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Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration



Wednesday, May 15, 2019

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



     We're resuming the 161st meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and recognizing Ms. Kwan on a point of order.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    I wanted to check with the clerk's office through you, Mr. Chair. I've received 2,280 emails from the Canadian public with respect to Bill C-97 on the changes to the Immigration refugee asylum processing system. I believe this letter was sent to all of us at committee. As the vice-chair of the committee, I received them.
     I just wanted to make sure that these documents are in fact a part of the reporting out in our process here and on the public record. We should also ensure that the finance committee is advised of this information. I just want to make sure that this in fact is a process that we would follow.
    In terms of the process that's happening at the back end from a technological and a translation perspective, the documents have been received. The clerk of our committee and the clerk of the finance committee are working together to make sure there's no duplication of efforts in the translation, so that there will be a single official translation of the chain letters or the individual submissions that have been received.
    It may be appropriate in paragraph 2 of our letter to the finance committee to insert an indication of that. In the letter that we have previously discussed, we could insert a sentence right before we say, “Their contribution to this study has been very valuable and informative.” We could insert, “The committee has also received over 2,200 letters from Canadians on this topic.”
    Ms. Kwan.
    I want to make sure that it's clear in that communication, because all 2,280 emails that I received indicate that they are urging the government “to reject these amendments which would see human rights be slowly chipped away in a refugee status determination system that is considered a world leader”. I think it's very important to indicate what these emails are about in terms of their perspective, because they're not just general emails. I actually went through all 2,280 of them, and they say they do not support these provisions. I want to make sure that we communicate that clearly and share it with our counterparts in the finance committee.
    There's no real motion before the floor now. There has been a general discussion between Ms. Kwan and me on an appropriate way to address the letter.
    Okay. I will move that as a motion.
    Is there any discussion on how and whether we refer the correspondence? Everyone should have a copy of the letter before them. It doesn't have any indication in the form letter as to the content or form of the type of testimony or documents we've received. I open the floor to discussion about how we address this issue.


    Mr. Chair, can we get clarification of where this would be plotted in exactly?
    Ms. Kwan.
    I'm moving this to say that perhaps this should come from the clerk's office and be sent to the finance committee so that they have this information and all the finance committee members would be aware of it.
    We're in the public session, so I'm not talking about the letter, Mr. Chair, because that would be in violation of the rules to talk about the letter in a public session. What I'm talking about is that the documents we received from the public on this topic would be shared with the finance committee to clearly indicate that our committee has received 2,280 emails pertaining to the changes to Bill C-97 on the asylum determination process, indicating their call for the government to reject these amendments.
    In my view, Mr. Chair, that should be a communication from the clerk's office to the finance committee on our behalf.
     The motion is that the committee order the clerk to share the documents received, these communications received, with the finance committee. I would indicate that the clerks are already coordinating on this point.
    Is there unanimous consent for that order?
    Mr. Tilson.
    I believe Mr. Maguire and I will support the motion. My only concern is that, if we're going to do that, I believe all material has been sent. Maybe that's all that's been sent, those emails. If there are any emails of any type, everything should be sent.
    Our very wise clerk has anticipated your question. The order that she's drafted would read, “That the clerk share all the correspondence and briefs received...” with regard to divisions 15 and 16 to the Standing Committee on Finance.
    As you rightly point out, it wasn't just this correspondence that was received. There were also written briefs received from our witnesses.
    (Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Thank you very much.
     Seeing no further business, I call this meeting number 161 of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration adjourned.
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