March 11, 1977

DISPUTE-TILDEN RENT-A-CAR

?

Mr. Mazankowski

1. Was the recent dispute between Tilden Rent-a-Car and the Department of Transport settled and, if so, on what terms and conditions?

2. What is the total amount of money payable to Tilden, with respect to legal fees and other matters, with the settlement of this dispute?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   DISPUTE-TILDEN RENT-A-CAR
Permalink
LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Hon. Otto E. Lang (Minister of Transport):

1. Yes, the dispute with Tilden has been resolved. It was agreed that the company would be given 4th ranking for counter and car parking space and that all counters at Winnipeg International Airport would be grouped in the same general area. Tilden agreed to withdraw their suit and waive all legal action in this matter.

2. Substantiated legal costs attributable to this matter up to a maximum of $5,000 are to be allowed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   DISPUTE-TILDEN RENT-A-CAR
Permalink

LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO

PC

Mr. Marshall

Progressive Conservative

1. Has the land surrounding Westminster Hospital in London, Ontario, been declared surplus by the Department of Veterans Affairs?

2. What responsibility does the Treasury Board Advisory Committee on federal land management have in regard to the land surrounding the Hospital?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Goodale (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Ralph E. Goodale (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Privy Council):

I am informed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Treasury Board as follows: 1. No.

2. In the event that the Westminster Hospital property, in London, Ontario, would be declared surplus, the Treasury Board Advisory Committee on Federal Land Management would ensure that all relevant interests and factors are taken into account in making a recommendation to the Treasury Board on a new use for the property.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink
NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. Orlikow:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On October 12, the day parliament opened, I put a series of 60 questions, beginning with No. 216, on the order paper. These were very specific questions asking for very significant information on the number of classified positions existing in each department in certain categories and the number of occupied positions in the same category for the year 1975. These

Immigration Act

questions have been on the order paper for five months, and I hope the parliamentary secretary can promise some action.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink
LIB

Ralph Goodale (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Goodale:

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the House and to the hon. member that 1 am aware of that series of questions. As the hon. member pointed out, he is seeking rather detailed and complicated information about job positions within the public service. We are making progress in collecting the information, and I anticipate it will not be much longer before it is available.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Shall the remaining questions be allowed to stand?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   LAND SURROUNDING WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL, LONDON, ONTARIO
Permalink

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY


The House resumed, from Thursday, March 10, consideration of the motion of Mr. Cullen that Bill C-24, respecting immigration to Canada, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration.


NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, last night 1 explained in some detail why we thought this act was defective. One of the main reasons was that it permitted nearly all the questions to be dealt with by subordinate legislation or by regulation. I want to deal with the principle outlined in section 5 of the act which asserts that no person other than a Canadian citizen or resident has a right to come into or remain in Canada. This is linked with section 14 which provides that if the immigration officer is satisfied that it would not be contrary to the act or regulations to grant admission, he may grant admission after imposing terms. I would call the attention of the House to the permissive word "may" which, taken with section 5, may indeed be the means of depriving the would-be applicant of rights. In the previous act, section 27, which otherwise corresponded exactly with section 14, used the word "shall" and thereby said that an immigration officer, satisfied that all the rules had been complied with, "shall" grant admission. The new bill says that he "may" grant admission.

Couple that with the general statement that no person other than a Canadian citizen or resident has the right to enter Canada and I say it is clearly erroneous to assert that no immigrant has any rights, since he will have rights until this new legislation passes. It is true that Canada as a sovereign nation has the right to exclude or accept whatever immigrants

March 11, 1977

Immigration Act

it chooses; but parliament has legislated, and where it has legislated it has conferred statutory rights, rights which indeed may be withdrawn but which are nonetheless real. The Supreme Court of Canada has frequently referred to these statutory rights. Therefore, clause 5 as presently set out in the bill is not only bad in principle but is erroneous in law. Nor is this merely an academic matter. Immigration officials and perhaps the courts may treat immigrants as if they had no rights. I find it strange that Canada, a country built on immigration, a country most of whose inhabitants came here as immigrants under unlimited right of entry, should seek to remove all such rights.

