I always have a difficulty, Mr. Chair, with our reporting a motion to the House without calling specific evidence before us to see what the implications of the motion are. I know we're in the habit of doing that, and I'm always in the habit of opposing that.
It would seem to me, as a very minimal requirement, that if you're going to have a report in any sense of the word, you ought to base it on something that's before us as a committee and not just have a singular motion that comes to a conclusion and gets reported to the House as a conclusion. We should have had a departmental official or officials here to say what the present existing measures are, what some of the shortfalls are with the motion being proposed, and the implications of what you're proposing.
We haven't had that, and, quite frankly, as I understand it, there are existing measures that enable spouses and common-law partners who are already in Canada to apply for permanent residence from within Canada in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class. These individuals may apply to maintain their temporary status during processing, which includes applying for study and open work permits once approval in principle is given to the permanent resident status.
There is a public policy in effect since 2005, I understand, whereby applicants who do not have legal status in Canada may also be processed as members of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class. Of course, there is some reasoning behind that. It also provides for a 60-day administrative deferral of removal, but in certain cases removal does continue.
I understand there are some programming integrity challenges with proceeding with the stay as requested in this motion. Some of those include the following.
Allowing automatic stays of removal could cause serious program integrity issues where individuals have exhausted all their other options and would have the opportunity to file a spousal sponsorship application for the delay of the removal, without assessment of their relationship or admissibility.
In addition, allowing a stay upon application to this category would likely lead to an increase in applications in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class from individuals whose relationship may not be legitimate. And there are other reasons.
Also, granting the ability to obtain work or study permits and a deferral of removal prior to the assessment of the eligibility criteria could allow those who are not in legitimate relationships the opportunity to stay and work or study in Canada.
Restricting access to a state of removal until after approval in principle is obtained prevents applicants from using the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class as an avenue to circumvent legitimate immigration processes and preserves the ability to remove individuals who are inadmissible for serious reasons.
There may be a variety of other reasons why it wouldn't make good judicial sense or good judgment to proceed with a wide and expansive motion, as Ms. Chow or Mr. Telegdi expanded on, and report it to the House asking the House to take action.
I don't think we're doing our due diligence or our duty to the House without first satisfying ourselves of what the underpinnings of this report are. I have always objected to a report going in by a motion on its own without evidence being presented before this committee, and I always will. I feel it's my responsibility to be satisfied and knowledgeable in what I'm doing, and we have nothing to base that on. I would oppose this motion for those reasons.