Mr. Speaker, on November 18, 2010 my question about temporary visitor visas was not properly addressed by the hon. member for St. Catharines. I hear from my constituents that the Conservative government does not give visitors' visas out. For that reason, I am alarmed about the transparency of Canada's temporary visa determination process.
While deciding who should be allowed in Canada is important, I disagree with the government, which places too much faith in the visa officers and gives them unaccountable discretionary powers. It shows that the government does not have in place a clear temporary visa determination process, but relies on random procedures.
A person is inadmissible to Canada if he or she has been charged with a serious crime, or is a threat to Canada's security, or has been involved in crimes against humanity. However, I know people whose applications have been refused many times, even though they have never committed any of these offences. I have seen cases of people who have money, well-paid jobs, and all of whom's family members in their home countries are well established, but they still are not granted temporary visitor visas.
Many individuals have visited their Canadian relatives before for important events such as funerals, weddings, family reunions, and anniversaries, but today for no reason they are being denied temporary visitor visas. They did not break any Canadian laws. They spent their money in our great country. However, now the government denies them entrance for important family events. This is outrageous. The system is obviously contradictory and subjective.
The hon. member for St. Catharines once said that each case is assessed on its own merits and not against any pre-established minimum levels of income, property value, or family relationship. To say that is to say that the visa officers can do whatever they want because they will not be held accountable to any minimal, normal standards. This means that visa officers can exercise their discretionary powers in unaccountable ways. The system is inhumane as it fails to consider the last wishes of Canadians on their deathbeds who want to see their relatives before they die.
The government should establish an accountable process of issuing temporary visas based on compassionate grounds and create visa bonds for these persons. Visa bonds would provide insurance that these people will return to their countries of origin. A visa bond is the only viable solution to the problem of the high rate of refusal of temporary visitor visas by the government.