The repeal of provisions with regard to domicile is a backward step. A person living in Canada for five years acquired Canadian domicile and was, generally speaking, not subject to deportation. That is to be changed. It is true that the Citizenship Act has shortened the period of required residence before an application can be made for citizenship, and once one is a Canadian citizen one's status with respect to deportation changes entirely. But I remind the House that there is no absolute right to citizenship and there may be good and sufficient reason why some long-time residents of Canada do not wish to obtain citizenship. The effect of removing the concept of domicile from the act will be this: long-time residents of Canada who have established their homes, businesses and residence in Canada will have no assured protection against deportation on a wide number of grounds set out in the bill.

In the bill there are extremely broad and dangerous provisions with regard to admissibility and inadmissibility. For example, one is deemed to be inadmissible if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that one is likely to engage in criminal activities. How can one tell this? It is true that there is a note to the act which says that this provision will apply to those who, although never convicted, may perhaps be associated with organized crime. But the bill itself does not mention organized crime in this connection; there is no mention of it. It merely talks about people who are likely to engage in criminal activities. That is a matter of opinion. In whose mind will the opinion be? I presume it will be in the mind of immigration officials. Would-be immigrants may be suspected of such activities.

I say that a provision which penalizes a person because that person may be guilty of something, whereas he may be guilty of absolutely nothing, does not fit into our concepts of justice or into the rules of justice as we know them. Indeed, such language suggests guilt by association. If we are going to exclude people from entry, we should at least make sure they have committed some crime or offence which renders them not suitable for admission to Canada.

Clause 19(l)(f) provides that a person cannot enter Canada if there are reasonable grounds to believe that it is likely such person will engage in or instigate the subversion by force of any government while in Canada. The language of the law used to talk about subverting any democratic government. Now it talks about subverting any government: any govern-

ment now falls within the ban. Subparagraph (g) on page 14 of the bill extends the prohibition to those classes of persons likely to engage in acts of violence which may endanger the lives or safety of persons or who are associated with an organization that is likely to engage in such acts of violence. It is possible that a person might be a member of an organization but not be aware of all its activities; they may not know that in some parts of the world it is involved in acts of violence and therefore would be entirely free from any taint of violence or violent action. If we are introducing the principle of guilt by association and banning such people, or not allowing them to enter Canada, I say that we are introducing a novel and dangerous doctrine.

I come now to clause 39 which provides that a certificate signed by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Basford) and the Solicitor General (Mr. Fox) is in itself proof of the matter stated in the certificate. Thus, the minister and the Solicitor General are given the ability, without trial, to determine if a person is to be in one of the prohibited classes. It is true that there is power to report to a special advisory board, but it is notable that this language seems to be permissive rather than obligatory. This sounds to me very much like the state of siege mentality which in many countries has resulted in the imposition of repression. I suggest that provision deprives people of their basic rights. No one, myself included, would pretend that Canada is on the verge of reaching the state of repression in respect of security matters which has deprived many peoples throughout the world of their fundamental human rights. I say that we should not start down that path by conferring on the Minister of Justice and the Solicitor General, however admirable we think they may be, such vast and ill-defined powers.

At this stage I should like to deal with some parts of the new legislation which I think deserve commendation and should be incorporated in the final version of the bill. I believe that the spelling out of objectives in clause 3 is a good idea. That clause refers to facilitating the reunion of Canadian citizens with close relatives from abroad. I think that ought to be one of our fundamental objectives. It is said in the bill that any person who seeks admission to Canada is subject to standards of admission which do not discriminate on grounds of race, ethnic origin, colour, religion or sex. It is true that much remains to be done to give greater meaning to those words. One could give illustrations; unfortunately I do not have time to do so at present. However, it is useful to have the policy of non-discrimination outlined in the bill.

It is also stated that one of the objectives of immigration is to fulfil Canada's obligations with respect to refugees and to uphold its humanitarian tradition with respect to the displaced and persecuted. With those excellent sentiments we heartily concur. Indeed, I want to be sure that the statute law which will give effect to those sentiments will enable people in that position to come to Canada. I wish some way could be found to link some of the new objectives with specific provisions to enable their enforcement. It is all very well to include excellent objectives in the bill, but unless those objectives are supported

March 11, 1977

with specific, clear legislation and machinery for enforcement they will not mean much.

