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Results: 1 - 15 of 115
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-06-18 20:00 [p.18580]
Mr. Speaker, I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order or usual practice of the House:
Bill C-425, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces), shall be deemed reported back from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration without amendment.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2013-06-18 20:00 [p.18580]
Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
View Maria Mourani Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Maria Mourani Profile
2013-06-17 15:05 [p.18431]
Mr. Speaker, the situation in Syria is catastrophic. While the fiercest battles have raged in recent months, the Canadian government has even recognized the use of chemical warfare against the Syrian people. Without any help from the government, I identified 17 Canadian children who are caught up in this hell and cannot leave Syria without their immediate family—father, mother, sister or brother—who do not have Canadian citizenship. I have been forwarding this information to the minister for the past week, but he has done nothing about it.
I gave him this information again today. What does he plan to do? We are talking about the lives of 17 Canadian children.
View Jason Kenney Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jason Kenney Profile
2013-06-17 15:06 [p.18431]
Mr. Speaker, as I have explained to the hon. member, my office receives several thousand claims a month. I personally receive over 100 immigration files a week. I am sorry, but I am not a fast-food joint, and I cannot give answers to such complex cases in just a few hours.
That being said, I am happy to say that we have nearly completed processing all of the family reunification applications for people in Syria who were already in our system.
View Devinder Shory Profile
CPC (AB)
View Devinder Shory Profile
2013-06-13 14:10 [p.18294]
Mr. Speaker, the NDP has reached a new low. It is defending the interests of terrorists rather than protecting law-abiding Canadians. The NDP has been instructed to try to block my private member's bill, Bill C-425, in committee and prevent it from moving forward.
Bill C-425 would strip convicted terrorists of their Canadian citizenship. Eighty per cent of Canadians support strong measures like this to combat terrorism.
The leader of the NDP and his party are completely out of touch with Canadians.
Our Conservative government is committed to strengthening the value of Canadian citizenship. We do not think convicted terrorists deserve the privilege of calling themselves Canadians.
I urge the leader of the NDP to stop trying to dilute the values of Canadian citizenship and standing up for the interests of terrorists, and let us move forward with my bill.
View Devinder Shory Profile
CPC (AB)
View Devinder Shory Profile
2013-06-13 14:59 [p.18303]
Mr. Speaker, recently there have been disturbing reports about Canadian citizenship being used as a flag of convenience for terrorists to commit violent acts against innocent civilians.
Our Conservative government believes that Canadian citizenship should be stripped from convicted terrorists. Although the NDP leader does not stop at stop signs, the NDP is trying to stop my bill by filibustering at committee.
Can the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism inform this House where our government stands on my private member's bill, and the NDP's attempt to destroy it?
View Jason Kenney Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jason Kenney Profile
2013-06-13 14:59 [p.18303]
Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for Calgary Northeast for his bill that would strip citizenship from convicted terrorists and traitors.
Eighty percent of Canadians agree that if someone violently demonstrates their disloyalty to Canada by committing a serious act of terrorism, this should be understood as a renunciation of their loyalty to Canada and their citizenship.
Only 6% of Canadians strongly disagree with that proposition. Regrettably, that includes 100% of the NDP caucus who are leading a bizarre filibuster against Bill C-425 at the immigration committee. We call on them to listen to Canadians, let the bill go to a vote so there are consequences—
View Devinder Shory Profile
CPC (AB)
View Devinder Shory Profile
2013-05-09 10:12 [p.16539]
Mr. Speaker, I feel I need to address the question of privilege raised by my hon. colleague opposite regarding my private member's Bill C-425, which amends the Citizenship Act. From the time I tabled my bill, I have been clear in saying that I am open to friendly amendments that are in line with the aims and intent of my legislation, which is to create more pathways to integration, reward those who put their lives on the line for Canada and underscore the immense value of Canadian citizenship.
The second part of my bill revokes citizenship from a person who demonstrates deep disloyalty to Canada and Canadian values. My colleagues opposite want the House to believe that amending my bill to articulate acts of terrorism is not in line with the original intent of my bill. I can tell the House, as the author of the bill, that strengthening it to include acts of terrorism in addition to treason is well within my stated aims and intentions.
