Mr. Speaker, apparently some of my colleagues are not well-acquainted with the Standing Orders of the House of Commons and keep breaking the rules. Nevertheless, I will repeat what I was saying.
The Department of Finance releases provincial fiscal performance data. It is important to note that New Democratic provincial governments have the best fiscal performance in Canada, so I do not think my Conservative colleague is in any position to be giving me lessons on that subject, nor are my Liberal colleagues, to be sure.
Let's return to the the matter before us, the report stage study of Bill C-97. We began by reading the many motions in amendment at report stage. Members may have noticed that I presented a few, so I would like to take this opportunity to talk about those amendments.
Today we have no choice but to oppose Bill C-97 and call for the deletion of some totally unacceptable parts that have no business being in there and were harshly criticized by witnesses at the Standing Committee on Finance, which held numerous meetings about this and spent many hours on it. The fact is, some of the bill's clauses are no good and must be taken out.
Three sections the NDP wants to remove have to do with privatizing the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, whose agents are doing an excellent job of keeping passengers safe in airports and on planes across the country. The government wants to privatize this agency, a Crown corporation, in the hope of improving the services, but, given what we heard in committee, this is not the right course of action. It would be better to fund the agency and give it all the tools it needs. All revenues from airline tickets should return to the agency in full so that it can do its work properly and address the very real concerns of Canada's airports and airlines, which are at times frustrated by the agency's work—and rightly so.
That is why we need to move forward with these changes but, above all, provide this agency with resources. Privatization is never the solution, as the witnesses said. We therefore need to remove this part of the bill today to prevent this privatization. There is no doubt that this is the beginning of a federal effort to privatize air transportation and airports.
Since it took office, the government has been saying that it does not intend to privatize airports. In the beginning, the Liberals said that they were looking into the issue and were open to ideas, but they seemed to have ruled out the possibility of privatization. However, we now have proof that the government is moving forward on privatization, starting with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
Another amendment that we are proposing concerns the Hazardous Products Act. The Canadian Labour Congress has sounded the alarm in this regard, because these changes will relax the rules regarding the information available to workers about the hazardous products that they have to use every day as part of their jobs. The government kowtowed to the hazardous chemicals industry and decided to relax these rules, thereby endangering the safety of workers.
The Canadian Labour Congress was very clear in that regard, saying that the government should not move forward on this and that those rules should actually be strengthened to ensure workers across the country have access to the ingredient labels of the products they come in contact with. That would allow them to respond in the short term, in case of an accident, and in the long term, since these products could have health implications that may not be detected for years.
That is why it is important to have strict regulations to keep the list of ingredients of these products for as long as possible, so that we can properly respond to any potential health problems that may affect workers.
There is nothing surprising about the other change that we are proposing, which my colleague from Vancouver East mentioned many times. It has to do with the government's callous changes to refugee protection in Canada.
The government is pleased to have the support of one Faith Goldy. In fact, she supported the Liberals' bill that would make these changes. The Liberals criticized the Conservative leader because he was seen with her, but they are only to happy to get her approval. She applauded the government for its changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act because it closes the door on refugees. With this bill, the government is creating two classes of refugees: those who entered through regular channels and those who entered irregularly. It is creating two parallel systems, which it says will do exactly the same thing. That raises questions.
The government tried to calm the waters in committee. It made amendments to this part of the bill to appease witnesses, who unanimously stated that it was a bad idea and that the government should simply withdraw this part of the bill. However, that is not enough, and only shows the amateurism of the Liberals on this issue. The government is catering to the extreme right in Canada with this measure but, in reality, what it will do is put in place a costly and useless process for doing what is already being done at the Immigration and Refugee Board.
The department was even forced to admit that there would now be a process, known as a pre-removal risk assessment, for people who entered irregularly. The government is creating this type of hearing for refugees even though the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada already exists. The government and the department were forced to admit that there would indeed be two nearly identical processes for two types of refugees.
The government is therefore creating two classes of refugees: those who are entitled to the full process, with all the rights associated with it, such as the right to natural justice, and those who are subject to an inferior process and who will have fewer rights. This will be an expedited process that will will not always grant a hearing to asylum seekers, who have the right to be heard by an impartial person. The pre-removal risk assessment is very much a part of the immigration department and cannot be compared to the work of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, which is a quasi-judicial entity respected around the world.
The government is deciding to turn a blind eye. Instead of giving the board the resources it needs to do its job, the government is creating a parallel process. It was completely indifferent to what numerous experts said in committee. There were lawyers and representatives from international refugee protection organizations, among others. There was even a refugee, who crossed the border irregularly and lost the use of his hands in the extreme cold in Manitoba. He said that under the new rules in this bill, he would have been sent back to Ghana, where his life was in danger. This is the Liberal approach, which puts refugees in danger and sends them back to their countries of origin, as one witness pointed out. The government really missed the mark in many respects with Bill C-97.
This concludes my remarks on the report stage study of the bill, the committee's work, the testimony that was heard and the reasons I must oppose the bill today. At the very least, the most problematic parts of the bill should be taken out. We hope the government will see reason, because this is its last chance to remove the contentious provisions from this bill. I hope I have the support of all my colleagues to at least fix this awful bill.