Clause 109 of the new legislation is most important. It provides for consultation and agreement with the provinces on the settlement of immigrants in Canada. It seems to me that the final authority in matters of immigration, if we are to preserve the federal structure, should be the federal parliament. However, there is a very great need for far closer consultation with the provinces so that immigration policies may be in line with the planning and cultural needs of the provinces of Canada.

I believe an improvement to the act is that instead of having special inquiry officers decide on the making of deportation orders, a new class of adjudicator will be appointed. Therefore, we will not have in the future the strange spectacle of an immigration officer preparing and presenting the case against a would-be immigrant and then going around the table and deciding the case, sometimes against the immigrant. There is an old saying that no person should be a judge of his own case.

I hope every effort will be made to separate the function of the adjudicators from that of their immigration officials. They should be judicially removed from the departmental administration.

There have been improvements with regard to the definitions. The previous act contained antiquated and unworkable language with regard to health and mental illness as a ground for exclusion. This has been altered. Although, as I mentioned, we question leaving the judgment to a medical officer, this represents a very real, considerable and humane improvement in the law. Another improvement is that we have got rid of the term "commits a crime involving moral turpitude" as a ground for inadmissibility. No two persons I have ever met have agreed on what are crimes involving moral turpitude. One person's moral turpitude is another person's pleasant privilege.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink
NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Brewin:

I am glad that that phrase, which I think we borrowed from the United States, is to be eliminated from the act. I am not at all happy about the provisions in the act as they relate to appeals. At this stage, a right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Board should be granted in all cases for deportation where removal orders are made or people are refused admission. I am well aware, of course, that there was a time when we had a great backlog of cases, but the classes of those admitted have been restricted. Visitors cannot apply in Canada. There is no danger of a repetition of the bottlenecks and backlogs, and the right of appeal should be clear and simple instead of involving, as it does in the present act, a whole series of semi-intelligible phrases.

We welcome the reference to refugees. We think the provisions in the act leave much to be desired. We believe this process should be simplified and that there should be a refugee claims board to which cases of refugee status should be referred. I have not found the present methods of dealing with

Immigration Act

the matter by the immigration appeal board and the advisory board satisfactory in cases of refugees. Some members of the board seem to have very little concept of what is going on in other parts of the world. We suggest that the refugee appeal claims board should contain a senior representative of the Immigration Department, a senior representative of the Department of External Affairs and a representative of the ethnic groups and of the churches which have taken great interest not only in the admission of refugees but their cases after they have arrived here.

Let us state with absolute clarity that applicants with refugee status still have an open and full hearing. Refugees should be treated as ordinary immigrants and not be required to make their cases on economic grounds. If they are treated exactly the same as other applicants, they get no special recognition of their status as refugees. That means people fleeing from political persecution, and often very great danger, from the countries in which they live and the countries to which they belong. It may be reasonable to say there should be some plan to look after refugees in Canada, either by relatives or ethnic groups, but the normal points system and the fact they should have to establish themselves successfully in Canada should not be required.

Where there are a large number of refugees such as the Chileans and those in Argentina, Canada should be prepared to send special teams to deal quickly with those cases. This worked well in the case of the Hungarians, the Ugandans and other refugees to Canada and it is working well in other countries to get people from Chile. From the experience of some of us who travelled recently in the Argentine, it is badly needed now. I regret the fact that the minister preferred to accept the advice of certain officials-and I believe they were rather junior officials-handling the present flow of immigrants and ignored the pleas of his colleagues in three of the major parties who carefully studied the matter and reported their views to him.

In conclusion, the question of immigration is closely connected with economic problems in Canada. It is clear that if we are to maintain our present level of population-and this would indeed seem reasonable in a country of Canada's resources-we will have to provide for a regular flow of immigrants. We do not recommend an open door policy, nor do we recommend a closed door policy. We propose a moderate assessment with reasonable numbers to be admitted which would be true to Canada's past as a country built by immigrants.

