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Results: 1 - 15 of 1139
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our officials as well for appearing before us today. Certainly the issue of biometrics is one that we have studied extensively in this committee. I was very pleased to be part of the team that studied Bill C-31, which was the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, in which biometrics, of course, was a key component.
Our government is committed to protecting Canadians and making it safer to travel in and out of the country. It's an effective means to combat identity fraud and the abuse of Canada's immigration system, but it's also a very effective method of identifying those who are seeking to come to Canada who have illicit backgrounds in the countries in which they live.
Do you know how many countries we currently collect biometrics from?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
I understand that biometrics is rapidly becoming the norm worldwide. In fact, I believe there are over 70 countries using this method to screen travellers already. What are the standard practices right now? How do we collect the data of people applying to come to Canada?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Certainly you've jogged a memory here. Back in 1994 there was a very bright young police officer in Toronto, Todd Baylis. Members of the committee might recall him, and certainly the general public would as well, especially in the greater Toronto area. He was 25 years old and he was in pursuit of a drug dealer by the name of Clinton Junior Gayle, who had tried to come to Canada on several occasions and somehow got into the country.
Unfortunately, in that altercation he pulled out his fully loaded semi-automatic handgun and proceeded to shoot Constable Baylis in the head and took his life. This is a perfect example of how someone who has a record of crime in the country that they're from can be identified through a biometric process.
It's important that we expand as much as possible the biometric program to ensure that we catch as many of those cases as we can, in addition, of course, to the obvious cases of keeping not only our security but the integrity of our immigration system.
Can you inform us what the plan is to implement biometrics around the world? Are there certain countries from which biometrics will be collected first?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Kurland, welcome back. It's always a pleasure to have you appear before us, sir, to share your extensive wisdom and knowledge on matters of citizenship and immigration with us.
Express entry is, of course, a form of automated decision making, as you know. I wonder if you could share with us your thoughts on this initiative thus far. Has it been successful?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
I have a question I want to ask you on automated processing, which of course is part of the provisions in the BIA that we're deliberating on today. These provisions will allow Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to administer and enforce the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act using electronic means, including enabling automated decisions to mandate the electronic submission of applications and other documents.
Can you share with us how you feel that will go? What's your prediction on the automated decision-making process? Do you think it will be as successful as the eTA?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Clearly, we believe this will be a positive step for the tourism industry.
Have you had any feedback that you'd care to share with us today?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
The automated processing and decision-making components in the BIA provide a legislative framework for us to move forward. Do you think that's an important move?
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Oh, good.
I want to go back to biometrics. Before you appeared before us today we had officials from CIC here. I brought up an example of a very tragic case in Toronto, the killing of Constable Todd Baylis by a foreign criminal who had tried to come into Canada several times, found his way in here, and unfortunately took the life of a very bright young officer who by all accounts had a bright law enforcement future in front of him and certainly would have otherwise had a long and prosperous life.
If we'd had biometrics in place back in 1994, it would potentially have identified this criminal before he came to Canada. I wonder if you can share with us your feelings on the importance of screening those who, by all accounts, would otherwise have illicit intentions.
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
On a point of order, Mr. Chair, I think when a question is asked, the minister should be allotted the time to respond without being interrupted. That's respectful of any witness we have here.
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, to your point, certainly I heard Mr. Sandhu's question. He made reference to the 5,000 number, which is an additional number of new applicants who can apply on an annual basis. Ms. Biguzs was simply putting things in context by highlighting the number of parents and grandparents who have come here.
Now, Mr. Sandhu may not like the fact that this is a record number of 70,000 that have come over the last couple of years. It's a major improvement in dealing with a backlog. I think it's important to put things in context.
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Good morning, everyone.
The exemption provided in this amendment, Mr. Chair, would allow polygamy to continue and runs counter to the objectives of Bill S-7. As the bill's title states, there should be zero tolerance for such practices occurring on Canadian soil. The proposed inadmissibility would support this goal by helping prevent polygamy from occurring in Canada by providing new tools to refuse applications from those who may be travelling to Canada to practise polygamy, and to render inadmissible those who practise polygamy once in the country. If an individual stops practising polygamy, the inadmissibility would cease to apply. If that individual is out of status in Canada, discretionary measures may be used to allow the person to remain in Canada. For example, the person may seek to stay in our country on humanitarian—
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
The amendment, and I'm giving you the reasons that the government will not be supporting the amendment, sir.
That was it. I was done.
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Chair, the government will not be supporting this amendment. The constitutional jurisdiction of the federal Parliament is to set the absolute minimum age for marriage for all Canadian residents. The proposal would result in several different absolute minimum ages. It is unclear whether the age restrictions would apply according to the province or territory where the marriage takes place or the province or territory where one or both of the couple ordinarily reside. This would lead to legal confusion for Canadians and in particular for young people who wish to marry. For those Canadian residents who marry outside of Canada, there would also be legal confusion as to which minimum age applies.
The Government of Canada agrees with the apparent intention of the proposed amendment, which is to provide additional protections to the young people who marry between 16 and the age of majority, but the government prefers to achieve that goal through the cooperation of the provinces and territories. Age 16 is also the absolute minimum age for marriage in like-minded countries, with only limited exceptions, so we're not supporting this amendment.
View Costas Menegakis Profile
CPC (ON)
We've heard from witnesses at this committee. We also heard from wide consultations the minister held across the country. We're not prepared to support this amendment. I'm just going to leave it at that for now.
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