Mr. Chair, I would urge the members of this committee to undertake to read the witnesses' testimony from the immigration committee. In fact, witnesses were quite clear—people who work directly with refugees—in outlining the kinds of risks they would be exposed to. In fact, at CIMM, the Liberal members were desperate to ask the witnesses how to fix this and what their proposed fix was, given the fears that were highlighted at the committee. They said explicitly that there was no fix, that you cannot fix this situation, and that the recourse for the government to undertake was in fact to withdraw the proposed legislation hidden in Bill C-97.
The immigration committee also heard witnesses, by the way, from the United States who work particularly with women from the Americas. They talked about the violence and severe risks they and their children face. They urged the government to take action in this regard and said very clearly that this legislation would not address the concerns that people had brought forward.
There's the idea that somehow there's going to be a hearing incorporated into this. How this hearing will be dealt with and in what format is not explained anywhere. There's another issue which is critical, and you would think the government would want to move forward on this, which is to address a recent report by the Auditor General which talks about the ineffectiveness of the government's operation, the duplication of effort and the waste of taxpayers' money in this effort.
What are we doing here? We're talking about setting up a parallel system, supposedly, although the legislation doesn't say that. We have no idea what the system is other than that there would be some sort of hearing. I suspect that all the government is trying to do is to say, “Look, it's all going to be okay. There's going to be a hearing, and by the way, we're not infringing on the Supreme Court decision in Singh v. Canada because there will be a hearing.”
On the issue around taxpayers' resources, what on earth is the government thinking by setting up another process, duplicating the process, even if you pretend for a minute that the process is going to be exactly the same as the IRB, that people would not be at risk, and they would be entitled to all the due processes they would require? What on earth is the government doing setting up another process? They'll have to set up the same kind of infrastructure, hire and train the same kind of people to do the same work when you already have the infrastructure in place. It makes zero sense whatsoever.