We are well aware that where there are high levels of unemployment and serious economic stagnation, immigrants are often blamed and demands arise for their exclusion. The answer to that is not a rigid exclusion of immigrants but the building of an expanded economy in Canada. We are a nation in an interdependent world. Our reaction to the problems of immigration will be an important test of our acceptance of this fact.

I have made it clear that we are disappointed with this legislation, particularly because of its threat to the principles

March 11, 1977

Immigration Act

of civil liberties. Perhaps, even more so, because of the wholesale acceptance of regulations and subordinate legislation as the primary means of making the laws in this field, a means that I explained yesterday is totally unsatisfactory. We will do our best to get the act amended in committee in the way we think makes sense. We will have to consider, and are considering very carefully, whether it would be consistent for us to vote for a bill which conceals as much as it discloses.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Arthur John (Art) Lee (Parliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Art Lee (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General):

Mr. Speaker, it is with a deep sense of appreciation of the progress that Canada has made in the creation of a just and humanitarian immigration policy that I rise today to take part in this debate. I come from immigrant stock. With the exception of only two members of this Elouse, we are all the sons and daughters of immigrant forefathers, although some of us are aware that our ancestors had a more difficult time than others in gaining entry to Canada. It is because of that awareness of history that I wish to applaud the government for rejecting the recommendation of both the green paper and the special joint committee that the nominated category be eliminated. By that rejection, the principle of family reunification is maintained in this bill.

I noted with interest the remarks of the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Epp) who spoke on behalf of his party. I have read his comments and have come to the unavoidable conclusion that he and his party do not give much importance to the principle of family reunification. He is against grandparents of any age sponsored by a Canadian citizen being included in the family class and the retention of the nominated category. His rationale for rejection of the nominated category is that they congregate in the urban areas but independents do not. I am at a loss to understand this reasoning. Immigrants and Canadians go where the jobs are, and that is why this government is placing much more emphasis on its stated policies of decentralization and regional economic expansion. As a Canadian of Chinese descent who is conscious of the story of Chinese immigration to this country, I know how important the principle of family reunification has been to so many families.

Before I address the specifics of this Bill I would ask your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, in allowing me to rehearse for this House some of the facts of that story which may be of interest particularly to those hon. members who are not fully conversant with the history of the west. Following confederation, Canada's immigration policy was that of the open door. Chinese workers were recruited in large numbers to work on the railroad that was to bind this nation together. My greatgrandfather was one of those nation builders. But by 1885, while a promotional campaign was being carried out in Britain, and to a lesser extent in other European countries, to lure settlers to Canada with 'subsidized transportation and cheap land, the government brought down an act to restrict and regulate Chinese immigration. The act imposed a head tax of $50 on each Chinese immigrant. Not very many Chinese peasants could afford that. A further restriction was that no vessel was

allowed to carry more than one Chinese immigrant for each 50 tons of its tonnage.

In the early years of this century, the immigration boom was on and promotion of immigration to Canada among farmers in Britain, France, and the United States was a major concern of the government. When not enough response was seen to be coming from northwestern Europe, the campaign to woo farmers from their own countries to ours moved into southern and eastern Europe. In 1900, however, a Chinese farmer wanting to emigrate to Canada would have found that the head tax had been doubled to $100: and to be sure of its effectiveness the tax was raised in 1903 to $500, at which level it remained, for the next 20 years. Similar restrictions were contemplated for the Japanese, but were prevented by diplomatic considerations.

It is now only 70 years-the span of one lifetime-since the 1907 anti-Asiatic race riots in Vancouver. Although the head tax on Chinese immigrants had drastically curbed the number of Chinese emigrating to Canada further action was deemed necessary to discourage the influx of other Asians. So an order in council disallowed the admission of any Asian immigrants who did not come to Canada "by direct and continuous journey" from their country of origin. A further regulation required that no Asian immigrant could land on Canadian soil without $200 in his pocket. This provision did not apply to Chinese or Japanese immigrants. The former were deemed to be sufficiently deterred by the $500 head tax, and the latter were to be limited in their numbers entering Canada by their own government. One could sum up the policy of this period and the ensuing 40 years as a closed door to any nationalities which it was felt would not be easily assimilated into the dominant culture.

