No, I want to deal with the amendment to the motion.
That amendment would essentially replace a portion and the motion would read:
That the standing committee review and report to the House with respect to the issue of placing an immediate moratorium on deportations of all undocumented workers and their families who pass security and criminality checks while a new immigration policy is put in place.
What I'd like to say is that because the committee is studying the issue of undocumented workers, in fact what should happen is that the committee will indeed do a proper review and then a report to the House, as opposed to directly reporting to the House in the way of the motion, and that it actually use this motion as an addition to the study that's being conducted for undocumented workers and the issue of moratoriums to be placed.
What I'm saying to this committee is that if we're going to do our jobs, if we're in fact going to make a report in the sense that the House can properly consider it, we ought to do what we're doing with the other issues relating to undocumented workers, and that is to combine this as a subheading of the main heading and then actually review the issue. There are two sides to that coin. Some people think it ought to be done and some people think it ought not, for various reasons. Some of these reasons should come before this committee. The fact that we are precluding ourselves from the benefit of that evidence and the benefit of that material when they're already doing a study I think is shirking our responsibility as a committee. It is certainly putting myself, as a member, in a position to have a report going to the House with no basis or foundation to that report. I think the committee ought to take its work far more seriously than it has.
I have certainly made the point that we should combine this particular motion with the study that we're proposing on undocumented workers, and if we were to adopt this amendment to the motion it would then preclude the report from going directly to the House. It would actually cause us to do a report in the sense that it's meant to be done. It is meant to be based on something. It's meant to have the recommendation, if you will have it, by way of motion, based on something this committee has seized itself of.
I realize that you may say perhaps there may be some other evidence in some other committee, at some other time, in some other place, but then we should have that other evidence or other material brought to this particular committee for the purpose of its review, for the purpose of its decision, with the opportunity, I might add, for additional witnesses to be called. By the same token, I think if we're going to do a report in the proper sense of a report there should be an opportunity for a dissenting report, as opposed to a unanimous report.
In order to do a dissenting report, there would have to be some basis upon which to make a dissenting report. That would mean the opportunity of having material presented to this committee, and eventually to the House, that has some basis or foundation to it and upon which I could write a dissenting report. Obviously, I would be railroaded, so to speak, in having this motion in some sort of a vacuum, without any evidence being called, sent to the House without an opportunity, on my part, to be able to present various points of view and to write an opinion on it.
When we look at Monpetit and Marleau, it actually refers quite extensively to what a report ought to look like. It envisions a fairly stringent procedure where the committee chair eventually signs his name to the report, saying we've met the requirements of the report and this is what we're putting to the House. It also gives the opportunity for other parties, including someone like myself, to write a dissenting report, but it has to be based on something. It can't be based on thin air.
What we're asking this committee to do is to take a motion that's passed by someone on the sheerness of a motion without anything else. If we were to ask, what is the evidence before us, the only evidence we have before us is the fact that a motion was put forward before this committee, nothing else, and we're calling that a report. I think we're doing ourselves an injustice in this case and in future cases if we wish to take that.
It's one thing if you have unanimous consent because you wish to proceed on that, but it's another thing to take a motion out of thin air and have it brought before us as a report, when we all know that in fact it is not a report under any definition that we can find anywhere, including the simple Oxford dictionary, which defines what a report might look like.
So I'm saying we should consider the amendment to the motion, which actually puts it where it should be. It should be before this committee, by way of a study and a review, as we are doing with the other issues, because they are not technical issues; they're not anniversaries. This is a very substantive issue that relates to and has effect on the major cities of Canada, on various ethnic groups, on various immigrants, on those who are undocumented. It is a very, very critical issue. It is a substantive issue. It is an issue of such importance that we need to do something relative to that area, and not do it in a knee-jerk reaction.
We don't need to do it on the basis that we will take this step without doing the necessary due diligence to get there. I think this committee owes it to itself, and certainly owes it to an individual member like myself, to have a proper study.
There's nothing to be gained. By putting this motion in the form that it is to the House and we will not get a reply for 120 days, particularly at a time when we're adjourning for the summer recess, this motion is not going anywhere. In fact, if the same response is given to this motion as the degree of due diligence that's given to it to pass it forward, the response will be in kind, in like manner, and will not in fact solve anything and will not bring this matter to a place where we can actually make some reasonable, reasoned, cogent arguments and basis upon which a recommendation can go forward.
I think it's really an abuse of this committee's authority and what it's sanctioned to do to proceed in this fashion. That's why I would ask the members to consider an amendment to the motion to say the subject matter is important, the subject matter is real subject matter that needs due consideration, but we need to review it along with the other things we're reviewing in that same area. Then we can make a reasoned, logical recommendation to the government for some action based on what we have heard.
As we all know, there is more than one side to every story. There are two sides to every story. We want to hear what those two sides are and make a decision that's based on reason.
So I would submit to all honourable members to consider whether this motion is really necessary, to go to the House in the form it is in. It will eventually get there, and it can be in the form in which we have it here, after due consideration and due deliberation.
There is no useful purpose to have it to go to the House at this time in the form it is in. It can go to the House in essentially the same form, if that's the conclusion we come to after we hear all of the appropriate evidence and have the opportunity for someone like myself and others to call witnesses, interest groups, or stakeholders to put their cases forward.
If I disagree with the conclusions and it is truly going to be a report, then I ought to have an opportunity to write a dissenting view for the consideration of the chair to present to the House, to present the other side of the story. This, in the form it is in now, would not allow that.
So I would ask the consideration of the members to amend the motion to preserve the substance of it, but to put it to the committee for study along with what we will be studying in position number two. We decided that refugees would be the first thing we'd study, and the second thing we were going to study was undocumented workers.
It certainly captured national attention, so its importance is there. This is not a procedural thing; this is a substantive matter that needs our due and proper attention. So I would ask that the committee consider in good spirit that this is an issue, and the substance of the motion is fine, but the manner in which we want to take it to the House, without due deliberation, is not.
This motion would allow us to come to the same place, perhaps unanimously, after we have heard the evidence and the particulars. It's such a significant issue that I would even move it ahead of the refugee issue, if I had my way, in terms of us returning in the fall to consider this matter--because it needs to be considered; there's no question about that.
When you look at what has happened in the former regime compared to what has happened here, it's an issue that government has struggled with. Certainly it's something that is of significant substance that I would urge all parties to treat with the due respect that I think it deserves.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.