Well, we do that. I used to do that as chair to make sure everybody got a round. Then at the end, when it came to me, I took the question.
I'm glad you raised the issue of wasting time and resources and the problems there. If you look at the department, we waste an incredible amount of resources, time, and manpower on incredibly stupid things, I think, one of them being the DNA. It's very costly and it serves as a barrier to people getting here, particularly from Africa. People are in incredible danger, sitting there waiting in a war zone, if you will. Nobody around this table would disagree that the refugee camps in the Sudan or Darfur are anything but very dangerous, where women--and children, I might add--cannot go outside to gather wood without the risk of being raped.
Another place where we waste our time is with the type of case that's in the press right now, the case of Mr. Joe Taylor. We as a committee met with Mr. Taylor, the son of a Canadian serviceman and his war bride. We're spending an incredible amount of resources fighting this case in the courts. Mr. Taylor won in the courts, a Federal Court judge ruled parts of the Citizenship Act unconstitutional, and yet the government appealed the decision at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon.
It's an incredible waste of resources. The government has to pay part of the costs incurred by Mr. Taylor, yet somehow the bureaucracy feels that they have unlimited resources to waste on stupid court battles like this. And the cases go on. There's also the case of the lost Canadians.
So it really is bothersome. Having sat around this table since 1998, I know that you really don't have a problem with members of this committee. This committee comes to an agreement. The problem we have is with assistant deputy ministers in the department and the directors of various departments. Somehow we have to make sure they do the kind of priority work that needs to be done.
You mentioned RAD. The committee went through it, and we all agreed, but we have had no movement on it. The reality is that if we had RAD, we probably could speed up the processing of the cases, and fewer cases would go to Federal Court. We could have a much more efficient system. We had that in front of this committee.
I mean, one could just go on and on here. Take the third country agreement; you're right, we didn't get that report because resources are being used to fight Mr. Joe Taylor's case and other such outrageous cases. I have had some sleepless nights over the third country agreement. The committee has always been very consistent in terms of where we saw that going.
To go back to the issues you raised, I can speak from personal experience here. This is the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution. I've been through the refugee system. I went through it when the refugee system was at its best. There was political leadership from the top. Canada was probably at its finest hour. Some of the changes made had an impact on Mr. Rahim Jaffer, who came as a refugee from Uganda.
When we want to, we can do very well. Look at what we did with the Kosovars. With an incredible herculean effort, Canadians opened up their hearts and opened up their arms. We received a lot of people from Kosovo. We can do it. But we have to get away from some of these things that waste resources, that waste people power, and that don't make sense. It doesn't make any sense to have some kid sitting in a refugee camp for a couple of years, missing out on development, missing out on becoming acclimatized to this country, missing out on going to school, just for the sake of some bureaucratic testing.
You mentioned one question about...and I'm going to raise this. As a member of Parliament, I have made recommendations for appointments. Believe it or not, on many occasions I nominated people from other political parties because I knew they were very interested in service.
That brings me to the Immigration and Refugee Board. My understanding is that no reappointments are happening. They're being cleaned out wholesale.
I know this committee talked about having competency-based.... We had the Auditor General's report, where we talked about the need to make sure there is a length of service and a length of continuity.
If you're slow in filling up the vacancies and are putting in new members, you really are going to harm the system. The committee was spectacularly unanimous, when I was in the chair, that we should not have appointments based on political considerations and that we wanted to make sure to fall in line with the Auditor General's report.
I want your commentary on that. I think this can really muck up the works for the refugee board, and you're saying there is a crisis developing. I'd like to have you make some comments on that.