Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (Bill C-31)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to share briefly with the House that I used to do some refugee law. I once helped a couple of ship-jumping claimants from Halifax in the days when there was a USSR and the countries that are now former Soviet bloc had people coming to Canada. The experience I had was really heart warming. The client I helped, Nickola Marcinko, recently called me out of the blue. He is living in Oakville now. He is doing great. He has kids. He has a business. However, when he first came to Canada he was able to work. He was integrated into our community as we waited for his political refugee status to be concluded. He actually was able to contribute to society.

I wonder if the government could give us an estimate of what it would cost if we ceased to have political refugee claimants able to work in communities and support themselves, and if they are deemed irregular entries to Canada, put into a detention facility for up to a full year?

Tilly O’Neill Gordon: Mr. Speaker, I know that Bill C-31 would help our government put a stop to those who seek to abuse our generosity. It would help to get immigrants here faster. We would welcome them and be glad to have them work in our system.