I also want to remind my colleagues opposite that as feared, the threat of terrorism has become very real to Canadians in recent days and months. I believe we, as members of Parliament and members of the committees of this House, have an obligation to take these threats seriously and need to be able to deal efficiently and effectively with the issues that touch the lives of Canadian citizens in a timely manner.
The members opposite perhaps forgot that a national poll conducted on this matter showed that over 80% Canadians agreed that the citizenship should be revoked of those who commit acts of terrorism. I hope my colleagues opposite are not using delay tactics to thwart the will of Canadians, but from this side of the House I am afraid that it looks as though they are. Perhaps they should be clear about their intentions. Do they oppose stripping citizenship from convicted terrorists? If they do, they need to come clean and say so.
Adding serious convicted terrorists to my bill wholly conforms to the spirit and intent of my legislation. I have been talking about stripping the citizenship of those who act against our Canadian values and commit violent acts of disloyalty. Being a terrorist is absolutely against our Canadian values and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
I would hope the opposition members would appreciate an extra three hours to debate my bill and make their case. Perhaps they could use the extra time to clarify their position. Do they support removing citizenship from convicted terrorists or not? Canadians need to see their Parliament able to act and act quickly in the interests of safety and security of its people.
I urge opposition members to stop playing politics with this issue as it can have dire consequences. Or they should tell Canadians why we need to keep convicted terrorists in Canada. The House should be allowed to have a debate regarding the scope of my bill, especially in the light of recent, timely events that have put homegrown terrorism front and centre in the minds of Canadians and have put Canada's reputation at stake at the international level.
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in response to the interventions made by the hon. members for Toronto Centre and Saint-Lambert concerning the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
This report contains the request that the committee be granted the power to expand the scope of Bill C-425, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (honouring the Canadian Armed Forces), such that the provisions of the bill not be limited to the Canadian Armed Forces.
One member suggested that the report itself is out of order, while the other suggested that the recommended instruction is deficient and, therefore, out of order.
I disagree with both of these assessments.
Let me address the first of these objections, the one put forward by the hon. member for Toronto Centre.
At the core of his presentation, he argued that Standing Order 97.1 excludes the possibility of a committee seeking an instruction in relation to a private member's bill, because that Standing Order enumerates three reports—not two as the honourable and learned member said—that a committee may present within 60 days of an order of reference.
The hon. member made reference to one approach to legal interpretation in support of his view. On the other hand, I would offer a different school of thought on interpretation, the mischief rule; in other words, what problem or mischief was being remedied when a law was enacted.
To this end, I would refer members to the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented during the first session of the 36th Parliament, back in 1997.
In the section on the disposition of bills by committees, the report observes:
A number of private Members' bills that have received second reading and been referred to committee have unfortunately disappeared and never been heard from again.... We are not in a position to comment on specific cases, but we do wish to prevent this situation from arising in the future.
There you go, Mr. Speaker. The intent was not to interfere with or restrict the manner in which a committee can consider legislation, but just that a committee cannot sit on a private member's bill indefinitely.
This was echoed in the Private Members' Business Practical Guide, 9th edition, which was published in October 2008 under the authority of the Clerk of the House of Commons. At page 16, under the heading of “Committee Consideration of Bills”, one reads that:
A votable Private Members' bill follows the normal procedure for a bill: if second reading is agreed to by the House, the bill is referred to a committee for the hearing of witnesses, clause-by-clause study and possible amendment.
The guide then discusses the rules that are particular to private members' bills: deadlines to report and proceedings on recommendations not to proceed further.
Nothing is suggested in this publication of the House to suggest that these types of bills are exempt from procedure on instructions.
I would further argue that Standing Order 97.1 has also not been circumvented by the eighth report. The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration remains seized by Bill C-425, and it remains subject to the 60-day sitting deadline established by that standing committee to dispose of the bill. Indeed citation 684.1 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, 6th edition, advises that:
The Instruction should not be given while a bill is still in the possession of the House but rather after it has come into the possession of the committee.
