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House of Commons Hansard #199 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was criminal.

Topics

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thought the member for Surrey North would be asking a question on Bill C-43.

However, as he has asked about visa issues, my colleague should know that this government has brought in the maximum number of immigrants into Canada. This is the government that has been trying to fix the broken immigration system put in place by the previous government. This is the government that has issued the maximum number of visas. For example, in Chandigarh, the rate was 32%, but now it is above 50%. The member should know better.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member listens to the minister's propaganda a little too much.

It was the Liberals who established the office in Chandigarh. It was the Liberals who created the nominee program that has allowed the current government to hit the immigration numbers it is hitting. At the end of the day, we do not mind sharing our successful programs with the Conservatives, but we do take exception when they mess up on legislation. This is one of those cases. A specific example of that within Bill C-43 deals with misrepresentation.

I am sure the member is aware of unintentional misrepresentation, which occurs by accident or through a bad immigration consultant or lawyer, and a mistake is made on the application. Through Bill C-43, the government would increase the wait time from two years to five years, which seems very harsh when many innocent mistakes are made when filling out an application. That is why we have the term “unintentional misrepresentation” for issues such as immigration lawyers who give bad advice. However, with Bill C-43, there seems to be a fairly heavy consequence for this.

Why would the government not be open to an amendment that would keep the wait time at two years as opposed to five years, especially where it is proven that an unintentional mistake was made?

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Winnipeg North should know, first of all, that I am an immigrant. The vast majority of immigrants who come to this country want to work hard and play by the rules. They value Canada and seek to be productive members of our great nation.

Those who would come to this country and break our laws and victimize our fellow Canadians do not deserve a break. That is my belief, and I deal with immigrants on a day-to-day basis in my riding, because mine is one of the most multicultural ridings in Canada.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-43 is problematic. In fact, the title is the only thing that makes any sense and the only thing we all agree on. The thing that offends me the most is that the Conservatives are accusing us of trying to protect criminals and stonewalling the bill. Clearly, it will be impossible to have any kind of reasonable, intelligent debate as long as the other side of the House continues to use abusive language and give such extreme examples. They describe all kinds of horrible things for weeks, but that will do absolutely nothing to advance the debate.

I occasionally meet people in my riding who came to Canada as immigrants or refugees. They tell me that what bothers and offends them the most is to see powerful people, people with tremendous resources, who manage to beat the system and come to Canada with certain privileges. Those people are the hardest to deport in many cases. The sluggishness and inefficiency of the whole immigration system really bothers many of these people when they want to bring the rest of their family to Canada.

It makes me laugh to hear the Liberals and Conservatives argue about this, since the system's inefficiencies go back about 100 years. Both parties have been equally incompetent ever since the system was first created.

When the Conservatives decide to fix something, they always take aim at whatever is not broken. For example, although there are problems with border security and delays in processing immigration files, they find it easier to attack a very small number of people with unpronounceable surnames. They ask them to talk about all the horrible and repugnant things they have done in order to maintain a sort of fear in society. That is what they do. They put all their energy into that, instead of thinking about the issue and having an intelligent discussion with people who, like us, are actually trying to protect citizens from a minority of people with bad intentions who really represent a threat to our society.

The Conservatives are repeating all the mistakes made by Australia. This is nothing new and it is not insignificant. Canada's treatment of aboriginal peoples is based on the Australian model, which turned out to be horrible. Australians apologized and continue to work on fixing the damage they caused. More recently, they reformed their immigration system and made terrible mistakes, which they are now correcting.

Now we are implementing their model. I do not understand where the Conservatives look for their ideas. That is the danger with all extreme positions. There is no room for reflection in extremism. They only know how to be derisive instead of thinking things through. In the long run, they will destroy our country and its reputation. This is going nowhere.

The Conservatives accuse us of not wanting to collaborate or make constructive comments. However, every time they open their mouths, they accuse us of being criminals.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeMinister of Citizenship

That is odd, Mr. Speaker. The member just said that we are destroying the country because we want to expedite the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals. That is something else.

My question is very simple. Does the member agree that we should remove foreigners from this country if they have been found guilty in a Canadian criminal court and have been given a sentence of six months or more?

Does he believe that it is acceptable to delay deportation of these criminals for years, or does he believe that we should remove them as quickly as possible to keep our communities safe?

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, obviously I agree that dangerous criminals who have been given a sentence for a very serious offence should be sent home to their own country. We do not want to bring criminals to Canada; we want to bring people who will work and contribute to society.

