Mr. Speaker, on November 16, I asked a question of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration about the system of patronage created by the previous government in the IRB and maintained by this government in its appointments to the board.
Indeed, there are very serious internal problems within the board between members appointed by the Conservatives and others appointed by the Liberals. That patronage had been denounced in the report commissioned by the minister himself and written by Professor James Hathaway of York University in Toronto. Unexpected and unexplained resignations and suspensions have occurred recently in that quasi-judiciary body.
For instance, we can mention the cases of Michael Schelew, deputy chairman, who is actually under a judiciary investigation; Greg Fyffe, executive director, who resigned under unexplained circumstances. Board member Singh Bal had to resign following a review of appointments by the Standing Committee on Immigration and Citizenship because he came to Canada illegally.
For all those reasons, the Bloc Quebecois has asked and will continue to ask for a thorough investigation on the general operations of the board.
I take this opportunity to once more draw to the attention of the government the genocide in Rwanda and the tragic situation of its people. Unfortunately war has not ended in that country. Thousands upon thousands of people are murdered or forced to leave their country and Canada does very little to help those refugees.
As opposition critic for citizenship and immigration, I receive complaints just about every day regarding the unjustified refusal to grant visas as well as the red tape to which Rwandans in Nairobi, Kenya, are being subjected. The government must be more open, more generous with Rwandan refugees.
Finally, I would like to say a couple of words about proposition 187, adopted by referendum in California, on November 8, during the American elections. If enacted, this proposal will deny illegal immigrants and their family, especially their children, access to health care, education and social services. The victims of this attack against fundamental human rights are, for the most part, Hispanics from Mexico and Central America.
I recently travelled to Costa Rica where I witnessed the unanimous condemnation of this proposal by the different governments of this region. The Secretary General of the OAS also criticized this measure. In the United States, President Clinton, the Conference of Catholic Bishops, and agencies fighting racial discrimination denounced this measure.
I join the thousands of Hispanics living in the United States who are protesting this proposition, and assure them of my support.