Hon. Robert K. Andras (Minister of Manpower and Immigration):
Mr. Speaker, during the consideration of the amendments to the Immigration Appeal Board Act I informed the House that the government was continuing its review of the whole field of immigration policy with an eye to Canada's long-term needs. I wish now to inform the House of the steps the government is taking to intensify work on these questions and of the schedule it has set for its completion.
The task, as I think we all recognized during recent debates, is enormous and urgent, and the government intends to proceed without delay. The first step must be to identify all the options, and for this purpose I have appointed a small group of people to deal with this task. We will need a great deal of help. I am writing today to provincial governments and to over 100 organizations enclosing a statement of the problems under study and inviting them to tell us about their particular concerns and to give us their advice. With your leave, Mr. Speaker, I am tabling copies of this statement in both official languages, pursuant to Standing Order 41(2), in each official language.
The target for the completion of this first stage, which will also involve a series of special studies, is next spring. The results will be published in the form of a document, a "green paper", which I am confident will provoke further national discussion. I want to emphasize that we will be seeking the widest possible spectrum of public opinion on the green paper. In addition to seeking the views of the provinces, the territorial governments, members of parliament and briefs from interested groups, I am proposing that a national conference on immigration and population be convened, sponsored by my department.
The green paper will, I hope, provide a good focus for debate. It will do three things particularly. First, it will identify the problems and analyse policy options in terms which will relate immigration to the kind of Canada that we might want. Second, it will review the techniques and procedures by which immigrants are recruited. Third, it will review the whole legal framework within which new policies should operate.
The end result at which we are aiming is a comprehensive policy, to be expressed in new immigration legislation for submission to parliament. Our goal is an up to date instrument to shape Canada's future immigration policy which will crucially affect and determine Canada's economic, social, cultural and demographic growth.
With leave, I should like to table the further statement in both official languages.
Sub-subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATURE OF REVIEW, PUBLICATION OF GREEN PAPER, AND NATIONAL CONFERENCE-TABLING OF STATEMENT