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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, there are several sections of the act. Being changed are all of the following: the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act.

If I am correct in what I am hearing from the opposition benches, almost all of our criticisms relate specifically to the decision that refugee claimants who have arrived here by irregular entry, largely meaning ships but potentially other means too, would have to go into some form of internment or detention for up to a year. That is what we find most objectionable.

Is the government open to amending the act to take that out and find other means to keep track of new people who have arrived on our shores?

Corneliu Chisu: Mr. Speaker, this is an issue of public safety and security. We need to be able to determine that these refugees are not posing a threat to Canada. Sometimes when they come here with fake passports and documents, we do not know whom we are dealing with. Therefore, it is important that we put the security and safety of Canadians first.