March 15, 1977

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Goodaie:

Mr. Speaker, that would be our intention. Of course, it will depend on whether the debate on the immigration bill proceeds to conclusion today. If that is not the case, it will be our intention to proceed with it tomorrow, barring some unforeseen development about which we do not know at the moment.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the House business question posed last Thursday the government House leader indicated that he was not quite sure in what order he would be calling the Unemployment Insurance Act and the transportation act. Almost a week having passed, can the government indicate what business will be following the completion of the immigration bill tomorrow?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Goodaie:

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if I can give the hon. member a firm indication at this stage. In a preliminary way, however, I suggest to him that the unemployment legislation will follow the immigration legislation.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Thank you very much.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Orders of the day.

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Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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GOVERNMENT ORDERS

IMMIGRATION ACT, 1976 AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT CHANGES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY


The House resumed, from Monday, March 14, 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.


PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lincoln M. Alexander (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, in continuing the debate you will recall that last night I tried to make the point in forceful terms regarding the contribution that has been made, can be made and will be made by immigrants who come to Canada, including the visible minorities. I tried to bring to the attention of this House that notwithstanding the great contribution they have made, people from all over the world, of all races, colour and creed, some of them because of very high visibility, have been meeting certain

March 15, 1977

problems the like of which have been explored and been brought to the attention of this nation. That is why, just before I concluded last night, I indicated that I was pleased with the activities of the Ontario human rights commission, the attitude and activities of the hon. Roy McMurtry and the introduction of the Canadian human rights legislation. At the same time I commended the Minister of Justice (Mr. Basford) for his role in that regard and indicated why I supported the "hate" bill.

These men and/or legislation are not actually talking about or legislating morality or love. That is not the point. What these men and these matters I have referred to in terms of legislation are doing, and will continue to do in my estimation, is spell out the type of conduct and/or attitudes which one finds unacceptable in this country at the present time. This is a type of unacceptable conduct that has been geared toward people who can be called progressive, intelligent, tough, proud, ambitious and law-abiding, many of whom are within the visible minorities.

In my travels throughout this country I have found that there are people from all backgrounds living, working and playing together, all dedicated to the advancement of a greater Canada. It is my view that Canadians as a whole will welcome this type of stuff, if you will, notwithstanding the irrational ravings of the bigots and racists. In my travels I found that the vast majority of Canadians realize that immigrants have built this country, are building it now and will continue to build it. Immigrants played a leading role in the mainstream of Canadian life. Success stories abound. At the same time, I found that there are many people, perhaps too many, who have conveniently forgotten that they are recent immigrants themselves and thus would deny the opportunities that they had as immigrants by saying, "Close the door. We do not need any more".

Frankly, that is not an attitude which permeates the immigrant society, but it appeared on these trips of ours across the country too often. I found that the immigrants who come to this country, regardless of race, colour, creed or sex, have integrated and become a meaningful part of the mainstream of Canadian life. I say without hesitation that Canada will need a continuous stream of immigrants. Although certain temporary difficulties arise, there is no denying that the benefits of immigration have proven to be permanent and meaningful.

On this fact-finding tour, if you will, that many of us had the honour of pursuing, I am pleased to say that the non-partisan committee was able to destroy many myths regarding immigrants. I think it is edifying for the Canadian public to know what this excellent committee was able to recommend. I would ask you, sir, to direct your attention to issue 53 of the Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the House of Commons. On page 7 we read the following:

Canada needs immigrants. The committee is of the opinion that Canada should continue to be a country of immigration. In reaching this central conclusion committee members were particularly impressed by demographic and

Immigration Act

economic arguments as well as by the need to take account of family and humanitarian considerations for reasons specified elsewhere.

That is clear enough, and I commend the committee for reaching such a conclusion. We have heard much about the demographic factors and the declining fertility rate. What did the special joint committee have to say about this? I quote again from the report at page 9:

The committee is well aware that in a time of high unemployment new immigrants may be seen by the unemployed in particular as competing for too few jobs... The committee accepted Dr. Harvey Lithwick's assertion that it is disastrous for the country to tie immigration policy to short-term economic developments. Immigration is a long-term investment in human resources. Its conclusion from this body of evidence was that for population reasons it is important to maintain a moderately steady flow of immigration.

I should like to bring yet another section of the same report to the attention of the House:

Contradictory testimony was received regarding the significance of the contribution an expansionist immigration policy could make to the economies of scale. In the main, members of the committee went along with Dr. Raynauld's comment that this argument that immigration should be continued because it contributes to economies of scale was a very weak one. The committee believes that the benefits of immigration are obvious providing there are reasonable employment opportunities. Of course, immigration causes some special direct costs, as the brief of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council pointed out, particularly in the fields of education, training and adjustment services. But these costs are balanced by the fact that immigrants arrive with training and experience acquired at no cost to Canada. All of this leads the committee to the conclusion that Canada would contribute to its own economic well-being by continuing to welcome immigrants in moderate numbers.

What about the fact of prejudice against immigrants? I want to quote from the report once again because this issue was dealt with very specifically and the committee did reach a conclusion in this regard. I read from page 10 of the report:

A persistent theme of submissions hostile to immigration was the view that immigrants crowd into cities, exacerbating housing shortages, increasing the crime rate, bringing in infectious diseases, taxing the welfare rolls and government services and taking jobs from Canadians. The Mayor of Vancouver made the point that immigration to Vancouver had exercised great pressure on land and therefore on housing prices; immigrants had brought talent, money and culture, but they had not brought land. This is primarily a spatial question, not a racial question.

