(a) Sarita Bhatla, policy adviser to the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, CIC, and Mr. Greg Fyffe, assistant deputy minister, policy and program development, CIC, accompanied the minister on her travel to Australia and New-Zealand.
(b) The total travel cost for this trip was $36,153.65. The travel cost incurred by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration was $12,457.73. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration has no information concerning hospitality costs or other expenses incurred by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and/or regional/local offices and absorbed by them.
(c) Monday, August 25—Auckland, New-Zealand
Briefing on New-Zealand Refugees issues and tour of Mangere refugee resettlement centre.
11 a.m.: Ms. Marie Sullivan, branch manager, refugee quota, New-Zealand Immigration Service, NZIS.
The minister's main focus in Auckland was her August 25 visit to the NZIS run Mangere refugee reception centre. She toured the facility, met staff, was briefed on New Zealand's offshore refugee program and held a roundtable discussion with representatives of non-governmental organizations, NGOs. The centre is managed by the refugee quota branch of NZIS and serves as the focal point for all activities relating to the identification in co-operation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, interview, selection transportation in co-operation with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration, IOM, reception, medical assessment/treatment, sponsorship and settlement of New Zealnad's annual convention refugee quota.
Noon: Informal luncheon and discussions on refugee issues with:
Ms. Jacqueline Tidbury, Regional Co-ordinator, Refugee & Migrant Services, New Zealand NGO Dr. Nagalingham Rasalingham, President, Auckland Refugee Council Ms. Marie Sullivan, NZIS Mr. William Smith, Refugee Co-ordinator, Amnesty International Mr. Keryn McDermott, Co-ordinator, Aukland Institute of Technology AIT Program, Resettlement Centre Ms. Jan Clark, Senior Policy Adviser, Risk Management, NZIS Mr. Sean Henderson, UNHCR
Topics discussed during lunch included public perceptions of refugees, settlement challenges, responsibilities of sponsors and challenges in tapping new sources of sponsorship.
Monday, August 25—Wellington, New Zealand
5 p.m.: Honourable Jack Elder, Minister of Internal Affairs, responsible for citizenship issues.
Minister Elder, responsible for citizenship, passports, the police, etc., indicated that his department is about to embark on a review of citizenship law.
7 p.m.: Official dinner hosted by Mr. Brian Watson, Acting Canadian High Commissioner.
Acting Canadian High Commissioner and Mrs. Linda Watson Hon. Lucienne Robillard Mr. Greg Fyffe, ADM policy and program development, Citizenship and Immigration Canada Ms. Sarita Bhatla, Policy Adviser to the Minister of Citisenship and Immigration Hon. Max Bradford, Minister of Immigration, Government of New Zealand Mr. John Chetwin, Chief Executive and secretary, Department of Labour, Government of New Zealand Mr. Andrew Lockhart, Acting General Manager, NZIS Mr. Peter Leniston, Manager, Policy and Evaluation Branch, NZIS Mr. Martin Treadwell, Acting Chair, Refugee Status Appeal Authority, RSAA Independent Tribunal Mr. Peter Cotton, Director, Refugee and Migrant Service NGO Mr. Arvind Zodgekar, Senior Lecturer, Sociology and Social Policy Department, University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand Mr. David Hardinge, Counsellor Immigration, Canadian High Commission, Canberra, Australia Ms. Barbara Gavan, Senior Private Secretary to Hon. Max Bradford
Tuesday, August 26—Wellington, New Zealand
9 a.m.: Overview of the Department of Labour and New Zealand Immigration Service
Mr. John Chetwin, Chief Executive and Secretary, Department of Labour
On August 26 a series of meetings was held at NZIS National Office with senior officials. Chief Executive and Secretary of the Department of Labour, John Chetwin, welcomed the minister and provided an overview of the department and its broad responsibilities.
Mr. Andrew Lockhart, Acting General Manager, NZIS
Andrew Lockhart laid out the scope of NZIS operations onshore and abroad.
Mr. Peter Leniston, Manager, Policy and Evaluation Branch, NZIS
Peter Leniston presented an overview of the government's coalition agreement which guides the present direction of NZIS policy development. The agreement focuses on New Zealand's ability to absorb newcomers, emphasizes the requirement that immigration policy must meet the country's needs and recognizes diversity.
