I am happy to clarify for you, Mr. Chair. I will tell you that from time to time the chair, yourself, would like to interpret things in the way that is most convenient to you. As we engage in this debate, I was advised that a ruling was made that I could not move a notice of motion on the record. Then I went on to describe the issue I would like to discuss. You're now telling me that maybe I should move a notice of motion.
My point is that you can interpret it the way it fits your argument, the way you want, but I am going to present the issues the way I would like the public to understand the situations as they are.
As to committee business, you are absolutely right that when we deal with committee business, it often goes in camera. Committee members have an opportunity to present a notice of motion. When they present it in the bilingual format, which I have done and other committee members have done, it is dealt with in camera to discuss the business of what will be studied. That's the process.
There are times when committee members would actually put a notice of motion on the public record when committee meetings are taking place. I have done it before. Other committee members have done that before. I attempted to do that today, and I was shut down. I was disallowed. I was told that I cannot do it today. In fact, I was asked why I didn't do it like everyone else in the past. Well, everyone else in the past has actually exercised both options.
My point is this: there are studies that I think are important to this committee, studies that should be part of our committee meeting. We should engage in this discussion in the public realm. I raised one issue previously. Here's another one. I don't know whether other committee members have had this experience, but I have had tons of constituents who have come to me to say that the processing time for the permanent residence applications has been so delayed that it has significantly impacted their lives and the lives of their families.
This includes the significant processing delays of applications for permanent residency submitted by Iranian nationals, many of whom are current and former international students. They cannot move forward. Their lives are held in limbo. Their processing time is far beyond the typical processing time. Some of them have been waiting for their permanent residence applications to be processed for a couple of years. I don't know how that is normal, how it is acceptable. Perhaps the committee should turn their minds to this issue as a matter of committee business.
For example, just this week constituents came to me to say they had a major situation with what is known as “lost Canadians”, an issue where people somehow cannot have their Canadian status, some of whom are affected by what's called the 28-year rule. People all of a sudden when they turn 28 are no longer Canadian citizens. They have no Canadian status. This impacts their lives in a significant way.
Second-generation individuals born outside of the country to first-generation Canadians also don't have status. This, too, impacts their lives in a significant way. This is something that was brought up to the previous minister, and the previous minister prior to departure—