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.

Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

March 21st, 2002 / 12:20 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Madam Speaker, to a certain degree it is with a little bit of trepidation that I rise on this because I was not involved in the committee that studied this issue to the extent that perhaps some other members were.

However I am a member of parliament and must vote on the bill. Therefore I must understand it, take time to study it and look at all the ramifications. As members of parliament we all have an obligation to stake out our positions, whether in support or against the government or whether in support or against the committee.

The previous speaker made a statement and I think he said that absolutely nobody supports the government bill. That is simply not true. Perhaps he heard that statement. I would not accuse that member of saying something that was untrue but it is just not factual.

For example, much to my surprise, the cattlemen's association and the mining association supported the government approach on compensation. I would have thought that those were two groups to which many people, particularly from the west or from mining communities, would listen. There is some support there.

Provinces such as Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick and all territories are all concerned about the committee amendments that change the balance between federal and provincial jurisdiction. There are members on the committee other than some of the ones who have spoken who will support the bill.

Let me talk, if I might, in terms of the criticisms levied against the government because members of the government caucus disagree with the government's position. It is always an interesting conundrum to hear members opposite and the media say that Liberal backbenchers must stand up and show some spine, that they have to be prepared to take positions against the government. What happens when they do? There are three particular members who have spoken or will speak on this issue for whom I have a lot of respect when it comes to environmental issues. I will listen to their arguments and judge whether or not I agree with them.

Just because I respect their knowledge or positions does not mean that at the end of the day I am always going to agree. Today we are dealing with amendments most of which I will admit are housekeeping but some of which are substantive, When those members stand to speak and stiffen their spines as they are encouraged to do particularly by members opposite people will stand up in this place and say, is it not awful the government will not listen and will not allow their respected members to continue speaking.

We know full well that the opposition would obviously rather listen to a distinguished member of the Liberal Party speak against the government than another member of the opposition. We understand that. That is not rocket science. If I were sitting over there I would probably want to do the same thing. The reality is that these committee members did their work, they put forward their arguments and the committee came forward with recommendations. Now it is up to the government to make a decision.

I am the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. We just released our committee report this morning in a press conference at 10.30. Members from the government side were forced in many instances to put some water in our wine as it related to that particular bill. There were members in our caucus who spoke out against that particular bill several months ago when it was introduced, when the regulations were introduced, particularly as they relate to things like retroactivity and the new grid that would be used.

I only use this as an example to compare it to this particular bill and to these amendments. If we were to decide at the end of the day that given the rejection of the government of certain recommendations that we as backbenchers in the Liberal government have made, that as a result there is no way in our good conscience we can vote for the bill, then we should stiffen our spines. I have no difficulty with that and I know the government has no difficulty with that.

However in reality this is what we need to do because this is the art of the possible. Is it better to have no bill in this instance? Is it better not to have a process in which endangered species can be offered protection? I think of a place like the Oak Ridges Moraine. One of the recent speakers said this is largely a rural issue. In fact there are many parts of this great country that are going through the transition from rural to urban. The Oak Ridges Moraine in the greater Toronto area is a classic example. If rampant developments were allowed to take place there would be drainage of the water table that would destroy habitat. It would make it impossible for certain species to find food, to reproduce and to survive. With all due respect it is not just a rural issue.

I will grant that in most parts of rural Canada we will find more endangered species because there are fewer of us intruding upon their habitat, but it is still a factor in our own communities. In the Credit River valley, going right through the heart of the city of Mississauga, a city with over 600,000 people, I can assure the House that there are endangered species in that valley ecosystem that we would want to protect.

We need some rules. We need some understanding. We need a process.

I personally had a run in with an endangered species. I have a property in the Parry Sound area where I wanted to build a road. The MNR, the provincial ministry, came in and discovered the nest of a red-shouldered hawk, much to my surprise, on my property within 30 or 40 feet of the right of way where I wanted to build the road. Guess what? We were well along in the process and all of a sudden it was stopped. One red-shouldered hawk put an end to me having reasonable, easy access to my property. I must go by boat to get there as a result of that hawk.

I must say I had mixed feelings. At first, since I was getting older, I wished I could have this. Someone said I could take care of it, but I would not do that. At the end of the day this made my property that much more sacred to me. As a result we found a second nest. This is a very rare hawk which is in danger of extinction. I support the re-establishment of the committee that would come up with the definitions, scientific data and research that is needed to determine whether or not the red-shouldered hawk should in fact be put on the endangered species list. That is what the bill would do.