Therefore, it follows that the committee remains seized with Bill C-425 and, consequently, has not made, yet, any of the reports required by Standing Order 97.1.
Having demonstrated that Standing Order 97.1 does not exclude the ability of the House to give an instruction to a committee on a private member's bill, as argued by the hon. member for Toronto Centre, I will now turn to the argument advanced by the hon. member for Saint-Lambert about the requested instruction itself.
Instructions are not common in our contemporary practice, which page 752 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice explains:
Motions of instruction derive from British practice during the second half of the nineteenth century. They were carried over into the practice of the Canadian House of Commons, although they have rarely been used.
Therefore, I will be referring to some of our older texts and United Kingdom authorities in addition to our contemporary procedural books.
Page 752 of O'Brien and Bosc states:
Once a bill has been referred to a committee, the House may instruct the committee by way of a motion authorizing what would otherwise be beyond its powers, such as...expanding or narrowing the scope or application of a bill. A committee that so wishes may also seek an instruction from the House.
Then at page 992, the manner for committees to obtain additional powers is described. It states:
If a standing, legislative or special committee requires additional powers, they may be conferred on the committee by an order of the House...or by concurrence in a committee report requesting the conferring of those powers.
Indeed, the chair of the citizenship committee cited this at the committee's meeting on April 23, and then added, “That's what...[the hon. member for St. Catharines] is doing with his motion”.
Citation 681(2) of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, sixth edition, observes that:
The purpose of the Instruction must be supplementary and ancillary to the purpose of the bill, and must fall within the general scope and framework of the bill. It is irregular to introduce into a bill, by an Instruction to the committee, a subject which should properly form the substance of a distinct measure, having regard to usage and the general practice of enacting distinct statutes for distinct branches of law.
Citation 222 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, fourth edition, traces that proposition to an 1893 ruling of Mr. Speaker Peel of the United Kingdom House of Commons.
In the present instance, we are considering a proposal for the extension of the objects of Bill C-425. These types of instructions are explained in citation no. 686(1) of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, sixth edition. It states:
An Instruction is necessary to authorize the introduction into a bill of amendments, which extend its provisions to objects not strictly covered by the subject-matter of the bill as agreed to on the second reading, provided that these objects are cognate to its general purposes.
This statement, as distilled from citation 226(2) of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, fourth edition, quotes at length pages 398 and 399 of the 13th edition of Erskine May. There is one portion of that passage that I would like to add to the record. It states:
The object of an instruction is, therefore, to endow a committee with power whereby the committee can perfect and complete the legislation defined by the contents of the Bill, or extend the provisions of a Bill to cognate objects....
Page 559 of Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, 24th edition, offers the same abbreviated advice we saw in Beauchesne's sixth edition. The British text then goes on to recite several examples of instructions to this effect. The first bill on that list offers a compelling parallel. It states:
The Public Bodies (Admission of the Press to Meetings) Bill 1959-60 was limited to the single purpose of admitting the press to meetings. An instruction was necessary to extend the bill to the general public.
The Chair may be interested in knowing that the bill was also a private member's bill. In fact, many of the bills on that list, as I understand, were private member's bills.
As a historical aside, members may be interested in knowing that the sponsor of that 1959 bill was a then young, up-and-coming member of Parliament by the name of Margaret Thatcher. To be clear, though, the text of the instruction in relation to Mrs. Thatcher's bill bears similarities to the case now before us. The British motion is found at column 1,064 of volume 619 of the United Kingdom House of Commons Debates for March 14, 1960. It states:
...That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Bill that they have power to make provision in the Bill for requiring members of the public other than representatives of the Press to be admitted to meetings of bodies exercising public functions, and for matters arising out of their admission.
In the case of Bill C-425, we have legislation that proposes to make two changes to the Citizenship Act with reference to the Canadian Armed Forces. The eighth report simply proposes that the citizenship committee be empowered to consider amendments that extend the application of those two objects to circumstances not involving the Canadian Armed Forces specifically.
As I understand the context, it became apparent at committee that the “act of war” is not defined clearly in either our domestic law or international laws, so that those references in Bill C-425 needed to be clarified. Amendments were to be proposed to address and clarify this.
