It is deeply offensive to have refugee rights limited within an omnibus budget bill

On Friday, May 3rd, 2019 in Debate, Parliament

Ms. Elizabeth May – Member for Saanich—Gulf Islands

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not pretend that I have any right to give lessons to our Minister of Finance, but I want to remind him that this is a discussion about time allocation, not about the substance. This is a question of taking a bill that is 355 pages long and rushing it through the House.

Being an omnibus budget bill, this legislation includes many provisions, some of which have been referenced here. I will join my NDP colleagues in saying that it is deeply offensive to have refugee rights limited within an omnibus budget bill.

The reality is that this is a debate on introducing time allocation, in the worst of all instances, on a critically important piece of legislation that is voluminous. If there is any respect for this place, as Parliament, discussing and debating and hearing alternate views, one does not put time allocation on a bill of over 355 pages that includes dozens of different provisions.

I will also remind the Minister of Finance that if we respected immigration and refugee rights, this legislation would be stand-alone legislation so that it would go before the committee on immigration. It would not be stuffed into a budget bill and pushed through the House on time allocation.

Hon. Bill Morneau – Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for her question, which, as she rightly points out, is focused on the issue of the day. I will, as I think is respectful to the House, answer questions that are put to me with the substance of an answer related to the substance of the question.

In the case of the member’s question, we see that it is important for us to move forward. We recognize that getting the bill to committee will allow for a deeper analysis of many of the important issues we are bringing forward to make a real difference for Canadians.

I am also looking forward to being in front of committee tomorrow for 90 minutes to have that discussion and to answer questions that are put to me.

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