The danger with the minister's comments is that people end up forming associations in their minds. If people only ever hear about extreme cases and base their judgment on those cases, they begin to associate temporary residents or refugees with criminals. It is that aspect of the government's attitude that I find shocking.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government and this particular Minister of Citizenship and Immigration have been soundly criticized by many stakeholders across the country in regard to the way in which the department, through the minister, is going to be treating, in particular, young individuals who come to Canada at two, three, four years of age and are raised in Canada. In essence, these children would not have had any association whatsoever with their parents' homeland and might not even speak the language of that country. Under this legislation they could be deported shortly after turning 18 or 19 years of age if they commit relatively minor, yet some would argue serious, offences such as making a video recording of a recently released movie at a movie theatre or using false identification in the United States in order to acquire a drink.

This is not what I believe Canadians want to see. This would be extreme and is one of the reasons the legislation must be amended before it is ultimately passed.

I would like the member to comment on this.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate the examples given by my colleague, even though sometimes I get the impression that I have already heard them.

The danger does not necessarily reside in specific extreme cases but in the long-term effects of such action, which would create two classes of people. In my opinion, we should start treating people who have lived here for 20 years and those who may have even been born here as citizens.

How many people could be deported without notice as a result of this legislation? In the long term, there is really no limit. Are we going to choose other categories, other types of people that we do not like?

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Rosane Doré Lefebvre NDP Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his remarks. A question came to mind as I was reading the provisions of Bill C-43. I came across the clause that prohibits the invocation of humanitarian and compassionate grounds. In my opinion, this is quite serious.

By eliminating this possibility, we are preventing the minister from taking into account the best interests of children, which goes against Canada's obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I am wondering what my colleague thinks about this about-face. Once again, the Conservatives are ignoring international rules to which Canada has already agreed.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Marc-André Morin NDP Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the precedent was already set, in their minds at least, when they spoke about imprisoning children of refugees who are considered to be irregular arrivals. It does not really bother them to deport someone to a country where he would not last five minutes because the situation there is so dire.

There are countries that have already done this and regretted it. The Americans deported many young California street gang members to El Salvador. These young people came back armed and with the support of drug trafficking networks. They are now the biggest problem in the streets of El Salvador and California.

Motions in amendmentFaster Removal of Foreign Criminals ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Barry Devolin

The time for government orders has expired.

Clarity ActStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the masks came off.

Not only did the NDP reiterate its support for the Clarity Act—legislation that allows members of the House of Commons and all of the other provincial and territorial legislatures to restrict Quebeckers' freedom to control their future—but it also added insult to injury by introducing its own bill that would give the federal Parliament the right to veto the referendum question.

The NDP is no different than the Liberals and the Conservatives. Whether they are supporting the current Clarity Act or hastily drafting a new one to try to please everyone by offending no one, their intentions are the same. They are trying to shackle Quebec and place it under trusteeship, as Claude Ryan said. And how ironic it is that a member from Toronto is the one suggesting the right questions to ask to determine the validity of a referendum on Quebec sovereignty.

Either way, what was true before the Clarity Act is still true today: the Quebec nation is master of its own fate. The National Assembly is sovereign, and when we decide to take our place at the table of nations, it will be our choice.

Elmwood—TransconaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Toet Conservative Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, 2012 was a year of many great celebrations and accomplishments for the wonderful people of Elmwood—Transcona.

From Happy Days on Henderson to Canada Day celebrations and the Transcona Centennial celebration, we gathered to celebrate our community.

From the Disraeli Freeway completion to the construction agreement for the Plessis underpass, we are working together to improve our community and to continue to support projects that will increase opportunities for employment and in valued skilled trades and economic prosperity for our community.

Our government has invested in improved lighting for sports fields, playground and building improvements for area community centres, and improvements to daycare facilities. These are the priorities of the community, and our government is helping fulfill these needs and is creating jobs for our community.

I have also had the pleasure of awarding the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal to some truly inspiring community members, each of whom has contributed his or her time and energy to make our community stronger. We each have our memories of what our community was and a vision of what it will be if we continue working together at building on a foundation of helping each other.

I am thankful for the support of my constituents whom I proudly represent.

Search and RescueStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary NDP St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, today marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Burton Winters of Mokkovik, Labrador. The 14-year-old walked 19 kilometres before he lay down on the ice, removed his hat, mitts and goggles, and died. His body was found after three days. Search and rescue was called, but the help came far too late.