If we want to throw out the baby with the bath water, or the red hawk with the nest, then by all means trash the bill, but let us face it and look at some of the statistics. There were 334 motions tabled during clause by clause review. I know how grueling that is, having sat through at least that many in terms of the immigration bill, Bill C-11. I know how taxing it is. The committee passed 125 of the 334 motions tabled. That is a lot of work, research, and debate. Of these the government supports 75. The ministry requirement to have an assessment by the committee within 90 days is a substantial improvement to the situation.

I understand the passion and the feelings of those folks within the government caucus who will not be able to vote in support of the bill.

In this business one learns to put some water in the wine. There are victories that can be achieved by working through the committee process, the caucus process and perhaps even at report stage in this place. However at the end of the day a decision has to be made and my decision will be to support the bill.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

March 12th, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would like to understand why the official opposition voted against the budget for security. Why did they vote against Bill C-11 at the time? All these tools were helping us and were allowing us to address these issues.

We took our responsibilities. They should now apologize.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

March 12th, 2002 / 2:50 p.m.
See context

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the government has security as its priority, but it is also clear that human smuggling does not occur only in Canada.

Human smuggling is not just in Canada, it is all over the world. We have invested more and more money since December 10. At the same time, what we have accomplished with Bill C-11 and regulations, is that we now have the proper tools to answer those needs.

SupplyGovernment Orders

March 12th, 2002 / 11:35 a.m.
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Waterloo—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to enter the debate on national security which remains a key concern for all Canadians I believe. I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Scarborough--Rouge River.

On behalf of the solicitor general, I assure you, Mr. Speaker, and all members of parliament that national security and public safety continue to be the number one priority and the top priority for the Government of Canada.

The Solicitor General of Canada has a leadership role within the Government of Canada for protecting Canadians and helping them to maintain a peaceful and safe society.

Many other ministers of the government, including departments and agencies, are also key partners in this very important area in the fight against terrorism, including my hon. colleagues from justice, CCRA, CIC, DFAIT, national defence, Transport Canada and Health Canada. We all work closely with our federal partners on a daily basis through a variety of informal and formal meetings to ensure that the government's overall public safety strategy is co-ordinated and effective.

The ad hoc ministers' committee on public security and anti-terrorism as well as the deputy ministers' committee on public safety are prime examples of interdepartmental co-ordination.

The portfolio of the Solicitor General of Canada also co-operates with federal, provincial and territorial partners in a number of ways to share information, consult on major initiatives and to reach consensus on proposed criminal justice reforms. These include, for example, ministers responsible for justice, deputy ministers responsible for justice, co-ordinating committees of senior officials and several subcommittees and working groups to examine specific policy issues.

In particular, a new federal-provincial-territorial deputies committee has just been formed to ensure co-ordination among all jurisdictions in their approach to anti-terrorism and public safety issues.

Strong partnerships with stakeholders is vital to the work of the Solicitor General of Canada. We encourage and actively support co-operation with our non-governmental partners, including provincial and municipal police forces, and emergency firstline responders through consultation, information sharing, exchange of expertise and knowledge, training and the provision of resources.

It goes without saying that since September 11 counterterrorism is a top priority for police and security agencies the world over. It is a top priority here at home too for the RCMP, for CSIS and for law enforcement officials across Canada.

The primary role of the Government of Canada is to lead this fight against terrorism at national and international levels. The government is doing so through new legislation and several important initiatives announced in the last two federal budgets.

Since the year 2000, the Government of Canada has dedicated a total of $9.5 billion to public safety and national security, including $7.7 billion in the December 2001 budget. The comprehensive set of measures outlined in budget 2001 are designed to keep Canada safe, keep terrorists out and keep our borders open. To this end, it includes major investments to equip and deploy more intelligence and frontline investigative personnel, improve co-ordination among law enforcement, intelligence and national security agencies, and to boost marine security and safety to the tune of $1.6 million. It also includes improving the screening of immigrants, refugee claimants and visitors to the tune of $1 billion; creating a new air security organization, assigning armed undercover police officers on Canadian aircraft, purchasing explosive detection equipment and enhancing policing to the tune of $2.2 billion; and finally, enhancing border security and improving the infrastructure that supports major border crossings to ensure the legitimate flow of people and goods, which is so important to our economy, to the tune of $1.2 billion.