The committee recognizes that all these are problems faced by rapidly growing cities, and concluded that they are caused by the economic, social and cultural dynamism of cities and their attractiveness to Canadians and immigrants alike. In fact, Canadians migrating within Canada from the country to the cities and from province to province are the main impulse for city growth.

In other words, when we talk of the harmful effects of immigration upon housing, social services, education, and so on, we are expressing a scapegoat philosophy. The committee destroyed that myth as it applies to employment, social services and the other services referred to. I again quote the report:

Similar misconceptions also abound regarding the impact of immigration on social services and benefits and health care. None of the testimony supported with facts the popular notion that newcomers are using these services more than the native-born. If anything, the committee has the impression that use of such services by immigrants falls below the national average for the obvious reason that many come from countries where such services are traditionally provided by the family. Indeed, it would appear that interprovincial and rural-to-urban migrants make greater use of government support than persons from abroad.

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Reading further from the report:

Nor do immigrants participate less actively in the work force than long-term residents. Selection criteria are designed to ensure that newcomers are well equipped to secure employment.

That is an extremely important point. Another aspect was dealt with later in the report. I read from page 11:

Some submissions contained allegations that immigrants, especially the nonwhite, contribute disproportionately to the crime rate. Expert testimony did not support this charge. Professor Frederick Zemans of Osgoode Hall said:

"Most immigrants who come to Canada have a strong fear of the legal system itself and they are very concerned that they should not get into any difficulties or any trouble while in this country."

And in a study prepared for the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada in 1974, statistics indicated that the crime rate for immigrants was approximately one-half that for native-born Canadians.

So I am saying, what a tremendous wealth of human resource we have when we open our arms and welcome immigrants, because they make a tremendous contribution to this country, and the myths associated with them are destroyed as far as this committee is concerned. I hope the people of Canada will read this report because it destroys myths and it brings about a proper conception of what this country is all about.

Having said that, I should like to state that this bill is silent on two important matters. I would say that one is the need for intensive training for immigration officials. Many submissions indicated to us, without exaggeration, the hardship which people suffer as a result of the insentivity of some immigration officers or because the officers lack understanding of their needs. It seems to me that because of the mosaic pattern of life we are experiencing at this time we need to concentrate on the public relations aspect of this work. I know that immigration officers have a difficult job, an onerous job, but it is a job where no insensitivity should be shown. People come to this country willing to take up the plow, willing to take up the shovel, and they expect to be treated with all the dignity possible. But some are unimpressed by the reception they get at our ports of entry.

Another point which I find a little strange, particularly in light of the fact that the immigration policy we are discussing is supposed to be non-discriminatory, is that there is no mention of the need for the relocation of Canadian immigration officers abroad. I state with all the sincerity I can muster that without this relocation of officers, the small number of Canadian officers in third world countries compared with the number in the United States and Europe indicates a de facto policy of discrimination; there can be no doubt about that. In view of the preamble to this legislation which calls for a non-discriminatiory approach, I hope the minister will review and reassess the point I have made. With so few coming from the third world and so many coming from the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, the only conclusion that can be reached is that we are discriminating. I shall not dwell on that point because I think it is quite obvious.

Another point I have always registered my concern about is legislation by way of regulation. I want to dwell on this subject for a moment. The joint committee recommendations strongly favoured a stronger balance of the act; that is, the framework, the principles and the regulations. Under the present system, immigration law comprises mainly statutes enacted by parliament and regulations introduced by the government from time to time under the authority granted by the Immigration Act. The committee sees no alternative but to maintain the balance between the basic act, which establishes the framework and the principles, and the regulations which set out the procedures for putting the principles into effect. That statement is to be found in section 1976 of the joint committee report. Section 177 of the same report reads:

However, as the green paper admitted, the essential criteria governing admissions to Canada are dispersed through the (present) act and regulations (somewhat haphazardly). This makes it unnecessarily complicated for anyone who merely reads the act to grasp the fundamental principles and conditions that surround the admission of immigrants and non-immigrants.

Under this new legislation there is no effective balance between it and the regulations, and one cannot possibly grasp the fundamental principles and conditions surrounding the admission of immigrants and non-immigrants merely by reading Bill C-24. Our spokesman on this matter, the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Epp), in no uncertain terms registered his concern about this particular approach. One cannot evaluate the immigration procedures of the government because they have not exposed the essential criteria which govern admission to Canada. The regulations must be made available. In view of the regulatory process, which I will deal with shortly, we cannot possibly deal with this legislation unless there is a concerted effort on the part of all of us to impress upon the minister responsible for immigration that unless we see the regulations we are back to where we were before, namely, legislating by way of regulation. This I find completely unacceptable.

Instead of an effective balance between the act and the regulations, this new bill yields more power than ever into the hands of the minister, the governor in council and the bureaucrats. If anything, this bill is even more arbitrary than the act. Aside from the powers of the minister and the governor in council, which are extensive indeed, clause 123 provides:

The minister or deputy minister, as the case may be, may authorize such persons employed in the public service of Canada as he deems proper to exercise or perform any of the powers, duties and functions that may or are required to be exercised or performed by him under this act or the regulations .. . and any such duty, power or function performed or exercised by any person so authorized shall be deemed to have been performed or exercised by the minister or the deputy minister, as the case may be.

That is a complete abdication of powers to persons unknown, and that is wrong, particularly when one notes that the former act gave such delegation of powers only to the minister; and he could only delegate those powers to the deputy minister or to the director. This particular provision in the new legislation only intensifies the already arbitrary nature of the Immigration Act.

March 15, 1977

Let me give the House an idea of what we are talking about in terms of legislation by way of regulation. Here we have a bill some 75 pages in length which at the moment contains 129 clauses. There are two clauses in particular I should like to draw to Your Honour's attention. The first is 115, which provides:

(1) The governor in council may make regulations-

Then follow, as I count them, some 22 different subject matters with which the government can deal by way of regulation.

