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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 7
 
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
 

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met at 3:30 p.m. this day, in Room 209, West Block, the Chair, Norman Doyle, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: Dave Batters, Colleen Beaumier, Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, Robert Carrier, Olivia Chow, Norman Doyle, Meili Faille, Nina Grewal, Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Ed Komarnicki and Hon. Andrew Telegdi.

 

Acting Members present: Bradley R. Trost for Wajid Khan.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Penny Becklumb, Analyst; Sandra Elgersma, Analyst.

 

Witnesses: Department of Citizenship and Immigration: Micheline Aucoin, Director General, Refugees Branch; Bruce Scoffield, Director, Operational Coordination, International Region. Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Catherine Godin, Director, Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response Group. Canadian International Development Agency: Françoise Ducros, Director General, Europe, Middle East and Maghreb Branch. Amnesty International Canada: Alex Neve, Secretary General. Canadian Council for Refugees: Elizabeth McWeeny, President; Glynis Williams, Member. Fraser Institute: Martin Collacott, Senior Fellow. As an individual: James Bissett.

 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Committee on Thursday, November 22, 2007, the Committee commenced its study of Iraqi refugees.
 

Micheline Aucoin made a statement and, with Bruce Scofield, Françoise Ducros and Catherine Godin, answered questions.

 

At 4:32 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 4:36 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 

Alex Neve, Elizabeth McWeeny, Glynis Williams, Martin Collacott and James Bissett made statements and answered questions.

 
The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.
 

Jim Karygiannis moved, — That the Committee report to the House of Commons as follows:

Further to its Second Report to the House on the loss of Canadian citizenship presented in the House on December 6, 2007, the Committee recommends that the government extend Canadian citizenship to all children born abroad of Canadian parents who were themselves born abroad of Canadian parents, provided that, when these children reach the age of twenty-four years, they confirm their intent to maintain Canadian citizenship and renew that confirmation every five years thereafter; and

That the Chair present the report in the House no later than December 12, 2007.

 

After debate, by unanimous consent, the motion was withdrawn.

 

Jim Karygiannis moved, — That the Committee send for a report from the government regarding the status of transfers of funds to the Province of Ontario pursuant to the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, and regarding analogous transfers to the other provinces.

 

The question was put on the motion and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 

Olivia Chow moved, — That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee recommend the government immediately serve notice and then proceed to abrogate the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States of America.

Debate arose thereon.

 

It was agreed, — That the debate be now adjourned.

 

On motion of Jim Karygiannis, it was agreed, — That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee request a briefing from the department on the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States of America.

 

Olivia Chow moved, — That the committee adopt the motion adopted on December 6, 2007 with regard to War Resisters as a report to the House and that the Chair present this report to the House.

Debate arose thereon.

 

Jim Karygiannis moved, — That the motion be amended by adding after the words “report to the House” the following: “before the House adjourns for the holidays”.

 

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Jim Karygiannis and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 

After debate, the question was put on the motion, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 7; NAYS: 4.

 

The motion read as follows:

That the Committee recommend that the government immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members (partners and dependents), who have refused or left military service related to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and do not have a criminal record, to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and that the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions that may have already commenced against such individuals.

 

Ed Komarnicki moved, — That the Committee append to its report a dissenting opinion from the Conservative Party, provided that it is submitted electronically to the Clerk of the Committee in time to allow for the presentation of report in the House before its adjourns for the holidays.

 

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to.

 

At 5:58 p.m., the Committee proceeded to sit in camera.

 

It was agreed, — That the Second Report of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure, which read as follows, be adopted:

In accordance with its mandate pursuant to Order made November 20, 2007, your Subcommittee has considered the question of the business of the Committee.

Your Subcommittee recommends that the unedited transcripts of Committee meetings (“Blues”) be distributed on request to interested members of the bureaucracy, media and public, provided that a clear caveat on their appropriate use accompanies them.

Your Subcommittee recommends that the televising of meetings, other than those involving the appearance of a minister, be decided on a case-by-case basis.

As to the future business of the Committee, pursuant to the motion adopted November 22, 2007, the Subcommittee recommends that the Committee undertake the following work when the House returns in the New Year, with priority given to each study as suggested by its order below:

The Committee should devote its first meeting in the New Year to the consideration of Bill C-17;

Should the House refer a Bill to the Committee to address the issue of the loss of Canadian citizenship, the Committee should immediately take it up and continue to consider it until the Committee can report the Bill to the House;

The Committee should take into consideration in this session the evidence and documentation received by the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration during the First Session of the 39th Parliament in relation to its study of refugee issues. To the end of completing the study of issues surrounding Iraqi refugees, the Committee should travel to hear witnesses in major centres across Canada as soon as possible after reporting the Bills above to the House;

At the same time as it travels to hear witnesses on Iraqi refugees, the Committee should hear witnesses in relation to its study of undocumented workers and temporary foreign workers;

Also, at the same time as it travels to hear witnesses on Iraqi refugees, the Committee should hear witnesses in relation to its study of immigration consultants; and

The Committee should request from the department a briefing on the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States of America.

Your Subcommittee recommends that, when the Committee travels, it do so between Mondays and Thursdays, to preserve Friday and weekends for constituency business.

 

It was agreed, — That the Committee send for a report from the department detailing statistics related to the registration of Canadians born abroad and to the registration of births of second-generation Canadians abroad since 1977.

 

It was agreed, — That the Chair, after consulting the Vice-Chairs and the representative of the third opposition party, be authorized to plan and to finalize the budgets and itineraries for the Committee's travel in February and/or March 2008, and to present the said budget or budgets to the Subcommittee on Budgets of the Liaison Committee; that the required staff accompany the Committee when it travels from place to place inside Canada; and that the Chair be authorized to seek an Order of Reference from the House of Commons for the Committee's travel.

 

It was agreed, — That the proposed budget in the amount of $8,350, for the study of issues related to Iraq war resisters, be adopted, and that the Chair present the said budget to the Budget Subcommittee of the Liaison Committee.

 

At 6:20 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Andrew Bartholomew Chaplin
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2008/03/05 10:15 a.m.