Mr. Speaker, I have a pretty formal response that I could deliver to the hon. member across the way, but I think I will dispense with that. I would simply point out that this is not a prime facia case of privilege and I could point to page 50 of Marleau and Montpetit where Erskine May is quoted as saying:
Parliamentary privilege is the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by each House collectively...and by Members of each House individually, without which they could not discharge their functions--
I could go on along that line, but I will simply say that if the member would refer to his own party's 1993 red book, it states:
We should continue to target immigration levels of approximately one percent of the population each year--
One per cent of the population would mean from 1995--I have given the member the benefit of the doubt--to the time the Liberals ceased to be the government, they fell short of their target by about 943,000 people.
I want to point to the 2000 Auditor General's report where she analyzed Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Here is what she said about the annual plan that was presented to Parliament:
The annual plan is based on the federal government's current direction to accept annually a number of immigrants equalling up to one percent of Canada's population.
The Auditor General was labouring under the same illusion apparently that I was, which is that the previous government really meant what it said when it put one per cent down as its target.
I would simply say that not only is the member wrong about what I said in the House, he in fact does not even know the facts about what his own party committed to in 1993. The fact is that he and his party fell short of their commitment by close to one million people. I wish he would read his own platform before he gets up and makes a claim like the one he has made today.