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

Walter David Baker (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baker (Grenville-Carleton):

Major areas.

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

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

Yes, major areas, matters of concern, matters which have the immigrant community exercised, frustrated and fearful. In light of this fear, which I suggest is extremely legitimate, we have another reason for wanting to see what the regulations will be so we can make sufficient input to the legislation in terms of possible amendments. In light of another provision in this same clause I can understand why the visible minorities in particular are, to say the least, fearful. Subsection (2) provides:

A regulation made under subsection (1)-

In other words, under any of the 22 paragraphs of the previous subsection.

-may be conditional or unconditional, qualified or unqualified, and may be general or restricted to a person or class of persons.

The possible impact of those words, Mr. Speaker, make even me fearful. We are receiving letters from immigrants, regardless who they may be, asking what this provision means and how it is going to affect them. I suggest we will have to examine this particular provision with a great deal of care. To carry the matter further, Mr. Speaker, clause 116 provides:

The minister may make regulations

(a) establishing the procedures to be followed-

And so on. Under this particular clause we have 12 very important matters which are to be dealt with by regulation. In other words, the bill itself is meaningless; it does not mean a thing because the actual meat of the bill will be contained within regulations. I have no doubt of this whatsoever. We are moving in the wrong direction because we are legislating immigration law by way of regulation outside of parliament. We have a hidden immigration policy with no opportunity for debate. Is that fair, Mr. Speaker? We indicated to the minister during committee hearings and when we reported back that we would find unacceptable any bill that dealt with immigration policy through regulation.

I should like to refer to a couple of matters in the bill that have even me frightened. First, let me turn to clause 115(l)(o). I understand the need for this, but I do not like it. Paragraph (o) provides:

-setting out the circumstances in which persons who seek admission or persons in Canada, other than Canadian citizens, may be required to be fingerprinted or photographed or otherwise identified.

Immigration Act

What is this country coming to? What are we doing? The minister was careful to say "other than Canadian citizens", but does the minister not understand that countless thousands of people have been resident in this country for upward of 50 years? Are they included? Under this legislation they certainly are. That is the other frightening aspect that disturbs me. I want to know why the minister picks on residents who have been here upward of 50 years. What are we doing?

Another matter which surprises me, and I do not understand it, is that the minister seems to abrogate his functions to the public trustees in the provinces. As is known, upon the death of a person who does not have an immediate family, his assets, depending on his domicile or residence at the time of his death, go to the public trustee of the province. Everyone knows that; this knowledge is not restricted. But the minister, with all his expertise, seems to want to get involved with provincial jurisdictions. Have there been discussions with respect to that? Paragraph (1) reads;

-providing for the disposition of property carried by persons who die in Canada while at an immigrant station or other place in the custody or under the supervision of an immigration officer.

"Custody" and "supervision" can mean a number of things. It can mean that an immigrant could be under custody and supervision living in my home. I know the law, and I could refuse admission to an immigration officer wishing to dispose of the assets of the deceased. That is how far this thing can go.

I have a few more points to make. The government has made a pretty big deal out of its dedication to a demographic policy. This point was brought home by my colleague, the hon. member for Provencher, who was concerned about dealing with an immigration bill when we do not have a demographic policy before us. The government has taken great pains to stress the fact that demographic considerations are extremely important. The bill states, in clause 3, that demographic studies are one of its objectives, and it also stresses in clause 7 the importance of provincial consultation over demography. Yet when the minister is asked to table the report on demographic studies so that members of parliament can make an educated assessment of the bill, the minister's response is, "I will consider it". If, in fact, the demographic and population policy is to be one of the major factors affecting the determination of immigration levels, and perhaps even the points system, it too must be evaluated as an integral part of the new Immigration Act.

What I am trying to say is that when we bring in a bill of such consequence and importance, it must not only be fair and just but it must appear to be fair and just. In my humble estimation, with regard to the points I have made regarding legislating by way of regulations alone, I am led to have second thoughts as to whether I am prepared to vote for this bill on second reading. Our party's critic has indicated that we agree with the principle, but there is so much lacking in the bill because at present it is neither fair nor appears to be fair- I am sure hon. members on both sides of the House will agree with me in that regard-that a great amount of work will have

Immigration Act

to be done by members of the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration in order to bring about meaningful amendments to this immigration bill which will determine the immigration policy of this country for years to come.

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

Mr. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Mr. Speaker, in speaking on this bill, as we did a year ago when we debated Bill C-20 on citizenship, it is quite inevitable, because of the nature of the subject matter, that we approach it with strong emotions and that we inject our own personal experiences, as was the case last night in particular in the interventions of hon. members who spoke about their past when they first came to Canada an their experiences in subsequent years as well as their feelings for this country.

I thought these were very valuable contributions because they brought into the heart of this House a series of personal experiences which, even though they may be limited to the personal past of a particular member, allow the House and those interested in this topic to understand, at least in part, what immigration is all about in human terms, not only in legislative terms. Within that context I should like to compliment, also, the hon. member for Hamilton West (Mr. Alexander) who is now leaving the chamber. Since I always compliment him when he is out of the chamber, I rush to do so now so that at least he can hear a positive comment on my part while he is still here. His interventions last night and today were thoughtful and to the point and certainly contributed to the quality of this debate.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

For these reasons, and having heard his personal experiences, I will refrain from speaking about my own. That should be the subject matter of an intervention at another time. Instead, I would like, first of all, to express some words of congratulations to the government for having brought out a bill at this point after having made it possible for a committee to travel throughout the country and to consult communities from coast to coast on this matter.