The restrictions eased slightly in 1923, when regulations on Asian immigrants were changed to allow entry of farmers, domestic servants and the wives and minor children of residents of Canada provided they carried $250 in landing money. It was also provisional on there being no contrary legislation. This meant that Japanese immigration was still regulated by an agreement between the Canadian and Japanese governments. Chinese immigration was controlled by the Chinese immigration act passed that same year. This act, which remained in force until 1946, limited Chinese immigration into Canada to the following categories: diplomats and their families and staff; children born in Canada of Chinese parents who had left the country to receive their education; merchants, defined as those with $2,500 invested in a business in which they had been engaged for three years and who intended to invest the same amount in a Canadian business; and students.

Those who gained entry under these regulations could not change their status. They could be deported if they engaged in manual labour. They could not land at any other port than Vancouver or Victoria. Any transportation company which carried an immigrant subsequently denied entry had to re-transport that person and pay for his maintenance costs at immigration stations. A vessel could bring to Canada only one Chinese immigrant for every 250 tons of its tonnage.

March 11, 1977

When these new regulations were in place, the $500 head tax was dropped as no longer necessary. One student of the history of Chinese immigration to Canada, Dr. Wallace Chung, has estimated that if the government were to repay the $26,500,000 taken under the head tax law, the debt-having accrued at a modest interest rate of 4 per cent per annum, compounded-would now be in the neighbourhood of S159,-000,000. As a Canadian of Chinese ancestry, I think I can say that the sons and daughters of those who paid the tax would today count it a fair price for the benefits of being members of our society.

The Chinese immigration act was repealed in 1947 and Chinese became eligible for sponsored immigration in the same way as other Asians. The continuous journey regulation in effect since 1908 was also dropped. But through the 1950s, despite an economic boom that resulted in relaxation of many, laws, discriminatory regulations against Asians continued to be enforced. In 1951, Canada signed agreements with India, Pakistan and Ceylon to admit only a limited number of their citizens over and above those eligible under the regulations governing Asiatics. In 1957, when the economic boom died, the rules governing occupational criteria were tightened. At the same time, however, there was a loosening of some regulations governing Asian immigrants to permit citizens of Canada to sponsor their spouses, minor children and elderly parents.

It was not until 1962 that unsponsored immigrants from all over the world became admissible under the same criteria, so that finally Asians, Africans, Latin Americans, and Caribbean peoples could gain admittance as unsponsored immigrants. The effect of this opening of the door was not felt for some years since preference went to professionals, skilled and technical workers. But all residents could now sponsor spouses, parents, grandparents, fiances and unmarried children. Asian and African nationalities thus gained several categories under which their loved ones could be sponsored that had always been denied them before.

In 1967, the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of race or nationality was explicitly affirmed in immigration regulations for all classes of immigrants. That principle is reaffirmed in this bill, and the government's commitment to that principle and to the principle of reuniting separated families is illustrated by the agreement between Canada and the People's Republic of China on family reunification which was obtained by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). For that, the Prime Minister will have the gratitude of many Canadians of Chinese ancestry.

Mr. Speaker, I prefaced my remarks on this bill with a brief history of Chinese and Asian immigration to Canada because I wanted to illustrate how far we have come in Canada in buttressing and developing the rights of all peoples in a nation founded on respect for the diversity of the cultures of mankind. A lot of the credit must go to those Chinese and other Asian immigrants who were pioneers in more than one sense of the word. I know that many of my ancestors met hardships in making their lives in Canada, often because of a misunderstanding of their way of life. By perseverance and patience,

Immigration Act

and by the strength they could draw from their culture, they won their right to full participation in Canadian society.

The three doctors of Chinese origin practicing in Vancouver in 1940 had become 76 practitioners by 1974. The one lawyer and one dentist had become 29 lawyers and 32 dentists. In 1940 there were no Chinese accountants or architects in the city; but by 1974 there were 18 accountants and nine architects of Chinese origin. Let no one imagine that this growth was an easy process. At the same time as they were growing up with the country, the country was growing up with them. The days of the "yellow peril" are not only gone; they are now unthinkable within the enlightened Canadian context. Canada can now address itself to the consideration of an over-all immigration policy without calling up the spectre of racism or national chauvinism. I think we have all come a long way, and we have come that way together.