10 a.m.: Discussion of refugee/asylum issues
Mr. Andrew Lockhart, Acting General Manager, NZIS Ms. Margaret Cantlon, Manager, Refugee Status Branch, NZIS Mr. Martin Treadwell, Acting Chair of the Refugee Status Appeal Authority, RSAA
Discussion of New Zealand's two tier asylum system. It was pointed out that New Zealand's refugee system, like much other immigration policy and procedure, is not codified in law. Rather, it exists under terms of reference issued by cabinet.
Noon: Working Lunch: Roundtable discussion on intelligence and Risk management project
Ms. Jan Clark, Senior Policy Adviser, NZIS Mr. Peter Leniston, Manager, Policy & Evaluation Branch, NZIS Ms. Anita Reedy, Policy Adviser, NZIS Mr. Andrew Lockhart, Acting General Manager, NZIS
The present level of co-operation between CIC and NZIS on enforcement issues was praised by the New Zealand side. Reference was made to the recently concluded visit to Ottawa and Vancouver by senior NZIS policy branch staff who were extremely pleased with their reception and found CIC's willingness to share insights and information of great benefit. Minister Robillard reacted positively to the comments of the New Zealanders and suggested that avenues for further co-operation, including offshore interdiction, might be pursued in the future for the mutual benefit of both countries. The discussions also covered integration issues with Mr. Leniston and Ms. Bev Hong, senior policy analyst, NZIS.
2 p.m.: Mr. Kevin Jenkins and Ms. Angela Cassidy, Policy Advisers, NZIS Update on New Zealand population conference
2.30 p.m.: Mr. David Pickering, Manager, Citizenship, Department of Internatl Affairs
In meeting with senior staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on August 26 further discussion of citizenship matters took place.
4 p.m.: Hon. Max Bradford, Minister of Immigration
Minister Robillard met with New Zealand Minister of Immigration, Hon. Max Bradford, on three occasions while she was in Wellington. Minister Bradford spoke very favorably about the co-operation that now exists between CIC and NZIS. Minister Bradford described his top priority as fixing the existing refugee determination system.
8 p.m.: Official dinner hosted by the Honourable Max Bradford & Mrs. Bradford.
Hon. Lucienne Robillard Ms. Sarita Bhatla, Policy Adviser to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Mr. Greg Fyffe, ADM Policy and Program Development, Citizenship and Immigration Canada Mr. David Hardinge, Counsellor Immigration, Canadian High Commission, Canberra The Hon. Roger Maxwell, MP, List Member of Parliament, National Party, and former Minister of Immigration Mrs. Georgina te Heuheu, MP, List Member of Parliament, National Party Mr. Murray McLean, MP, Member of Parliament for Coromandel, National Mr. Geoff Thompson, President, New Zealand National Party
Thursday August 28—Canberra, Australia
10.15 a.m.: Call on High Commissioner Brian Schumacher and High Commission staff.
11 a.m.: Meeting with the Minister of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), the Honourable Philip Ruddock.
On August 28 Minister Robillard met both formally and over a working lunch at Parliament House with Minister Ruddock. Session covered matters relating to the context for change in immigration policy within Australia.
12 p.m.: Lunch hosted by Minister Ruddock.
Following the conclusion of the luncheon meeting, which was attended by Australian politicians Opposition Immigration Shadow Minister, Chair & Deputy Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, etc., DIMA officials such as Secretary, DM, Helen Williams and High Commissioner Schumacher, Minister Robillard proceeded to the House of Representatives to observe Question Time.
2 p.m.: Briefing/roundtable discussion: The Legal Framework Opening Remarks: Mr. Mark Sullivan, DIMA Deputy Secretary
Briefing led by Mr. Des Storer, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Parliamentary, Legal and Research Division, DIMA, on Australian immigration legislative framework.
2.30 p.m.: Briefing led by Mr. Eric Brookbanks, Assistant Secretary, Business Branch & Acting First Assistant Secretary Overseas Client Services DIMA, concerning immigration control issues including removals.
Also participating in this discussion were:
Mr. Abdul Rizvi, Assistant Secretary, Migration and Temporary Entry Branch, DIMA Mr. Dario Castello, Assistant Secretary, Migration and Temporary Entry Branch, DIMA Joann Mackenzie, A/Director, Instructions and Forms Distribution and Delivery Strategies Branch, DIMA.
6.30 p.m.: Informal Dinner with Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs to discuss foreign student issues in Australia and Canada.
