Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the debate today on Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Marine Transportation Security Act. In the tradition of the government, it has given it a nickname, the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act.
Once again, as has been the case with all of the nicknames that it has come up with, it is a very misleading nickname because this bill really affects refugees far more than it will ever affect those who engage in human smuggling.
It is unfortunate with this bill that we have seen a real setback in the kind of progress we have made in this Parliament on immigration and refugee issues. We had a great example of co-operation, of cross-party co-operation, and government and opposition co-operation, with Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, which passed unanimously in this House back in June. That was a place where the government introduced a bill to address issues it saw with the refugee determination process in Canada, in an attempt to make it more efficient, to speed it up and to address some of the problems existing in that process.
The opposition had trouble with that bill, but because there was an openness to dealing with the questions that the opposition had, a better bill was created. Unanimity was found, a rare thing in this minority Parliament, and I was hopeful about that kind of process. We saw, in one of the few occasions since it has come to power in the last two Parliaments, the government's willingness to actually work with others to craft a better bill, and that is what we ended up with.
Now we are set back with Bill C-49, which takes us back and tries to reopen some of the issues that the government apparently resolved back in Bill C-11. It is trying to reopen some of the issues on which it forged a compromise with the opposition parties back in the spring in this place.
That is very troubling. It seems that when we do the job that Canadians sent us here to do, to talk to each other, to do the things that are best for Canadians, when we finally have that opportunity, the government wants to turn its back on that development in a very dramatic way by reintroducing another bill that reforms a piece of legislation we just dealt with in June.