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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think all of us as members of Parliament can relate many heartbreaking stories about what is going on in the immigration system. However, I want to ask the member a question about Bill C-43.

I asked one of his colleagues about the lack of ministerial discretion to make an exception on compassionate grounds. It is limited only to where a child is directly affected. However, there is sweeping discretion that is quite mind-boggling in clause 8, which states:

The minister may, on the Minister’s own initiative, declare that a foreign national…may not become a temporary resident if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by public policy considerations.

Public policy considerations are not defined.

The member’s speech, of course, spoke to deporting people. What about refusing to allow someone to become a permanent resident with no real criteria being applied?

Mike Sullivan: Mr. Speaker, I have to agree with the member that the discretion in that circumstance is very strangely put.

Without any guidelines, without any indication of exactly what a public policy consideration is, one could imagine, certainly in a third world country, a gazillion different things that would be public policy considerations that would keep people from becoming Canadian citizens.

We are not a third world country, but the same problem exists in that there is no definition, no direction and no example given of what a public policy consideration is. It is a very scary prospect.