Furthermore, under Canada's anti-terrorism plan, key federal agencies responsible for public security, such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will receive substantial new funding to enhance their counterterrorism capacity and priorities.

CSIS will receive an additional $334 million over five years which will be used to boost its frontline security intelligence capacity. The RCMP will receive an additional $576 million which will bring new technology on line and put more officers to work on national security matters.

Under Canada's anti-terrorism plan, specific federal support for provinces, territories and municipalities include the establishment of new integrated national security enforcement teams, INSETs, and increased integrated border enforcement teams, IBETs, by the RCMP with provision for the salaries of INSET members seconded from other jurisdictions.

These are all important measures and, while the focus is on counterterrorism, initiatives undertaken on this front have had ripple effects that will benefit organized crime investigations, community policing and policing and law enforcement in general. What these measures do is establish a framework to ensure a high level of public security and safety for Canadians wherever they live in a national security framework.

Federal anti-terrorism initiatives will clearly strengthen the criminal justice system on a national basis. All jurisdictions will benefit from the resulting tools, expertise, new or expanded programs and infrastructure. These benefits will continue over a long period of time.

As a result of the events that took place on September 11, the Government of Canada and the U.S. administration have been more attentive than ever in ensuring security and safety at our joint border. Both countries have formally agreed to co-operate on border security and regional migration issues and have signed a smart border declaration which includes a 30 point action plan to ensure a safe, secure and efficient border.

The goal is to facilitate the movement of legitimate goods and people while preventing terrorists and undesirable individuals from entering Canada or the United States.

The Government of Canada has long realized that the fight against organized crime is not a task it can take on alone. Since the adoption of the joint statement on organized crime in 1998, we have been working very closely with our provincial and territorial counterparts to address this problem.

The national agenda to combat organized crime identifies a series of new legislative initiatives to enhance the investigation and prosecution of organized crime. Bill C-24 was a good first step and an important first step.

The police community told policymakers there was a need to improve legislation and that is exactly what happened and what we did. Bill C-24 will assist in addressing serious problems like biker gangs and other forms of serious crime.

We all know that criminals are making full use of technological advances to facilitate and provide leverage for their crimes. In order to respond effectively, we need to capitalize on the new technological tools available to us.

An excellent example of this is the Canada Public Safety Information Network which is designed to link criminal justice agencies across Canada to allow for better detection and prosecution of offenders. In October 2001, the Solicitor General of Canada announced that $4.9 million in new money would be dedicated in part to enhancing this program.

Furthermore, encryption technology is becoming cheaper, stronger, widely available and easy to use. Criminals and terrorists increasingly use some form of encryption or password protection to secure their communications. That is why the Department of the Solicitor General has implemented an action plan to provide technical solutions and to conduct a comprehensive legislative review.

Here, as with organized crime, the challenge is for our laws to keep pace with the changing face of technology and crime.

The Government of Canada does not take public safety and national security for granted. As I have just outlined, we have introduced numerous initiatives designed to enhance both national security and public safety.

Parliament and parliamentary committees continue to play a vigorous role in this area. We have only to point to parliament's work on Bill C-36, Bill C-24, Bill C-11 and continuing debate regarding Bill C-42 and Bill S-23.

I look forward to the continued input of all parliamentarians as we work together in this very important area. I will conclude by saying that public security and public safety remain a top priority. As a government, along with all Canadians, we need to work in this very important area to ensure that at the end of the day we secure a safe and good place for Canadians wherever they live in this country.

TerrorismOral Question Period

March 1st, 2002 / 11:35 a.m.
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Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as you know, because of the Privacy Act, I am not able to comment on personal or specific cases.

That having been said, with respect to Bill C-11 and the new regulations, additional powers allow us to fight terrorism even more effectively.

I would like to reassure my colleague that the safety and well-being of Canadians are a priority for this government.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

February 28th, 2002 / 2:30 p.m.
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Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the illegal forms were the Canadian Alliance cards in the riding of Gaspé.

I would like to mention that we made decisions. We took action and when there were problems regarding the IMM 1000, we conducted audits. This is why I announced this week that we would be implementing Bill C-11 and the regulations, and that we were replacing the IMM 1000 with the maple leaf card to prevent this fraud. We are very much aware of the problem.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

February 27th, 2002 / 2:55 p.m.
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Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, of course I will not comment on personal cases, but I am very troubled about those kinds of situations. That is why, through Bill C-11 and regulations, we will have better tools to prevent those kinds of situations.

Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

February 18th, 2002 / 1:15 p.m.
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Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to participate in the report stage aspect of the bill, but I must add that given that we have waited for species at risk legislation for over eight years since the government came to power, we now have proposed legislation that has been panned by most environmental groups because of its inadequacies in providing fair and reasonable compensation. It has been panned by landowners. As well, the provinces were clearly not on board beforehand.

I also want to add that the government had a glorious opportunity to utilize a consensus built among environmental groups and industry groups alike. They actually developed a common position paper which ensured that we had the principal aspects of a bill. There was scientific listing, which means that a species being or not being at risk should be based on science and not political choice. We should have mandatory protection for critical habitat on federal lands. We should also include migratory birds. Also, clearly landowners and all stakeholders need to ensure that we have a proper compensatory regime for those situations when writing a cheque is necessary to compensate landowners for loss of income where it can be identified. Clearly that cheque has to be at least fair and reasonable.

I do applaud the Canadian Alliance members and their efforts in committee on these aspects. They teamed up with the Progressive Conservatives and, I might add, the NDP to some degree to at least try to improve some aspects of the bill.

In regard to the motions before us, on clause 1 the amendment by the member for Lethbridge is clearly going in the right direction. It states:

--landowners should be compensated for any financial material losses to ensure that the cost of conserving species at risk are shared equitably by all Canadians--

I think that is a very good amendment.

I might add that there is another aspect of what is wrong with the compensatory regime in the bill. When Bill C-11, the immigration bill, was passed, we saw that it was framework legislation with the details to be provided in regulations some time down the road. If the government truly had its act together on the bill before us and knew what it was doing, the regulations pertaining to compensation would be tabled simultaneously with the bill itself. They should be. The fact is that the reason we do not have those regulations in play is that the government does not have its game plan down with respect to compensation.

We should not be surprised. The minister stated that reasonable behaviour is “something we expect, not something we need to buy”. He was a late arriver on the issue of compensation, which is one of the reasons why we do not have this aspect sorted out in the bill itself.

Other motions in this group include Motion No. 12, tabled by the member for Red Deer, which we do not support. In our view, the Tory view, the purpose of the bill should be to protect species at risk. The hon. member wants to ensure that it is done in a cost effective manner. I am okay with that but it is not the primary purpose of the bill itself. Clearly social and economic implications have to be taken into account during the recovery plan. That is where this aspect is done. Therefore I support the intent of what the member is looking at, but I do not support the language of the motion. Motion No. 13 brought forward by the member for Lethbridge is a similar motion. For the very same reasons we are not on board with it

We are clearly on board with Motion No. 28 in this first group. The motion brought forward by the member for Skeena states:

The agreement shall provide for fair and reasonable financial or material support--

At the committee stage of the bill the only substantive amendment that passed and at least improved the compensatory regime was the language tabled by the Progressive Conservatives on the words “fair and reasonable”. Before that it was entirely vague.

I thank members of the CA, the NDP and some very learned principal members of the Liberal caucus who stepped up to the plate to support the motion.

Moving to Motion No. 103 of the group we are debating at the moment, it has been tabled by the member for Lanark--Carleton. In our view he is trying to ensure that in accordance with regulations full, just and timely compensation is provided to any person for losses. Essentially he is trying to put a time line on it. We think it would strengthen the act and should be worthy of support of the House.

Moving to Motion No. 108, we are on board on that aspect as well. Essentially the member is advocating a strengthening of the compensatory regime. He is referring to the issue of the loss that one suffered as a result of the application of the act. We think that is indeed worthy of support.

Moving to Motion No. 111, it is a very good amendment by the member for Lanark--Carleton. It is more comprehensive than what we saw at committee stage when we went through this aspect. He tried to provide a bit more clarity with respect to what would be and would not be recovered.

He made reference to rules for the recovery of reasonable legal and other costs as a result of the compensation claim. We know that it is more than just the dollars that could be potentially lost. A lot of energy, time, effort and legal costs may come into play for one to win a potential claim with the Government of Canada if it ever gets its compensatory regime and regulations sorted out.

Moving to Motion No. 121, tabled by the member for Red Deer, we are not in support of the particular option. He is advocating that of the cumulative fines a potential landowner may have only one fine as opposed to a person making a series of infractions.

We want the legislation to have balance, in the words of the minister. We need to provide carrots to ensure we have reasonable behaviour by having a very strong stewardship regime and by perhaps even providing tax incentives, scientific capacity and the like.