Friday, August 29—Canberra, Australia
9 a.m.: Briefing/Roundtable Discussion on humanitarian entry, asylum and compliance. Briefing led by Ms. Jenny Bedlington, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Client Services Division, DIMA. Also participating in this discussion were:
Philippa Godwin, Assistant Secretary, Protection and Family Residence Branch, DIMA Frank Johnston, A/Assistant, Refugee and Humanitarian Branch, DIMA Peter Job, Director Settlement Branch, DIMA Matt Kennedy, Director, Citizenship Decision Support Section, DIMA
12.30 p.m.: Official luncheon, host: Mr. Brian Schumacher, High Commissioner for Canada.
Hon. Lucienne Robillard Ms. Susanne Tongue, Principal Member, Immigration review Tribunal Independent Tribunal Mr. Jahansah Asadi, Regional Representative, UNHCR Dr. James Jupp, Director Centre for Immigration and Multicultural Studies Australian National University Mr. Andrew Metcalf, Senior Adviser, Office of the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Ms. Julianna Stackpool, Policy Adviser, Higher Education, Office of the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs Ms. Jenni Gordon, First Assistant Secretary, International, Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs Mr. Jorgen Steen Olesen, Regional Representative, IOM Ms. Philippa Godwin, Assistant Secretary, Protection and Family Residence, DIMA Mr. Bert Mowbray, General Counsel, DIMA Ms. Jenny Bedlington, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Client Services Division, DIMA Mr. A. Smith, Deputy High Commissioner, Canadian High Commission Mr. Greg Fyffe, ADM Policy and Program Development, CIC Ms. Sarita Bhatla, Policy Adviser to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Mr. David Hardinge, Counsellor, Immigration, Canadian High Commission, Canberra
Monday, September 1—Sydney, Australia
11 a.m.: Walkabout of Canadian Consulate, led by Consul General Alan Virtue and accompanied by Mr. Ian Thomson, Immigration Program Manager. Meet with consulate staff and present Locally Engaged Staff, LES, Merit Award.
12.30 p.m.: Visit to Auburn Migrant Resource Centre, followed by Working Lunch with non-governmental organizations, NGOs.
Minister Robillard met at the Auburn Migrant Resource Centre with senior representatives from an array of NGOs active in providing service to and advocacy on behalf of immigrants and refugees. Participants included a solicitor who represents asylum claimants, Refugee Council of Australia, National Council of Churches, AUSTCARE, Ethnic Communities Council, Australian Jewish Welfare Society, etc. Each of the NGO reps provided an overview of their interests, activities and concerns of the moment.
2.35 p.m.: Tour Centre and On Arrival Accomodation flats, DIMA facilities, with: Ms. Tricia Flanagan, DIMA A/Regional Manager, Paramatta, a district of Sydney
3.30 p.m.: Meeting with Fairfield Mayor, Mr. Ken Chapman, JP.
The visit to the Fairfield municipal council allowed Minister Robillard the opportunity to receive the views and experiences of a local authority on providing services to a multicultural population, 64% of whom do not speak English in their homes. A short walking tour of multicultural area, Cabramatta, in Fairfield area escorted by Mayor Chapman.
Tuesday, September 2—Sydney, Australia
- a.m.: Briefing and tour of DIMA office of The Rocks, a model DIMA operation led by Mr. Glen Smith, Regional Manager, the Rocks. Minister Robillard toured the facility and met with staff
10.30 a.m.: Meeting with Mr. Shun N. Chetty, Principal Member Chair, Refugee Review Tribunal, RRT and working lunch
Mr. Chetty briefes Minister Robillard on the independent RRT's role in hearing asylum appeals.
2.50 p.m.: Villawood Detention Centre Briefing/Tour of facility and discussion on DIMA operations in New South Wales, NSW. Led by Mr. Nick Nicholls, DIMA NSW State Director and Ms. Nelly Siegmund, NSW Onshore Protection Manager.
Wednesday, September 3—Sydney, Australia
8 a.m.: Mr. Bruce Sant, acting DIMA Airport Manager provided commentary on DIMA airport operations
(d) See part (c).
(e) Agreements or joint undertakings, initiated or planned between Canada/New Zealand and Canada/Australia during Minister Robillard's travel to Australia and New Zealand between August 24 and September 3, 1997:
- Government of New Zealand expressed interest about a staff exchange between our Departments of Immigration.
The possibility of future visa delivery co-operation was initially discussed and both Minister Robillard and the Australian Minister of Immigration and Milticultural Affairs agreed in principle to the idea of considering additional locations.
Closer formal cooperation in offshore interdiction between Canada and Australia was endorsed in principle.