Mr. Speaker, the past 10 months have been a time of historic change for millions living in places like Yemen, Egypt and Libya.
Starting in Tunisia and sweeping across the Arab world, the winds of change have toppled governments and altered social structures in ways that most of us could never have foreseen. However, inasmuch as some things have changed, much has not. In places like Syria, human rights are regularly violated by the state, particularly for those practising Christianity.
Canada is known for its religious tolerance and human rights protections, and because of this, many persecuted souls have already completed their paperwork to make a new life for themselves here in Canada. In many cases, security and health checks have already occurred, and all that remains is approval from the minister and the department.
The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has it within his power to address this problem and to prevent further abuses from befalling these desperate people, so I ask why he has not done so.