I had the honour to serve as a member of the special joint committee which took the debate on the government's green paper out to the country at large. I am pleased that the government has seen fit to accept the majority of the committee's recommendations. I remember at the time that the committee was formed that some cynics-and some of them were fellow members on the committee-decried the travelling hearings as a public relations circus. Our recommendations would count for nothing, these cynics said, because the government had already made up its mind what would be in this bill we are now considering. We were nothing but window dressing, they said. The majority of our recommendations are now proposed as law. That's some window dressing! I see that as a reaffirmation of the worth of the parliamentary committee system and as proof of the government's commitment to its employment as a means of making the processes of government both accessible and responsive to the people. I therefore congratulate the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Cullen) and his predecessor, the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Andras), for the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated in responding to the committee's efforts with the formulation of this important piece of legislation.

As I said at the outset, almost all of us are of immigrant ancestry. We are all aware that this country owes its existence to the willingness of immigrants from all over the world to take a chance on Canada. It was the immigrants who opened the west, who pushed back the frontiers and who formed the agricultural basis for Canadian society after confederation. When the country developed into a modern industrial society, immigrant workers made the transition possible.

Today we have to consider the role of the immigrant in our new society. The first fact that we must acknowledge is that Canada is not facing a population problem. Nor are we facing an immigration problem, as some mini-demagogues might suggest. We are facing, instead, a problem of demographics as more and more of our people leave the rural areas for the large cities. This is perhaps one of the most important facts of modern Canadian life, and its future ramifications will be

March 11, 1977

Immigration Act

immense. By the end of this century-only 23 years now-nine out of ten Canadians will live in the cities. We do not have a population policy to deal with the stresses and strains that this mass exodus from the farms will have upon society. 1 hope that this legislation may lay the groundwork for developing such a policy.

The determination of Canada's immigration policy must eventually intermix with the establishment of a comprehensive population policy which will address the country's demographic needs. We are now experiencing zero population growth, so that the role of immigration in our society takes on a new importance. I believe the economic considerations are not paramount in determining our optimum population, since the economy is self-regulating-we are all producers and consumers. With co-operation from all levels of government, particularly the federal government, the economy could be managed so that we could use immigration to offset a static or even a declining population figure. There is little evidence that immigration causes or exacerbates inflation or unemployment, or adversely affects our balance of payments situation or creates regional disparities; and there is no reason to believe that zero population growth is necessary to maintain our accustomed standard of living.

We can, in fact, manage our economy in order to ensure that we do not lose our equilibrium. We must have an appropriate savings rate, relevant capital output ratio, a sufficient rate of capital accumulation, and adequate technological enhancement.

One major area with which the green paper did not deal, and which should be of fundamental concern to a consideration of population policy on the large scale, is the effect of the present zero population growth on my generation when it grows old and grey. The post-war baby boom-of which I and a great many more Canadians are the result-has not produced a baby boom of its own. The base of the population pyramid is therefore no longer widening. That means a downturn in eventual capital investment, and no expanding work force to support me and my contemporaries when we reach pensionable age. A recent estimate predicted that whereas today about one person is on pension for every five in the work force, by 2020 that ratio will have changed to one person on pension for every three in the work force.

Immigration can have a determining effect on that prediction since the majority of newcomers to Canada are highly skilled and young. This was pointed out as one of the shortcomings of the green paper by Dr. Andre Raynauld, former director of the Economic Council of Canada, when he appeared before the special joint committee. I agree with Dr. Raynauld that the government should certainly take this consideration into account when determining the levels of immigration.

May I call it one o'clock, Mr. Speaker?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink
LIB

Denis √Čthier (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier):

Order, please. It being one o'clock, I do now leave the chair until two o'clock p.m.

At one o'clock the House took recess.

[Mr. Lee.)

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The House resumed at 2 p.m.


LIB

Joseph-Phillippe Guay (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Joseph-Philippe Guay (Minister without Portfolio):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask for the unanimous consent of the House to withdraw Bill C-228, a private member's bill which, as you know, I can no longer put forward.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY
Permalink

March 11, 1977