Therefore, we are now engaged in one of the final stages of a process which was initiated several years ago. I do not know of any government in the world that has approached such a sensitive area of policy-making in the way the government of Canada has. In that respect this Liberal government deserves congratulations for having brought this bill step by step to this point after having heard witnesses and having heard criticism from interested members on all sides of the House. This fact should not be forgotten. There has been a process, and the process is as important as is the objective, and so far the process has been sound and constructive.

Immigration has been described in many ways. I do not think I can improve on the way it has been put by a number of hon. members who have spoken before me. I will say that in my own experience from observations over the past 25 or more years I have consistently come to the conclusion that the average immigrant who comes to Canada from any part of the world as an adult is, in economic and cultural terms, an asset.

I will explain that. He or she arrives in this country as a person who has been been brought up and educated as a healthy individual at the expense of another jurisdiction. That immigrant has been taken care of for the first 20 or 30 years of his or her life in another country. He or she arrives here immediately able to enter the labour market and immediately in a position to earn a living and to contribute to the general economy of this notion.

When this is not so it is because of manpower dislocations and delays which are mainly the fault of our system. It cannot be attributed to the intense desire of the immigrant to find a job upon arrival, to become productive, to earn a living, to spend and to contribute to the general economic cycle.

This country has benefited from landed immigrants who have come to this country during the productive part of their lives. This country has acquired a human asset without having spent a penny for the education, the upbringing or for the healthy condition of individuals who have come here. If we look back over the decades to the year zero of immigration, we find that there have been immigrants working on the railways, the farms, the mines, the construction sites and the factories of Canada. There is not one sector of Canada's industrial and economic life in which we do not find, at a certain time in our history, the presence of immigrants. It is a well known fact that as a country we have looked upon immigration as a source of manpower to fill our needs. In this respect Canada has done very well. Canada has, in fact, done extremely well because it has been able to import productive manpower at no expense without having to invest in the education, health or upbringing of that manpower. As far as the labour market objective is concerned, which is one of the three objectives of our immigration policy, our nation has done extremely well.

As the years have gone by a trend has developed in immigration flow which has been described as the reunification of families. Immigrants coming to this country sooner or later have expressed the natural desire to bring over family members. This trend has become stronger as the number of immigrants has increased and accumulated over the decades. This is a very important and highly desirable component of our immigration policy and it is recognized in clause 3 of this bill. As we all know, the strength of a nation depends on the strength of families and on the network of their composition, and by recognizing the importance of family reunification the government of Canada recognizes a very important social and natural force which has to find expression in legislation. I commend the minister and the government for setting this out in clause 3 of the bill.

However, I have to add that while our intentions have been set out in these positive terms, for which we are all very glad and grateful, our performance in family reunification has not been as good as we have claimed it to be. There are still cases on file of brothers sponsoring brothers, brothers sponsoring sisters, sisters sponsoring brothers, and sisters and immigrants who after a few years have expressed a natural desire to

March 15, 1977

sponsor their parents to come to this country. These cases are on file in a number of offices around the world and they have been turned down or not considered favourably.

These are typical cases of family reunification which are of great importance in the sense that they are cases of people wanting to bring members of their families closer to them. I urge the minister and the government to translate into reality a concept which has been expressed time and again, if it is really the desire of this country and of this government to bring about family reunification. Just for the sake of argument, if I were minister of manpower and immigration in these times of economic difficulty I would make family reunification a matter of top priority.

My second priority would be refugees, and my third priority would be to help fill the vacancies in our labour market. I do not know how I could stress more strongly the importance of family reunification. There is not a week that goes by for any hon. member who comes from an urban area in which he does not become acquainted with a case of this nature. If we accept the proposition I made a few moments ago, that for each productive immigrant we acquire at no expense a human asset which is immediately productive, depending on labour market conditions, surely we owe something to this person who has a natural desire to reunite with members of his family who are still in his country of origin. I think that is an elementary consideration which deserves the expression it receives in clause 3, but it also deserves practical application which goes beyond the words we hear outlined in speeches in this House in connection with this bill, and under other circumstances.

Some hon. members have made reference to clause 115. It is my opinion, as well as theirs, that this clause is the real heart of this bill. This bill can perhaps be compared to a fine-looking ship ready to be launched. The direction the bill will take once it is launched is embodied in clause 115. In that clause are outlined all kinds of powers which must be brought to the attention of the committee: they must be discussed, they must be made the subject of parliamentary scrutiny. Nothing less than that is adequate.

Let me explain why. In recent times we have had the benefit of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Other Statutory Instruments. In the investigations that committee has carried out it has become evident that the spirit, the letter and the general trend of legislation on many occasions has not been respected by the content of subsequently drafted regulations. Having had the benefit of that experience, it seems reasonable that this House and the government should make absolutely certain that the regulations follow the spirit of the objectives stated in clause 3 of the bill. I would like to commend the minister for already having taken a stand on this matter. On March 10 the minister spoke in this House and he said:

The new act... establishes through the statement of objectives an explicit policy framework to which everything done under the authority of the legislation must conform; and it spells out precisely and circumscribes specifically the ground to be covered by regulations.

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Those are positive words on the part of the minister and we all congratulate him for having spoken them. However, we are not eternal in general terms, even less eternal in political terms-excepting, perhaps, the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). It is, therefore, necessary to spell out these regulations in order to allow them to become the object of parliamentary scrutiny so that it is clear and established to all interested persons that they extend to the direction and objectives set out in clause 3. I would not want, years or decades from now, to have perhaps the deputy minister of the department given the responsibility of drafting or modifying regulations flowing from this bill. I would not want in the course of time to see regulations or decisions inconsistent with the spirit of this bill.

