admitting that these military security zones that were mentioned in Bill C-42 were intended to be used against legitimate protest groups despite the minister's assertions to the contrary.

Since we could not trust the minister then, why would he think that we would trust him now not to be using these special provisions against public demonstrations? It would appear that these measures are designed for protesters and those engaging in civil disobedience, not terrorists.

Why do I come to that conclusion? We must look at the example the minister of defence used, which was the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen by the al-Qaeda in October 2000 where a boat full of explosives was used against the side of a military ship. What would the government do in this legislation? It would use some force and fine the terrorists $1,000. What kind of deterrent is that to terrorists, to fine them $1,000?

In order to fight terrorists we must use lethal force. We do not fine them $1,000 and slap them on the hand. That is why it is clear to me that this is not anti-terrorism legislation. This is to be used against civil disobedience. If the government were to do that, that is fine with me, but it should be upfront, honest and open to the public and say that is what it is attempting to do and not hide it.

We have a problem with the interim orders giving that kind of overwhelming authority to cabinet. We are upset there is no parliamentary oversight and review. That is necessary to hold the government and the executive branch accountable.

I must say this is another attempt by the government to take the responsibility out of the hands of parliament and place it in the hands of cabinet. The government is not willing to allow these interim orders to go before a cabinet committee. It only requires four cabinet ministers to agree. That should not be difficult. It has a hard time getting its members here, but surely it is not that hard to get four cabinet ministers to sit down with legislation that supposedly is designed to fight terrorism. One really has to question the intent.

Our party is quite apt to say that the legislation should be split. That is what this amendment is all about. Let us take the good parts of the legislation, deal with them and forget this thing about it being anti-terrorism. That is not what the bill is all about.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

May 1st, 2002 / 4:55 p.m.
See context

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, in this bill, the expression “reasonably necessary” is used four times to define size. The dimensions of the zone are set out in paragraph (4):

(4) The dimensions of a controlled access military zone may not be greater than is reasonably necessary—

And:

(6) A designation or renewal may not be for a period longer than is reasonably necessary—

What will the time limit be for that zone and what area will it cover? Under what conditions do we give to a single individual the authority to determine what is reasonably necessary? One must hope that it will be a reasonable person because, otherwise, we could find ourselves in a bad spot, and that is exactly what is happening.

In Quebec, it is clear what the Bloc Quebecois is asking for will remain unchanged. I hope the other parties will understand that, to preserve a degree of control, the provinces must be consulted and the federal government must obtain their consent, and that applies not only to the Quebec government and the Quebec people, but also to all other provincial governments.

We cannot have controlled access military zones in Quebec without the Quebec government's consent. That is the reality.

That leads us to the last part of the bill. It is not complicated. There are a few paragraphs that give the legislation all its meaning. I could explain, for the benefit of our fellow citizens, the Quebecers who are listening, why the Bloc Quebecois is opposed to those controlled access military zones. Some might have questions for us.

For example, paragraph (12) states:

(12) The Canadian Forces may permit, control, restrict or prohibit access to a controlled access military zone.

So, they are the ones controlling everything that is going on in that area. Moreover, paragraph (14) states:

(14) No action for loss, damage or injury lies by reason only of the designation of a controlled access military zone or the implementation of measures to enforce the designation.

Not only the military will restrict our movements and control us within that zone, but citizens arrested or prevented from functioning or under arrest will have no recourse against the government, and that in spite of the statements made by the defence minister who is telling us “Yes, recourse through the courts is always available to them”.

Give me a break. Once again, I am pleased to read this text, which does state:

(14) No action for loss, damage or injury lies by reason only of the designation of a controlled access military zone or the implementation of measures to enforce the designation.

One can always go before the court to challenge the military zone. That is what the defence minister is telling us. “You can challenge it”. Yes, we can challenge a military zone. But, in the meantime, citizens, Quebecers will be arrested, imprisoned and will have no recourse against the federal government. They will be stripped of their rights and liberties, and they will have no recourse. Again, this is what the federal government wants to do.

This is an attempt by the government, the officer corps or the land staff to centralize in the hands of the defence minister and his staff the power to control more and more the movements of individuals and groups which may want to protest.

They will not be able to protest near a building, a defence facility or piece of equipment, not even near an army vehicle. They will not be able to do that anymore.

They will not be able to protest if someone in the federal government feels threatened. This person will ask the military staff to make a recommendation to the defence minister, who, in my opinion, has not been a reasonable person up until now. The defence minister will then have the power to designate military zones, presumably to protect the interests of the government, all this to the detriment of the interests, rights and liberties of our fellow citizens.

I would like to close by commenting on the third part, which deals with providing personal information. We recall Bill C-42 and wonder why a government would withdraw a bill. Once again, it is because of what the opposition did, and the fierce battle led by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and all of the members from our party against Bill C-42. We saw that the government appeared to back down.

However, the big question raised at the time that made the government back down—we all remember it—was when we asked the Prime Minister , “What were you not able to do after September 11 that you could have done if you had had Bill C-42?”

The same question applies today. What is the Canadian government not able to do if ever a situation like September 11 were to occur, which would be the worst incident in the history of Canada? What is it that it could not do then, and therefore could still not do today, that it could do with Bill C-55?

