Mr. Speaker, I commend my colleague from Surrey Central for his even-handed speech. He mentioned not only those aspects of the bill with which he disagrees but also those parts of the bill which he feels strengthens the legislation.
One of the things I did not hear him mention is a problem that I run into frequently in my duties as a member of parliament. We have the so-called brain drain which has certainly affected our country with large numbers of professionals, doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, chemists, having gone to greener pastures, having left the difficulties created by this government and the previous Tory government for them to practise their professions in this country.
I have dealt with a number of instances where doctors have applied to come to Canada at the invitation of certain medical facilities that are having a great deal of difficulty. In my rural constituency, many hospitals and many communities have lost doctors that they simply cannot replace and there are citizens who do not have the medical service that they require.
What is frustrating is that a hospital or a medical clinic may recruit a doctor from South Africa, England, Ireland or wherever, eminently qualified to perform the services that are needed. However, there is no give in Immigration Canada to provide a way for these people to come without going through sometimes years of application, reapplication and the cost involved with that. The consequence is that doctors in my experience have thrown up their hands and said “This application has gone on long enough”.
I want to ask my esteemed colleague if he and the committee have given any thought in this legislation as to how Canada might seek to improve itself by reversing the brain drain by modifying the immigration policies to accommodate this.