Madam Speaker, first, I want to thank the hon. member for Waterloo—Wellington for his very pertinent question.
The fact is that the federal government has made the prevention and interdiction of illegal immigrants trafficking one of its priorities, precisely for the reasons mentioned by the hon. member. Indeed, according to the report to which my colleague made reference, it is estimated that, every year, up to 16,000 people enter Canada with the help of smugglers.
Based on that report, this illegal activity may generate up to $400 million in illicit profits. In light of this, I can certainly understand the hon. member's concern. To curb such activity, Canada has made the smuggling of aliens a criminal offence entrenched in our national legislation and carrying stiff penalties.
Also, Canadian officials from a number of federal departments are co-operating with their counterparts in other UN countries on a convention on transnational organized crime. One potential related protocol would deal with the smuggling of aliens. Canadian officials are actively involved in various international initiatives, particularly those of the G-8 Lyon group on organized crime, and conducting major international consultations on the asylum policies in Europe.
At home, officials from the RCMP and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration continue to co-operate across the country and through our missions abroad to put an end to these activities.
We will continue to work together with our partners in order to fight this criminal activity and any other form of organized crime.
I can only repeat how much I share my hon. colleague's concern and that, as he indicated, both national and international solutions must be sought. This is a priority. Fighting organized crime is the solicitor general's top priority.