Moreover, the committee heard suggestions about convicted terrorists in the context of the provisions for deemed applications for renunciation of citizenship. Amendments were also to be proposed in this vein.
I am further informed that there was an interpretation by the committee clerk that these amendments could be outside the scope of the bill. I am also told that the 8th report, which is now before the House, was drafted with the assistance of one or more committee clerks.
This report specifically addresses what committee members have been grappling with through their study of the bill, while at the same time being careful not to hamstring their own deliberations or to risk bringing forward a report with inadmissible amendments, as contemplated at pages 775 and 776 of O'Brien and Bosc.
Additionally, there was a view that this action was consistent with the intentions of the sponsor of Bill C-425, the hon. member for Calgary Northeast.
Ultimately, it is up to the House to decide what to do with Bill C-425. The discretion of the House and the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration remains unfettered. Should a motion to concur in the 8th report be moved, the House would have a concurrence debate and vote in which all members would have an opportunity to have a say on the proposed instruction. Should the report be concurred in, the instruction to the committee would be permissive; that is to say that the committee is not mandated to amend the bill in such a manner.
Should the committee report the bill with amendments consistent with the instruction, it remains up to the House to accept the amendments, reverse them or propose further amendments when Bill C-425 is considered at report stage. Alternatively, the House retains the option of defeating the bill.
In summary, the intention of the instructions sought by the citizenship committee is not overly broad and results in an intelligible outcome. It is consistent with instructions authorizing the extension of the objects of a bill. It is for a purpose cognate to Bill C-425. It does not import a different subject matter into the bill or seek to amend other parent acts.
Finally, it does not propose an alternative scheme contradictory to the principle of the bill adopted at second reading.
Therefore, I respectfully submit that the 8th report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is admissible.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2013-05-09 10:28 [p.16541]
Mr. Speaker, I will be somewhat brief, but it is important that we be perfectly clear about what is happening here.
I sit on the citizenship and immigration committee. I am very familiar with the motion that has been proposed by the government and I want to make two quick points.
It is interesting to note that both the mover and the parliamentary secretary who spoke to this issue are implying motives in one sense. We are not using this in any form to filibuster or to prolong debate on Bill C-425, and that is important to note. We raised it as a question of privilege a couple of weeks ago because we believe it is important that private members' bills be respected for what they are as they go through the process, and you, through your office, Mr. Speaker, will be reviewing that. This is not a delay tactic in any way.
The parliamentary secretary made reference to “perfect and complete”. He is suggesting that the amendments that the government wants to propose at committee stage are going to make it “perfect and complete”, and he cites Beauchesne's and other rules of order to substantiate that comment, but what is clear is that the government, and particularly the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, intends to change the scope of the legislation.
The legislation can be best described as proposing two things. First, it would reduce the amount of time that a landed immigrant would be required to be here in Canada in order to receive his or her citizenship. As opposed to waiting three years, the individual would only be required to wait two years to acquire citizenship if that individual is a member of the Canadian Forces. That is the number one reason behind Bill C-425. Second, if a Canadian citizen commits an act of war against the Canadian Forces, that individual would be deemed to have denounced his or her Canadian citizenship.
Those were the two issues related to Bill C-425. Then guests were invited to participate in the committee hearings, and individuals started to change the focus of the bill. Then we found out that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration wanted the principle of the bill to be about terrorism as opposed to the issue of citizenship and the act of war on the Canadian Forces.
As a result, government members on committee recognized that they were attempting to change the scope of the private member's bill, and that was the reason government members put forward a motion for the bill to be brought back to the House before we went into clause-by-clause consideration: it was because they recognized that they had to change its scope.
I cannot tell the House how many times I have sat in a committee or in caucus where there has been a discussion about members not being allowed to change the scope of legislation. That is very clearly what is happening here. My concern is that the government wants to use its majority in the House to override a very important principle of private members' bills as well as the process involved with them.
Let me talk about the process of a private member's bill very briefly. First there are two hours of debate in the House, and then the bill goes to committee. The bill can be discussed for 60 hours at committee stage; it then comes back to the House, where it is debated for two hours and then ultimately voted on.