Burton's family never wanted him to become the poster boy for all that is wrong with search and rescue in Newfoundland and Labrador, but he has become just that, the poster boy of needless tragedy.

Today the story in the news back home is about how the search and rescue centre in Halifax referred to the Port au Port Peninsula on Newfoundland's west coast as Port-au-Prince, as in Haiti. “It was a slip of the tongue”, they said, but in terms of search and rescue these mistakes can cost lives. That is the point that is lost on the government.

Today we remember Burton Winters and hang our heads with the shame that this child of Labrador did not have to die.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Highland Companies have withdrawn their application for the proposed megaquarry in Melancthon Township in my riding of Dufferin—Caledon.

I want to thank the members of the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce, and in particular Carl Cosack, Dale Rutledge and Fred von Veh.

I want to thank Robert and Donna Wells for their photographic and fundraising contributions.

I want to thank chef Michael Stadtlander and the organizers of Foodstock and Soupstock, which spread the message about the megaquarry well beyond the borders of Dufferin—Caledon and into the GTA.

Finally, I want to thank the tens of thousands of Canadians from all across the country who signed the petitions which I presented in this place virtually every week over the past year and a half.

Thanks to the efforts of these and countless others, prime Ontario farmland has been saved and our valuable water sources protected.

Kitsilano Coast Guard BaseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, on January 19, I attended yet another rally to save the Kitsilano coast guard base, organized by the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees in B.C.

The Jericho Sailing Centre was packed with boaters, rescue volunteers and politicians from every level of government and political party, including former Conservative MP John Cummins. Notably absent were B.C. Conservative MPs.

Vancouverites will not back down. A City of Vancouver study and experts from the Vancouver police and fire departments confirm that the closure of Kitsilano base will increase response times by up to 60 minutes and will cost lives. They are not impressed by the government's solution to dock a Zodiac in Coal Harbour staffed by volunteers during summer, when it is in winter that a few minutes in frigid water can mean death.

What is worse, the federal government never consulted the city nor the province prior to these decisions which directly affect British Columbians. This disrespect for regional governments and stubborn disregard of expert advice has become a dangerous pattern. Keep Kitsilano base open.

Dorothy KostrzewaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to celebrate the life of a remarkable woman, Dorothy Kostrzewa. Born Dorothy Chung on August 17, 1928, she and her family would survive a devastating fire that destroyed Chilliwack's Chinatown. While others left, her family would stay and Chilliwack is grateful that they did.

In 1971, Dorothy was elected to Chilliwack's city council, making her the first Chinese Canadian woman to hold elected office in Canada. It would be a position she would hold for 31 years. The accolades she received for public service are too numerous to mention, so allow me to provide just a few highlights. Dorothy was awarded the Order of Chilliwack. She was named the woman of the year, millennium woman of the year and one of one hundred Chinese Canadians making a difference in B.C.

While the community mourns the passing of Chilliwack's grand lady, we celebrate her incredible legacy. We are thankful for having had the privilege of knowing her and thank her family for sharing this remarkable woman with us.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, a family in my riding is currently awaiting extradition to Mexico, where they really fear for their safety.

These people left Mexico in 2009 to flee the armed assaults and blackmail they were being subjected to. They found refuge in my riding, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

Today the parents have good jobs at a Canadian company. Their two daughters are doing well at school. They all speak excellent French and are very active in their community. They are an example of an immigration success story.

Unfortunately, their refugee claim was denied and they are now living in fear. No one flees their homeland without good reason. This family had friends, a business and a whole life there. They fled Mexico because they had no other choice.

Last Saturday over 200 people came together to show their support. On behalf of all those people, I humbly ask the minister to intervene.

This family is a credit to our community. These parents must be allowed to raise their daughters here, in a safe place.

Carnaval des CompagnonsStatements By Members

January 29th, 2013 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Aspin Conservative Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize an important cultural event held by the francophone community in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming. Later this week, Les Compagnons will celebrate their 50th annual winter carnival, c'est vrai, leur anniversaire d'or, from February 1 to February 10.

The Carnaval des Compagnons is the second largest French-Canadian carnival in Canada. It attracts visitors from all over the region who want to celebrate la Francophonie and experience a truly unique cultural event.

As their member, I am proud of the Carnaval des Compagnons. I encourage my colleagues to make the trip to North Bay this week and join in the fun.

