Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague entirely that tourism is an important part of Canada's economy. My family and I grew up in the tourism industry on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.
However, the change in Bill C-23 is worth a critical examination. We need to be very clear that the pre-clearance that has happened to date has not created concern, but this bill adds additional powers to U.S. security officials on Canadian soil. I have not yet heard a single rationale from anyone who supports Bill C-23 as it now stands, unamended. The member will know how much I like the word “amendment”.
The bill, unamended, is not one I can support without what might be described as tweaks or amendments to ensure that anyone attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada in a pre-clearance facility has the absolute right to leave and say, “I'm going back. I'm getting out of this place. I don't want to answer anymore of your questions. Thank you very much.”
That is not clear in Bill C-23, and that is my concern. Why the change? We have had pre-clearance working just fine without Bill C-23. We can expand it to more airports, to train stations, or whatever. Why on earth do we need to give U.S. agents on Canadian soil more powers?