We do not want to use private members' hour as a back door for government legislation, and that is what we would be opening it to.
I caution all members of the House to review what has taken place and what the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration hopes to do. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration should be bringing in his own piece of legislation.
My advice to all members, and particularly to you, Mr. Speaker, is to protect the rights of individual members to bring in their own bills without having them hijacked by the government making changes to their scope.
View Peter Van Loan Profile
CPC (ON)
View Peter Van Loan Profile
2013-05-09 10:33 [p.16542]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to one brief point made by my friend from Winnipeg.
He cautioned you, Mr. Speaker, against allowing private members to propose legislation that might have the same scope as the government can propose in legislation. That would be a very alarming interpretation.
I understand that for the Liberal Party, it has always been about ensuring that individual members of Parliament do not have any power here. However, in the rules of the House, they do have the same power as the government to propose legislation. It is a strong power, and we believe it is important that private members be allowed that power.
There are some who argue that private members do not have as much power in this day and age as they once did. The reality is that in Parliament, more private members' legislation is becoming law than in any other Parliament in Canadian history, because we finally have a government that empowers private members in its caucus to bring forward legislation on important issues. It allows them to do that. It gives them the freedom to participate in a meaningful way in the legislative process on matters that are important to them.
I have to respectfully differ with my friend when he says that private members have to be restricted in some way, shape or form, have to be prevented from introducing meaningful legislation. The proposal from the deputy House leader is a very dangerous proposition.
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I will be extremely brief. Suffice it to say that there is clearly no privilege in this case.
No privileges of any member have been impugned because, as I pointed out in my intervention, procedurally, we are—“we” being the House—absolutely within our rights to give instructions to a committee to expand a bill.
I gave the one reference and the one example in my intervention of the 1959-1960 bill by Margaret Thatcher. The intent of that bill was to allow members of the press, and only members of the press, to attend committee hearings. Mrs. Thatcher wanted to expand that to allow members of the general public to also attend hearings. Therefore, the House gave instructions to that effect to the committee, which then made the proper amendments, and the resulting bill allowed both members of the press and the general public.
The point is that the House has the complete authority to give instructions to a committee to allow it to expand the scope of a bill. That is the procedure of this place. Therefore, there is no privilege argument to refute that.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2013-05-09 10:36 [p.16542]
I thank all hon. colleagues for their further contributions.
As the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons just stated, and as I stated last week when this issue was first brought to my attention, I am not treating this as a question of privilege but as a point of order, because it has to do with procedural reporting of the committee. There is no evidence of members' rights and privileges having been affected.
I think that when the hon. member for Toronto Centre raised this issue, he should properly have raised it as a point of order, and that is how I will be treating it.
View Maria Mourani Profile
Ind. (QC)
View Maria Mourani Profile
2013-05-07 19:43 [p.16459]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I appreciate the humanity that was evident in his remarks.
In Quebec, especially, I have met a number of families of Syrian origin who told me about Canadians who are stuck in Syria right now because their child was born there. The father and mother are Canadians, but the child is Syrian.
I can recall quite clearly that we allowed Canadian families to get visas for their immediate family during the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. I would like to know if my colleague will work with the Minister of Immigration so that we can bring these Canadian families here, as well as persecuted minorities, including Christians, Kurds, Assyrians and certain refugees—in fact, refugees in general.
I understand that Canada cannot take in everyone under the sun, but it could welcome and protect a certain number of refugees, including the little girl the minister mentioned. It would be a truly great gift to humanity.
View John Baird Profile
CPC (ON)
View John Baird Profile
2013-05-07 19:44 [p.16459]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the remarks by the hon. member from Quebec. I appreciated the tone and spirit of her comments.
If she would like, I would be willing to speak with her about this policy after question period tomorrow. Our concern is not just about the current refugees, but also about what will happen with the Christians, the Druze, the Alawites and the Ismailis after Assad leaves the government.
That is one of our biggest concerns and something we are increasingly focusing on. Not only do I appreciate her question, but I also appreciate the vast majority of the comments in her brief speech, with which I completely agreed.
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