I was stunned by clause 115(1 )(f) which provides that the governor in council may make regulations-

-prescribing a system of priorities for the processing of applications made by immigrants.

What does that mean? Does it mean that at a certain time years from now a certain directive may go out from the office of the deputy minister to the office in Hong Kong saying that certain applications at the bottom of the pile will go to the top, or vice versa? Or could the same be done in Rome, Lisbon, Athens or South America? What does it mean? That clause has sweeping implications. Other clauses, too, have potential significance in this regard. I suppose we shall have an opportunity to examine them in committee. I am thinking particularly of paragraphs (a) and (b) of clause 115(1), the clause which has to do with the setting out of points.

We feel that the real purport of the bill, the real sense of direction, the method of dealing with applications, is contained in clause 115. That clause must be given full scrutiny at committee stage, and I suppose at subsequent stages, when regulations must be changed in future once the bill is pronounced an act of parliament.

In the fairly large number of briefs we have received from communities and interested parties in the country-some briefs have been helpful and excellent; others somewhat confused, even weakening their own case-attention has mainly been focused on four or five major areas which I wish to put on record for the sake of our collective memory when we deal with the bill in committee. A number of briefs have expressed the desirability of limiting the government's power to compel prospective immigrants to Canada to be fingerprinted or photographed. That provision is contained in subclause (o), clause 115(1). It will require an explanation.

Other briefs have recommended the desirability of specifying the amount of security deposited which immigration officers may require of visitors in order that such officers will not set prohibitively large sums to keep visitors out. Provision for such security is contained in clause 8. Other briefs have expressed the desirability of clarifying and restricting the powers and use of arrest without warrant. People want to know when arrests will be permitted, and under what circumstances, without use of a warrant. I believe some of these points were

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raised in the excellent presentation of the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Brewin). I believe he also referred to the provisions of clause 5(2), which reads:

An immigrant may be granted landing if he is not a member of an inadmissible class and otherwise meets the requirements of this act and the regulations.

The question is, should an applicant who has proven to be admissible and has met all the requirements of the act and regulations be admitted, period, or should we leave discretionary powers in the hands of the officials, something we would be doing if we left the word "may" in the act. I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Greenwood that "may" should be replaced by "shall".

We received a number of submissions to do with refugees. Such recommendations boil down to whether it will be desirable to establish a refugee claims board and whether there should be in the act some recognition of the special needs of refugees. Probably the minister will in committee address himself to these major questions. I imagine that if they are dealt with clearly and adequately it would remove much of the uncertainty and hesitancy which has been expressed by members who have spoken so far in this debate and by organizations-particularly in Montreal and Toronto-which have taken the trouble to send us briefs and express their views on this legislation.

Moving on, I wish briefly to deal with aspects of the bill which I hope the government will reconsider. I am thinking of clauses 14 and 15 which give power to immigration officers to grant a visa to an applicant provided the applicant is willing to go to certain designated areas in the country. For example, the applicant will be required to remain-that is, reside-in such area for a minimum of six months. I do not approve of this approach, for we can achieve much more with incentives than with coercion.

Let me give an example. Suppose an immigrant is told that he can enter this country provided he goes to a remote area and stays there for six months. He or she will go to that remote area and, finding the experience so filled with hardship, on the 181st day after landing in Canada, or six months and one day later, will pop up in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or any other of our major centres. I ask: if that happens, what have you achieved? You will still have an immigrant in a large urban centre where you hoped he would not go. He will not have remained where you wanted him to remain. In other words, you will have provided manpower in one place on a short-term basis and denied the worker the right to move for six months. What will you have achieved in the end? It seems to me that this clause ought to be removed.

I would rather see a policy whereby we provided incentives to go to a certain place in Canada and settle there. These incentives would have to be such things as good housing, adequate pay, cultural recreation, community amenities, and the like. The people would not stay for just six months but would possibly settle there. In addition, they may bring in their relatives to help expand the very community we want to have

(Mr. Caccia.]

developed. It is through these kinds of approaches, via the route of incentives, that we may be able to find a satisfactory answer to the particular concern of providing immigrant manpower in those areas of Canada were there is a shortage and where development is needed. The approach of six months' compulsory work in designated areas does not convince me. For the reasons I have just outlined, it falls far short of its objective.

The second area I would like to deal with, because it disturbs me, is clause 115 (a) and (b). If an immigrant becomes a Canadian citizen, he will have the opportunity of sponsoring parents and grandparents at any age, at an age lower than the one permitted under the present act, namely 60. We are, in essence, saying to these people that if they want to sponsor their parents they had better become Canadian citizens. We are confusing two concepts, the concept of citizenship and the concept of sponsoring parents. We are mixing up two very important concepts that ought not to be mixed. If you want to become a Canadian citizen, it ought to be that you want to be a Canadian citizen, and for no other reason. It must be your choice, desire, ambition, emotional wish that this is what you are going to do. You should become a Canadian citizen because of the love you have for this country, not because you want to sponsor your parents. Those two concepts must be kept separate. Who would deny anyone the desire, wish and initiative of sponsoring his or her parents? If you can prove that you can take care of your parents, let that be done regardless of whether the applicant is a Canadian citizen.

