Madam Speaker, I am afraid I cannot agree with any of the remarks by my colleague from Vancouver Kingsway. I clearly do not have enough time to rebut the various specious arguments that he offered. I hope to do so throughout the course of the debate.
I will say two things.
First, I found the suggestion that human smuggling was a “normative” part of a refugee process shocking. It is not normative. It is not normal. It is a despicable crime and we must do everything we reasonably can to deter people from going into smuggling operations. The member has offered no alternative. If the NDP members want to be critics, that is fine. If they want to be a government in waiting, they have to offer responsible alternatives that would, in this case, deter smugglers from targeting Canada. What are the member's alternatives?
Second, I wonder if the member realizes just how extraordinarily far out of the mainstream he and his party have become. Is he aware that, as a matter of policy, the left-of-centre social democratic government of Australia detains all asylum claimants, not just smuggled asylum claimants, until their claims are determined? Is he aware that the social democratic labour government of the United Kingdom created a law to detain all asylum claimants coming from designated safe countries? Is he aware that the social democratic government of Portugal, for example, deals with claims coming from designated safe countries in nine days? Is he aware that the position of his sister parties across the democratic west is far faster and less respectful of asylum rights than what we propose in this bill?