I refer to the Tory amendment that was passed under the national stewardship strategy plan which outlined some of those aspects. However, if we want to be able to provide those carrots first, we know the stick is a component of strong legislation. We think that Motion No. 121 waters down that aspect. First and foremost we should be providing incentives so that we all collectively get the job done.

The last motion in this group is Motion No. 128. This will conclude my remarks on this section. We will support it. It says the minister shall in all circumstances advise the affected landowner, lessee or land user of the location of a wildlife species or habitat that is at risk.

The Progressive Conservatives had at least two amendments passed in the clause by clause section that were accepted by the committee. I am not sure if that will be gutted or not. We have not reached that section just yet.

To encourage landowners to take reasonable action the first thing we must do is notify them. They need to know there is a species at risk there and that steps may need to be taken. Those steps may just be to provide some very low level efforts to avoid a section of a woodlot or, depending on what particular species it might be, it could be tax incentives. However the first thing we need to do is notify them. That concludes my remarks on this group of amendments.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

December 11th, 2001 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in the 2001 budget debate. I probably should be talking about the many deficiencies in the budget, but that has been amply demonstrated by a number of opposition members, especially the member for Halifax, the member for Regina--Qu'Appelle and my colleague from Vancouver East.

I would like to spend my few minutes talking about something that has not been dealt with a lot in the debate and that is what I perceive to be the Americanization of not only the country but the budget.

Many Liberal members opposite have said that the budget has been reassuring to Canadians. I submit that if that has been the case, it has been only accidental. This budget had one purpose and one purpose only and that was to satisfy the Bush administration in Washington. It is sad and pathetic but I am not surprised.

What did surprise me a little was to read in the Globe and Mail today that the minister told reporters he had briefed his U.S. counterpart, treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, on the budget and had received a thumbs up. Some of us thought that there was secrecy in budgets and that we did not release them before they were released here. Apparently not because Washington was called to ensure that everything was okay with Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Bush and the rest before the government went any further. Does anyone believe that Tom Ridge, the home security minister in the United States, would have been here today if it had not been a very positive budget from Washington's viewpoint?

The Liberals said that they went coast to coast and listened clearly to what Canadians said. They may have listened to Canadians, but the only thing they were really listening to were the signals from Washington. If this was not a budget that was written by the Bush administration, it was certainly a budget that was written for the Bush administration.

Before yesterday we were told in the House repeatedly that the terrorists did not come through Canada to get to the United States three months ago today. In fact John Ashcroft at one point was forced to reverse his remarks and say that. I believe that, but after the pathetic budget, which was delivered yesterday, and the pandering that has gone on here to the Americans, I am beginning to have second thoughts.

We have heard all fall from ministers like the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Transport that all was well and they could carry out their duties and responsibilities with the legislation and the resources available to them. I would like to read into the record a couple of those references.

On October 30 the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, while talking about Bill C-11, said:

It gives us the ability to streamline our procedures, so that those who are in genuine need of our protection will be welcomed in Canada more quickly and those who are not in need of protection will be able to be removed more quickly.

On October 19 she referred to Mr. Zaccardelli, the commissioner of the RCMP. She said:

Yesterday the commissioner said that he totally disagrees with the notion that we are a safe haven. He said we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary...

Whether we have eliminated that word from our vocabulary or not and whether the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration felt she needed more resources, she got it yesterday. She got $1 billion to ward off illegal immigrants, something she said was well in hand prior to yesterday's budget. CSIS got $334 million dollars, the largest increase in the history of the intelligence security. It is being described in the media as a huge Christmas present.

Money was allocated for overseas immigration officers and $567 million was allocated for the RCMP. What do we receive for this money? When we go out on Parliament Hill we have these ludicrous security checks, costing millions of dollars and benefiting this country not one drop.

It is even worse when we look back at what the Minister of Transport had to say on the subject of air marshals. I would like to go through this. On the first day back in the House on September 17, the Minister of Transport said:

To deploy armed air marshals on flights is a radical suggestion. It poses severe logistical and financial implications and it is not the direction in which we are moving. We are committed to providing enhanced security on the ground, so we will not need air marshals.

It gets better. Ten days later, on September 26, the Minister of Transport said:

The United States is taking a certain measure of action. Having armed personnel on planes, whether they are pilots or air marshals, is not a road we will go down.