We have perhaps the most outstanding record in the world whereby we do not deny to any resident of Canada, whether he is an immigrant or a Canadian citizen, any right except that of voting. We treat landed immigrants the same as residents and native Canadians. In this area we have done extremely well. We should continue this fine approach by not mixing the two concepts. Canadian citizenship is too fine and pure a concept to be mixed up with any other goals, no matter how understandable or desirable. We must continue to have the aim of Canadian citizenship for its own sake. Someone who wishes to bring in his parents and can prove he can do so satisfactorily ought to be allowed to do so without having imposed upon him the necessity of acquiring Canadian citizenship. In committee I would like the benefit of an explanation of the thinking of the minister and his officials when they arrived at this conclusion.

I fail to understand the rationale of these two parts of the bill.

I wish to say a few words about farm labourers and migrants in connection with the very fine speech made last evening by the hon. member for Lambton-Kent (Mr. Holmes). Toward the end of his speech he put forward some very interesting observations on the question of the requirement of farmers for migrant labour. One can understand the necessity, but we must recognize that when we encourage temporary migration to Canada for some weeks or months every year we bring in a labour force that has to contribute to our social security system without being in the position of being able to draw benefits from it.

March 15, 1977

People who work here for a few months during the summer have to contribute to our unemployment insurance, old age security and other social security systems. They may do this year after year throughout their lives. However, when the need arises either at the time of retirement or unemployment they do not benefit from our social security programs as we know them and as they protect landed immigrants and resident Canadians. We should have a system in Canada whereby the farmer pays decent wages, provides decent housing and decent working hours. In this way we could draw from our own labour market rather than attract migrant workers. If this trend, however, is to continue, we must come to some form of international agreement with the countries from which we receive migrant workers. We must have bilateral agreements which give some protection to these workers. If we do not do that, we should over the years shift the emphasis in a way that would permit us to draw from the labour pool that we have in Canada. We cannot have it both ways.

I wish to deal briefly with immigration settlement and adjustment, the role of the volunteer sector and of the department. The vast majority of our immigrants settle in our large urban-centres, although they have arrived from rural areas. On arrival, people encounter difficult situations. These problems may continue for some time after their settlement in the respective cities. If the department is not able to assist immigrants in their orientation to local services, employers and the rights and duties in this country, it should help the volunteer agencies that are active in the day to day operations, in our major centres in particular. In Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, there are a number of volunteer agencies involved in this kind of work. Every year they desperately seek financial assurance that they will be able to survive the next year and continue to operate under the kind of budget with which the federal government may or may not provide them. This kind of uncertainty and insecurity prompts me to appeal to the minister to look into the question of immigrant settlement and adjustment services. This matter has been discussed over the years with the minister and his predecessor. This element of uncertainty should be brought to an end once and for all. The volunteer sector in Canada is performing a valuable role. In terms of the taxpayers it is the least costly of any service that can be provided.

These volunteer agencies consist of people who are knowledgeable, who know how to make the contacts, who know how to assist immigrants upon their arrival and in subsequent years, who have accumulated experience over the years which is invaluable. It seems to me to be proper, as we debate this bill, to emphasize the importance of developing closer understanding and empathy with the volunteer sector. The volunteer sector is looking to us for leadership and assistance. It is willing to do this job, and all it asks is to be given more reassurance than in the past.

I cannot sit down without making reference to the role played by the Official Opposition on second reading debate on March 10. After a magnificent start, the official spokesman

Immigration Act

for the Conservative party expressed the necessity to outline the position of his party on demographic policy. Having listened on that occasion to a speech of 55 minutes which included statements such as, "Canada is a land of immigrants" and, "Canada is better because of the immigrants we welcome to our shores"-statements of that nature-we hear, as the contribution of the Official Opposition to this debate on immigration, that the position taken by this party is that it stands for moderate growth.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what does moderate growth mean, and what does the Progressive Conservative Party stand for? We do not know. It is clear that, having made a presentation which covers-on the surface at least-all aspects related to immigration policy, the Conservative Party has failed to take a real position. They say they stand for moderate growth-but what does that mean?

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LIB

Denis Éthier (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ethier):

Order, please. I regret to interrupt the hon. member, but the time allotted to him has expired.

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PC

William Skoreyko

Progressive Conservative

Mr. William Skoreyko (Edmonton East):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak for a few minutes on Bill C-24, particularly because I have heard in the House-as have other members over the years-promises by respective immigration ministers that a new Immigration Act was forthcoming. I heard these promises as far back as 1956. We now have a minister committed to a new act. I am not at this moment prepared to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I can support all or part of it. I intend to deal with some of my concerns this afternoon.

For too many years we have operated under an outdated and outmoded act governed by secret regulations, these regulations being changed by order in council at the whim of the government whenever it suited them. This afternoon, the hon. member for Davenport (Mr. Caccia) expressed concern over some of the regulatory provisions of the bill, particularly section 115 A and B, subsections (f), (n) and (o). All these have been mentioned. Hopefully, we shall be able to deal with them in more detail when the bill goes to committee. Section 115(2) was referred to by my hon. friend from Hamilton West (Mr. Alexander). In this bill we have a letter from the predecessor of the present Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Cullen). In this letter he outlines the issues raised or proposed in the new bill. It is on the basis of this letter to us, dated July 12, 1976, and on the basis of the information contained in the bill, that I wish to deal with some of these aspects.

First, I should like to deal with the objectives contained in the bill. I think they are reasonably good objectives. What are they? The conduct of the Canadian immigration program; non-discrimination on grounds of race, colour, religion, and so on; family reunification; acceptance of refugees; relationship between policy and regional social and economic goals; immigration in relation to demographic policy.

Then the minister says he will be announcing periodically, after consultation with representatives of the provinces, targets

March 15, 1977

Immigration Act

for levels of independent and refugee immigration to be admitted over a given period. The minister said five years, I believe. I want to deal with that matter later in my remarks. He wants to set up a system of processing priorities to ensure that ceilings are respected. I presume this will be done by regulation at intervals. Where population growth is regarded as desirable, there will be designation of communities. There is legislation covering the admission of refugees and other groups on humanitarian grounds.