We could not get an answer today from the Prime Minister, nor from the Minister of National Defence, nor from the Minister of Transport in his speech. Nobody answered us. When one is politically strong, as is the Liberal government right now, riding high in the polls, everything is fine, everything is coming up roses,and one becomes arrogant. This is what happens when one is arrogant. Mistakes are made, bad bills are introduced. Slight changes are made, and the bill comes back with four more pages than it used to have.

This is how it works, and the government thinks that people will swallow it. The Prime Minister said yesterday in a scrum, “There are days when I am a dictator, and other days when I am not a dictator”. This is what he said yesterday. Unbelievable. This is in Canada, and our Prime Minister said in a press scrum, “Today I am not a dictator, but tomorrow I will be a dictator. I am the one who decides”.

In the end, he is the one who decides. He decided to introduce Bill C-55. He decided that with his Liberal majority, he would succeed in showing that he was right and that, in any case, people will have no other choice. They will accept it and the Liberal Party will not suffer in the polls. This is the reality. This is why we have to deal with Bill C-55 today.

When we questioned the government about Bill C-42 on November 22, 2001, we were told that there were two important elements in this bill. First, there was the information required by the Americans so that Canadian airlines could fly over their territory. The whole section dealing with personal information was taken out of Bill C-42. It became Bill C-44. Bill C-42 had a whole section dealing with immigration. Our listeners will have understood, after watching 60 Minutes , that there are problems with immigration in Canada. Despite anything the immigration minister may say, there is a problem. As some would say, there is a certain uneasiness about the whole issue.

Once again, they took out the part on immigration and introduced Bill C-11 on immigration. That is fine, we supported it. We supported Bill C-44. In fact, this is what the government needed after September 11. It needed a bill that would allow it to give the Americans the personal information they require so that our airline companies could fly over their territory.

But believe it or not, in Bill C-44, the list of information that the American government requires from the airline companies in title 130 of its act, which is equivalent to ours, is not the same list. They require about 15 items. I will come back to this later.

We are having fun today, we are reacting, but in the coming weeks we will have the opportunity to talk about this list. However, Canada is asking for about 20 items of information more than the Americans. This is the reality. We must provide personal information and a schedule was made and tabled.

This schedule is designed to please public officials, who are asking for an increasingly controlling and centralizing state as regards people's privacy. They asked for things that the Americans are not asking for. These things are in the schedule. This is what the minister was telling us. From now on, airlines will be required to provide personal information to authorities. I will say to which authorities, but first I want to read part of the schedule. Perhaps I should begin by reading an excerpt of the act, so people will believe me. We must be careful with the Liberals. They may well claim that I am wrong.

This government's legislation reads as follows:

The Minister, or any officer of the Department of Transport authorized by the Minister for the purposes of this section, may, for the purposes of transportation security, require any air carrier or operator of an aviation reservation system to provide the Minister or officer, as the case may be, within the time and in the manner specified by the Minister of officer, with information set out in the schedule that is in the air carrier's or operator's control concerning the persons on board or expected to be on board an aircraft.

The information that government officials wish to have includes, among other things:

The passport number of the person and, as the case may be, the visa number, or the proof of stay;

the city, country or travel covered by the passenger file;

the cities listed on the itinerary as points of departure or arrival;

the name of the user of the aircraft on board of which the person is likely to be;

the telephone number of the person;

the address of the person;

the type of payment used for the person's ticket;

as the case may be, an indication that the itinerary covered by the passenger file includes any segment that must be travelled by using an undetermined mode of transportation;

the itinerary of the trip covered by the passenger file, namely the points of departure and arrival, the codes of aircraft users, the stopovers and the land portions of the trip.

They want to know everything. When you are travelling, they want to be sure they control you. Of course, the airline company has to keep this information and disclose it to the authorities. This is always done for reasons of security.

That is the beauty of it all. The minister, or a transport department official authorizing what the minister can authorize, can obtain this information. But the government says:

Information provided under subsection(1) may be disclosed to persons outside theDepartment of Transport only for the purposesof transportation security, and it may bedisclosed only to--

When the Department of Transport requests this information, it can disclosed it to:

(a) the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration;

(b) the Minister of National Revenue;

(c) the chief executive officer of the CanadianAir Transport Security Authority;

--it does not exist yet, but it is in the works--and

(d) a person designated under subsection4.82(2) or (3).

The persons designated under subsection4.82(2) or (3) are theCommissioner ofthe Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Director of the CanadianSecurity Intelligence Service, or CSIS.

All the personal information mentioned on the form filled out when you buy a plane ticket to go on a trip can be shared with five or six departments, at the whim of the minister.

People will say, “Look, this is the information that the U.S. will be asking for anyway.” I said earlier that the information required by the U.S. is not the same as that required by Canada. Also, pursuant to the following provision, the government can make changes to that list.

(10) The Governor in Council may, on therecommendation of the Minister, by orderamend the schedule.

So, the minister could, on his own initiative, have a talk with the governor in council and decide to amend the list of information to be gathered by the airline company. This is serious.

Again, the government wants to gain control. I am geeting the signal that I only have a minute left, so I will conclude by giving the House an example. I hope no Quebecer and no Canadian will be flying on a plane with a suspect, because we know how things will be done.

Pursuant to this bill, for seven days, while someone is on vacation, all the departments I have just mentioned, including the revenue department, the RCMP and CSIS, will be able to investigate the suspect and determine that he or she presents a security risk. Knowing in which country this individual is, they could have him or her arrested and interrogated in a country that might not have the same respect for human rights than we have in Canada. Again, this is what the Bloc Quebecois will try to fight--