Finally, on October 5, he said:

We want to ensure that security measures are in place at airports to prevent the need for putting armed personnel on planes which in itself creates some degree of danger and is not endorsed, certainly not at this point, by the pilot unions in this country. In fact, Mr. Bush has not even agreed to the arming of cockpit personnel on planes.

Mr. Bush has now agreed to the arming of cockpit personnel on planes and so have we. Never mind what the Minister of Transport said on those three occasions. He is getting armed marshals whether or not he wants them. He is getting $2.2 billion over five years being paid for by the travelling public.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

December 7th, 2001 / 11:30 a.m.
See context

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I was pleased to receive the committee's report. I have just had a chance to review it.

I noted that it did not call for mandatory detention, but in fact called for detention which is appropriate for both who are undocumented and unco-operative and is already included in Bill C-11, and it was part of the committee's report of March 2000.

While the government will be responding fully to the committee's report, I would say to the member that many of the issues that have been raised in the report are already a matter of government policy. The rest will be looked at very--

Income Tax ActAdjournment Proceedings

December 5th, 2001 / 6:15 p.m.
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Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Mark Assad LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well that Canada's privacy legislation prohibits the government from discussing details of specific cases like the one he raised. The government would not jeopardize the integrity of its own intelligence or that of our neighbour, the United States.

What I can tell the member is that the existing act already contains some of the toughest provisions to deny admission to or deport terrorists regardless of the accusations we have heard in the House. At present we can and do detain whenever we believe someone is a flight risk or a threat to Canadians. If anyone poses a security risk to Canada we detain and argue for continued detention.

Front end security screening coupled with the new enforcement measures of Bill C-11 which was recently passed by parliament would provide immigration officers the tools they need to do their job. They are powerful tools compared to those of the past. They would automatically deny access to our refugee determination system to anyone found to be a security threat. Bill C-11 gave us the tools to deal with security threats more quickly.

We will not let terrorists strike at our core values. These values include a commitment to the charter, which we must always keep in mind; due process, in which we take great pride in the House; tolerance, which I hope is in the heart of every member of the House; and diversity in our immigration and refugee protection program which is seen as a model everywhere in the world.

We will not allow terrorists to push us off course. Canadians want security but they want us to respect our values and traditions. We are committed to the rule of law. This is why we cannot remove persons from Canada after due process has been served. Our system works on the basis of evidence. It consists of checks and balances and due process.

The Government of Canada will not allow persons to take advantage of our generosity by engaging in any kind of terrorism. We are acting to ensure Canada will never be a safe haven for terrorists. We are doing this in ways that are grounded in the rule of law which is the basis of our democracy.

ImmigrationStatements by Members

December 4th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.
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Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the auditor general in her report to parliament repeats what has been said for many years about immigration, that is, the government's lack of attention to the report.

Section 12.70 states:

In 1997 we recommended that Citizenship and Immigration Canada review the mechanisms used in applying the eligibility criteria set out in the Immigration Act.

For undocumented claims, the report states that:

Under Bill C-11, the decision on eligibility must be made within three working days--

Why does Bill C-42 propose changes to the 72 hour requirement?

The auditor general is having a difficult time assessing this recommendation of Bill C-11.

The auditor general also found that the safe third country provision made in the 1997 report was totally ignored by the government. So much for listening to the Auditor General of Canada.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 29th, 2001 / 3 p.m.
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Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, nothing the minister of immigration says or does could match the flip-flops in the hon. member's question. The measure with respect to Bill C-11 and Bill C-42 was not to fix Bill C-42. It was to advance the bringing into application some of the most effective and meaningful parts of Bill C-42.

If the hon. member were serious about protecting the security of Canadians and their rights, he would be supporting the bill instead of coming up with his ridiculous question.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 29th, 2001 / 3 p.m.
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Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. This fall the immigration minister initially said she needed Bill C-11 to speed up the process and fix the system. Then she flip-flopped by contradicting herself and said she already had the existing tools to detain where there was any security risk. Now she claims we need Bill C-42 to fix the mistakes of Bill C-11.

Given her acrobatics as a serial flip-flop artist, does the minister want to give us her preview of what next week's position will be and, moreover, will she just admit that Bill C-11 was a very bad bill from the get-go?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 29th, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.
See context

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will get his answer by looking at himself in the mirror. He is the one who tried to slow down Bill C-11 and we are the ones who are speeding it up by putting the key clauses in Bill C-42. He has things totally backwards. No wonder he is hidden in the corner down there.