The part of the bill which concerns me is the selection criteria and the tremendous power vested in the bureaucracy by regulation. What does section 115 deal with? Emphasis is to be placed on vocational or occupational skills as opposed to professional or academic qualifications, and on designation to manpower need areas. I must say at this point that I doubt the designation will be workable; I doubt the effectiveness of this aspect. On the surface, dealing with demographic policy, it appears to encompass all the answers to the questions of admission, quantity, the flow to overcrowded cities, eliminating the ghettoes, and direction to areas where people are needed, fulfilling manpower needs and accomplishing other things in terms of quantitative immigration. The legislation has an aura of respectability and practicality. However, its practicality, and particularly its flexibility, needs some scrutiny.

I am somewhat skeptical about the degree of co-operation that the minister will receive from his provincial counterparts responsible for manpower in their provinces. How will Ottawa's first level of immigration be determined? Will it be by consultation with provincial ministers to assess projected needs for the ensuing year, and how far in advance can manpower requirements be projected and still be realistic? The minister says that the levels will be set for a five-year period. Is that a realistic time-frame, particularly when one examines the unpredictable Canadian economy?

The last five years is a typical period because it has been consistent. Since 1960 Canada's economy has been as volatile, unpredictable and challenging as any economy in the world. Less than four years ago, in 1972-73, we were in a period of the highest inflation level in our history. Unemployment was reasonably low, prices were rising, interest rates were rising, there was business expansion at record levels, and manpower requirements were unprecedented, particularly in the trades. In 1976-77 we find ourselves in a stagnant economy situation. The growth rate has slowed, interest rates have dropped, production is dropping, or at least lagging behind anticipated growth.

If the Canadian economy can experience that amount of turn-around, how can we project manpower needs or immigration requirements for a five-year period and be certain that those projections will serve the best interests of this country? On the basis of our experience it is reasonable to assume a more realistic posture. It is hard enough to predict requirements a year ahead, let alone five, and the minister is wise to

assess immigration needs on an annual basis and to alter them annually to meet those needs. Even then the predictions will result in shortfalls or surpluses.

The minister-wisely, I think-avoided numbers which could be both misleading and unfair. What is a desirable goal in terms of population for Canada by the year 2000? That, I believe, is what our immigration policy should be geared to. The Science Council of Canada suggested net immigration of

50,000 annually. There are those in this House, I am sure, who will say that that figure is much too low, others who will say it is reasonable, and yet others might say that it is much too high. I like to think that locking oneself into a minimum-maximum quota would not serve the country's best interests. Surely, meeting our country's manpower needs can best be served by meeting them as they are required.

I have pointed out the dangers of quotas which could be too large or too small in light of Canada's unpredictable economic fluctuations. Many factors support the principle of determining manpower requirements which do not go beyond one year. As an example, Mr. Speaker, energy shortages, if they prevail, will substantially reduce production capacity, or at least competitive capacity, thus reducing manpower needs. Housing shortages, particularly in areas where manpower is needed, is another example. Of course there is surplus housing in Canada, but this surplus is not in areas where jobs are located. You do not designate a prospective immigrant to go to an area with surplus housing; rather, you direct him to centres where jobs are to be found.

The minister says that the new law will direct prospective immigrants to smaller towns, to the more remote regions. If the applicant agrees to immigrate on that condition, it will be easier for him to come forward. On the surface that seems like a splendid idea, and it is if it were meaningful. But how long does a new arrival have to stay and live in a remote area? Does he have to stay for two years, six months, six weeks, or six days? If the minister was serious about filling manpower needs in remote areas, why did he take the approach he took in clause 15, which provides:

(1) When a permanent resident who has been granted landing subject to terms and conditions has complied with those terms and conditions, they shall be deemed to have been cancelled six months after the day on which that permanent resident was granted landing.

That section implies that if an immigrant makes application to come to Canada and agrees to live in a remote area, he or she will be required to live and work there for six months. In the strictest sense, if that condition were in fact a contract to perform, a breach of that contract could result in deportation. One may judge that law as being fair since the government's view is that immigration to Canada is a privilege, not a right. Those who argue against a policy of immigration geared to manpower needs of a given country are in fact arguing that severe limits should be placed on immigration-and that philosophy I cannot buy.

Let me go a little further and see what the second part of that clause provides. In light of what I have said about clause 15(1), it does not seem to be an entirely bad break for a

March 15, 1977

newcomer to Canada having to work for six months in such an area, if that is a condition on his coming to Canada and he thought so much of Canada that he would spend six months in any given area. Clause 15(2) provides:

Where a permanent resident has been granted landing subject to terms and conditions, he may at any time make an application to an immigration officer to vary or cancel any such terms and conditions.

The six months' stipulation in clause 15(1) is now out the window. What is the difference between the old law under which you applied for landed status from within, and new clause 15(2) which provides that at any time an application to an immigration officer can be made to vary or cancel the terms and conditions of admission? The only difference, I suggest, is that under the old act you applied for landed immigrant status from within and you underwent security checks, health checks and the morality checks while you were in Canada, whereas under the new rules these are completed outside this country. That appears to be the only difference.

It seems to be the minister's intention to direct immigration away from the three main centres in Canada which are most appealing to prospective Canadians, namely, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. By inserting subsection (2) in clause 15 the minister is in fact saying, "Go to the boondocks, firstly for six months, but if you or your wife are unhappy at the end of six days or six weeks, then file an application and the terms and conditions under which you were admitted will be cancelled and you are free to go to the same cities I was trying to keep you away from in the first place".