In the words of Les Compagnons, “S'amuser au carnaval, y a pas de mal”.

Come out and enjoy.

Calgary CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joan Crockatt Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank the voters of Calgary Centre for electing me to represent them in Canada's Parliament. I am tremendously grateful for their support and I am determined to represent every constituent in my riding to the best of my ability.

I would also like to thank the members from Papineau, Ottawa South and Outremont for their contributions to my success, however inadvertent.

I am honoured to represent the heart of the new west at this pivotal moment in Canada's history, when our nation is poised to become a global superpower, thanks in large part to generations of visionaries from Calgary Centre who seized opportunity. Not only have they built an industry that is providing jobs from coast to coast to coast, but they have also inspired folks in every region to seize their own opportunities for resource development.

This is our national dream for the 21st century and I look forward to working with all members of the House to achieve our destiny.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 31, right in the middle of the holidays, the Suarez family received a letter from the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism for the deportation of Omar Andrés Burgos Suarez, 14, and his mother, Édith Suarez Gutiérrez. The family has been living a nightmare ever since.

Young Omar arrived in Canada in 2008 and has since fully integrated into his host society. He speaks French perfectly and is doing very well in a number of his courses at École secondaire de Chambly, which he has been attending for more than three years.

I would like to point out that my entire community wants to help the Suarez family. The students and teachers at École secondaire de Chambly gave me a petition signed by more than 500 people asking the ministers concerned to review this file.

Therefore, I am asking the Minister of Public Safety to grant a stay of removal in order to allow young Omar to finish his school year. I am also asking the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to show compassion and to review this file so that mother and son can remain with their family here in Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Conservative Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, during the report stage debate of Bill C-43, the faster removal of foreign criminals act, I was shocked to hear several NDP MPs repeat that they do not believe that criminals convicted with a sentence of six months or more have not committed serious crimes and should not be deported from Canada. That is right. The NDP does not think that criminals convicted of crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery and theft, assault with a weapon, or even sexual assault, have committed serious crimes.

With today's shameful comments, they have made it clear that they, in fact, want to make it harder for serious criminals to be deported from our country. The NDP has proven once again that it will always put the interests of criminals first.

It is our Conservative government that is standing up for victims and law-abiding citizens and it is only our Conservative government that will put the safety and security of Canadians first, always.

The Conservative GovernmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault NDP Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the break I met with a number of Canadians who shared their concerns with me.

I met with people who are worried about the changes to EI and how they will negatively impact the agricultural sector.

I met with people who are very worried about underemployment and who are having a hard time making ends meet.

I met with people whose communities do not have the resources they desperately need for infrastructure.

I met with organizations representing persons with disabilities and veterans that are watching the government slowly withdraw the crucial support they depend on.

I remind the members opposite that these are also their fellow Canadians. When the government hurts Canadians and these members do nothing, they are also responsible.

It is a new year; they must remember that they have been called upon to represent all Canadians and not to pick and choose.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks, Canadians from coast to coast to coast have faced chilling deep-freezes. These annual deep-freezes are nothing new in Canada. Every year, Canadians budget for increased home heating bills. Every year, Canadians make sacrifices to pay those bills. That is why our government has taken steps to make life more affordable for Canadians. Since 2006, we have cut taxes more than 140 times.

However, while our government is cutting taxes, the NDP is proposing a massive $21 billion job-killing carbon tax that would increase the cost of gas, groceries and home heating. For Canadians struggling to stay warm this winter, it is clear which party is on their side: our Conservative government.

Superintendent of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an accomplished educator, Robert Mills, director general of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, which encompasses primary, secondary and professional schools in the western Montreal region.

Mr. Mills was recently named the 2012 Superintendent of the Year by the Canadian Association of School Administrators. He was also awarded the Xerox Excellence in Educational Leadership Award at the CASA national conference in July 2012.

Throughout the many stages of a career that began in the classroom, Bob Mills has helped manage major changes in Quebec's educational system, some truly tectonic, such as the transition from confessional school boards to linguistic boards. The mark of a true leader, Bob Mills had the foresight to partner and plan for difficult challenges ahead so as to preserve the exceptional educational programs that have defined Lester B. Person School Board's reputation for excellence.

A nation that values education is one that will know social progress and economic prosperity. On behalf of all members of the House, I thank Bob Mills for his recognized contribution to making Canada such a nation.