Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak very briefly on the amendment put forward by the hon. member for Fundy—Royal, Motion No. 10. I first want to thank him for his kind words about my role in committee. I also would like to recognize his tenacity in putting forward an amendment that did not pass through committee and which he feels very strongly about.
I do not think there were any members of the committee who sat through the 154 presentations from Canadians across the country who were not gripped by the stories of many who have worked and fought hard to come to this country and bring their families and their relatives to this country. I do not think there were many of us there who were not overwhelmed with admiration for the commitment, the nobility, in a sense, and the energy of those Canadians who worked on their behalf. It was admirable. It was what one would hope of one's citizens and one's neighbours as active participants in the activities of the country.
I would like to speak to the issue of Motion No. 10 in particular. The member put forward this motion in committee. The intent of the government's position is simply to prevent abuse of the system by persons who use the refugee determination system as a means of gaining access to Canada.
As we listened to the many who came before the committee, I do not think there was a member of the committee who was not touched by the stories, particularly of women who, when they appeared before their refugee hearings, either misinformed those present or held back information about their circumstances and their claim for refugee protection because of shame, cultural differences, historic issues or concern in terms of what it would do within their own families.
Accordingly the committee, in its wisdom, put forward a recommendation and an attempt to deal with this matter through the pre-removal risk assessment, in clause 113 of the bill, whereby people in these circumstances can come forward a second time to the PRRA to bring forward information that they withheld for whatever reason earlier in their refugee hearing, have it considered. It could allow them to gain access as a refugee to the country.
Therefore I think it is important to acknowledge that the issue the member is trying to address in Motion No. 10 has been addressed. He would like to bring it forward in a broader way, but to do so would simply take us back to the revolving door aspect that we dealt with regarding refugees prior to the bill coming into effect.
Before I resume my seat I would like to acknowledge that the member for Winnipeg Centre quite rightly identified his area as having large numbers of immigrants and refugees. My riding of Winnipeg South Centre has large numbers as well, perhaps not to the same extent as his riding but large numbers nonetheless. In his acknowledgement of the activities of associations in Manitoba, I did not hear the member acknowledge the activities of the Citizenship Council of Manitoba, an organization that has historically taken the lead in Manitoba and has expanded its services over the years to meet the needs of an evolving community. Without an acknowledgement of that organization, we would be shortchanging the many men and women in that community.
Again on the issue of Motion No. 10, I think the matters that the member is trying to address in this motion have in fact been addressed in clause 113. People should not be denied access to Canada as refugees because they are afraid to tell their stories.