Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member’s passionate defence of civil liberties and the rights that we have taken on internationally to protect the rights of refugees who come to our shores.
Has she examined the claim by government members that there is some kind of queue for refugees and that these people are jumping the queue? I find that the strangest part of the propaganda for this bill, the notion that there is a queue for refugees. Clearly, in my view, there is not.
I would like to hear the comments of the member for London—Fanshawe.
Irene Mathyssen: Mr. Speaker, my colleague’s question is very insightful.
The reality is, and I encounter this from time to time when I meet with my constituents, there is this notion that there is a back door and somehow people come in through that door. The truth is there is no back door. There is no front door. We have been rejecting people. We have been sending them away for years, since the government came into power.
A case in point is this. My community has a significant number of Colombian refugees. They are fleeing a draconian government. They are fleeing death sentences. They were labour leaders and business people. In fact, a family in my community right now faces being deported. Family members were told point blank by the FARC that they would be executed, so they ran to Canada, yet they are going to be deported.
My rationalization for this rejection of virtually all Colombians is that onerous and ridiculous free trade agreement that the government signed between Canada and Colombia, an agreement that never should have been signed.