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

Laurie Hawn: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member did not mean to refer to Nelson Mandela as a war criminal.

When I talk to immigrants in Edmonton or anywhere else, they are the ones who are most upset when people, who get away with serious crimes, come from abroad to be part of Canada as landed immigrants or permanent residents. The expression “get away with murder” is true in some cases but a little extreme in most. However, the immigrants I talk to are some of the most upset about others who do not play by the rules and take advantage of Canada’s generosity or, as some would suggest, over-generosity.

No one is suggesting that we take away people’s rights or ability to appeal, but they should not appeal endlessly for seven to ten years, time and time again, when the evidence is clear and it is simply the immigration industry prolonging the process.

The immigrants I talk to play by the rules and they expect everybody else to as well: existing Canadians, natural born Canadians and new Canadians.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for Edmonton Centre for catching me on that. I certainly did not want to refer to Nelson Mandela as a war criminal.

My point is that history is written by the victors and quite often someone who is accused in another country and called a convicted terrorist or something we would not want in Canada. However, if we lose our ability to examine particular circumstances, we lose our ability to think and to be truly Canadian.

I believe that what we want to do with this legislation is consider all the ways in which it could go awry, which, I am sure, is the minister’s intention in bringing this forward. For example, if a member of a family that has been in Canada for a long time is convicted of the misuse of a credit card or of forgery, the bill says “no more chances, you are deported”. That cannot be the Canadian way.