moved for leave to introduce Bill C-339, an act to permit descendants of the United Empire Loyalists who fled the land that later became the United States of America after the 1776 American Revolution to establish a claim to the property they or their ancestors owned in the United States that was confiscated without compensation, and claim compensation for it in the Canadian courts, and to exclude from Canada any foreign person trafficking in such property.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce a bill that will be known once adopted as the Godfrey-Milliken act.
The purpose of this bill is to permit the descendants of the United Empire Loyalists whose lands were confiscated or occupied by others when they fled the United States in the years following the American Revolution to assert their claims in the Federal Court of Canada.
The court is then required to make a determination as to who the owner of the property was and order it returned to the claimant or the person otherwise entitled; to order that the claimant be compen-
sated by the payment of damages; and to list the names of the persons who are trafficking or who have trafficked in the property.
Those persons then will not be permitted to enter Canada, nor will their families be permitted to enter Canada, and they will be forced to leave Canada if they are in Canada until they return the confiscated property to the rightful owners.
The bill is quite a short one. I think it is one that will find widespread support in the House. I have had indications of support from members opposite. I am looking forward to an opportunity to present the bill.
I hope all hon. members will agree to make it votable so that we can get this bill passed with dispatch and give to Canadians the same rights that Americans enjoy under the Helms-Burton law passed in that country.
I am also aware that, on adoption of this bill, many of the difficulties of finance in the federal government will be satisfied because of the substantial awards of damages that will be available to Canadians.
I suspect that the Minister of Finance will be looking at those for taxation revenue and will be able to solve our deficit problems with the additional tax.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)