Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (Bill C-43)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I hope I can prevail on my hon. colleague to help me get to the bottom of an earlier answer that I got from the parliamentary secretary.

I think in error the parliamentary secretary misread clause 8 and thought it was a regulatory empowerment clause, which it is not. I trained as a lawyer and know how to do legislative drafting. Clause 8 revises section 22 of the act to give the minister discretion. It is not an empowerment section; it has nothing to do with regulation making.

I wonder if the hon. member for Edmonton—Leduc would agree with me that section 22 stands on its own. It is not about setting out regulations for the rest of the bill. It is a stand-alone section that gives the minister the discretion to refuse temporary residence if the minister is of the opinion that it is justified by public policy considerations.

James Rajotte: Mr. Speaker, with respect to discretion, the minister pointed out in response to an earlier question by a member that the minister currently has positive discretion and, therefore, the question is why the minister should not exercise negative discretion.

Also, there are public policy criteria, which I know the member opposite will know well, that the minister would use, if this legislation passes, in applying that negative discretion. I reviewed the criteria with the minister directly and I think those criteria are sufficient for guiding this minister or any future minister with respect to the use of that negative discretion.