Madam Speaker, the question on the Order Paper of the member for Vancouver East actually dealt with a substantially different issue, so I will address both in my comments.
The question on the Order Paper related to a matter that relates to funding for language instruction classes for newcomers and settlement services. She received a response from the minister at the time, which I can reiterate and add to. The government takes very seriously the issue of the settlement of all newcomers, particularly in the case of Syrian refugees. On top of the $600 million in funding that was provided in 2016-17 to settlement agencies, an additional pocket of $37 million has been dedicated just for Syrian refugees and their resettlement. We take very seriously the issue of people not only being housed but also being linguistically trained so that they can access the workforce.
In respect of the comments of the member for Vancouver East regarding Bill C-24, I obviously have a very different description of what has transpired with respect to our tabling of legislation, Bill C-6, the significance of that tabling, what it has done, and what it will continue to do for Canadians.
The member made extensive submissions at committee with respect to one particular issue, and I will get to that issue in a moment, but by tabling Bill C-6, we have shortened the time frame for which people are eligible for citizenship. It has been reduced from four years to three years. We have rendered citizenship more accessible by restricting the citizenship testing requirements only to persons aged 18 to 55. It used to be required for anyone as young as 14 and anyone as old as 65. We have also given credit to individuals, such that time spent here prior to becoming a permanent resident can be attributed to one's citizenship eligibility on a factor of 50%, such as temporary foreign workers and international students.
Most importantly, we have also emphasized something that affects me and many members of the House, which I spoke about already in respect of Bill C-6, and that is that we have eliminated the part of the legislation brought in by the previous government which implemented a system whereby one's citizenship could be revoked based on grounds of national security, only for those people who were not born in this country. That is the point about making sure a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. I am very proud of that legislation, and the minister and the department stand behind it.
With respect to issues about revocation of citizenship based on fraud or misrepresentation, it is an important point highlighted by the member for Vancouver East. The issue of revoking citizenship for fraud has existed since 1947, since the Citizenship Act was created. Revoking for fraud maintains an important aspect of what we must do as a government. We revoke for fraud in certain instances, for example, if somebody hides the fact that they participated as a war criminal in some foreign conflict. If that is not presented to officials and is later discovered, we will intervene and revoke that citizenship. It is something Canadians expect us to do and something that this government will continue to do.
The important point raised by the member for Vancouver East, however, is the procedural protections and due process that are or are not available in such revocation contexts. I was at those committee meetings with the member opposite and we heard the submissions. They were important submissions and those changes are not taking place in this form of the bill at this juncture because of the structural and regulatory changes that would be required in terms of the overall apparatus and machinery of government.
Does that mean that they are off the table? It certainly does not. The minister answered a question on this just today in question period in respect of the possibility of looking at such changes going forward.