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

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I also will be opposing this legislation on numerous grounds.

For instance, I find it worrying that under this legislation refugees who arrive at our border would be detained for a full year. This would include young people 16 to 18 years old who should still be protected under international law on the protection of the rights of the child.

I particularly want to ask my friend from Winnipeg North about the concern that has been raised that under this legislation refugees who have been settled in Canada, who have been granted permanent residency and who have committed no offence nor have misled anyone about obtaining that status, could be stripped of that status and deported even years after arrival.

Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, the member has raised an issue on which I would love to elaborate, if I had more time.

The reality is that if a refugee is on that safe list, comes here, is in detention for a year and then gets out of detention, the person could wait four more years before he or she could sponsor a family member. Ultimately it could be an additional three or four years at least before the child might be able to join the person in Canada. That is the type of policy direction the government is moving toward with Bill C-31. That is why I would say it is far from being a family-oriented bill. This legislation would cause all sorts of despair within the refugee community, especially for someone who gets the unfortunate label of being an irregular or coming from a safe country.