If one gets the feeling, Mr. Speaker, that the immigration appeal board was worked too hard as the result of an ill-conceived policy some years ago, imagine the numbers game that will be played when the new act comes into force. A businessman in a major centre to which immigration is limited wants a particular friend in Canada. He arranges for him to apply for a job in an area acceptable to immigration officials abroad as a designated area. Permission is granted. Within a few weeks of arrival an application is filed with an immigration officer to vary the terms and conditions. This is granted, and a new immigrant destined to fill a job vacancy in northern Alberta winds up living in Vancouver. So the process repeats itself over and over, Mr. Speaker. I think the hon. member for Davenport made reference to this clause. He thought it should be scrapped, for a different reason. I suggest that it is contradictory and should be taken out of the act.

Let us pursue the subject of the demographic policy a little further. Anxiety exists in major centres in Canada regarding the number of Canadians flocking to major urban centres. Family farms are getting scarcer, bigger, more efficient. Vertical-type operations are now in vogue. The result is that displaced family farm people, whether retired or not, wind up in the cities where the best opportunities are, thus creating- on top of the existing housing shortage such as is the case in Edmonton-a still more acute problem.

Immigration Act

Having dealt with the inadequacies of the law in relation to clause 15(2) of the proposed Immigration Act, I foresee discussions with the provincial ministers responsible for manpower and labour as being long and tedious in search of assurances and remedies. There are, and will be, ministers who will be very much concerned with this act fulfilling projected needs. If the needs are met, the ability of the department to sustain the needs will be questioned.

What about refugees, their status within the proposed act, their particular circumstance related to the intent of the act? Are refugees to be detained pending interrogation to determine to where a refugee should be destined? Or will refugees be dropped off in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver to add to the frustrations of civil and provincial administrations? If they are to be directed to manpower-need areas, how do you enforce such a directive unless the conditions for admission as a refugee had been spelled out earlier? Does failure to comply constitute a breach of faith? If so, what is the penalty- deportation? If so, where to? Or does clause 15(2) come into play at once?

I realize that Canada has an important role to play in international politics. It must live up to a commitment in terms of refugee acceptance. What we do with them upon arrival is equally important. Admitting thousands upon thousands of refugees is doing our part in terms of refugee commitment. As a Christian nation, we have done, and will-hopefully-continue to do our part in providing for as many people as possible new hope and a new way of life in a new land. On the other hand, no matter how accommodating Canadians want to be, orderly assimilation of refugees into the Canadian mainstream is important to them and to us. Dropping off new arrivals at the refugee centres in any one of the major Canadian centres and not directing them into the manpower-need areas would be inhuman. Unless they are given guidance and direction they will inevitably end up in the refugee ghettoes as did some of their predecessors.

I ask the minister, if the number of refugees anticipated by the government is treated as a group other than those falling within immigration levels-I know the minister does not like to use the word "quotas"-predetermined by consultation with provincial ministers, what will the government do with the surplus? In light of international instability, any number of refugees could be available for absorption by Canada. In the negotiations with provincial ministers, is the number of applicants duly processed plus the number of refugees? Is it going to be a continuing policy of this government, in spite of clause 4(2)(b) on which the minister may or may not act, to welcome refugees without regard for their political beliefs? Since security seems to be occupying the government's attention as of late, does the government intend to exercise some caution in the acceptance of refugees?

I bring to the attention of the minister an example of some recent refugees who have, and are still, showing sympathy- indeed, dedication-to a political purpose, that of overthrowing democratic principles and democratically elected governments. I ask this government to review its double-standard of

March 15, 1977

Immigration Act

opening the door to one group fleeing after the removal of a Marxist government while the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) has closed the door well in advance of the inevitable to another group which may well be required to flee from a Marxist regime.

Many people have contributed substantially to this debate. It has been a good one. In conclusion I want to say that I welcome the opportunity to speak in this debate and I look forward to its conclusion and to the bill being brought before committee for further examination. It is a sincere attempt by the minister to bring an outdated act up to date. Generally, the bill has some attractive provisions, but it also has weaknesses and they will not emerge until the law is put into practice.

Much has been said by a number of members about unfair restrictions imposed by the designation of areas of manpower needs. I simply say that if that is the kind of policy which allows more people to come into Canada and which will be beneficial both to them and to us, then I support that measure because I, too, am privileged. My great grandfather, who was married in Canada also considered admission to this country as a privilege, not a right. He acquired a piece of land many years ago and carved out a living. He raised eight children. He was grateful for the opportunities he had until he died. Designation did not bother him. He wanted to work and he wanted to build, and Canada gave him that opportunity.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
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NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, we are discussing a subject of great importance to the people of Canada. In rising to say a few words about the subject I am conscious of the fact that with the exception of the Minister of State for Small Business (Mr. Marchand) and my colleague the hon. member for the Northwest Territories (Mr. Firth), all the rest of the members of parliament-all 262 of us-are either immigrants or the decendants of immigrants. My father came to Canada some 70 years ago. The parents or grandparents of other members came even earlier. But we are all immigrants. My colleague, the hon. member for the Northwest Territories, has said to me on occasion-I have never been sure whether he said it in gest or seriously-that had his forefathers had the views of many of the present members of parliament about immigrants, and had they been able to enforce their views, none of us would be here at present.

I believe the record of this country in respect of immigration, certainly since the end of World War II, is one which on the whole we and the people of Canada can be proud of. Our population has almost doubled since 1945. In each year since the end of World War II we have permitted anywhere from approximately 100,000 to 250,000 people to come to this country. The United States has a population ten times that of ours, and if they permitted proportionately the same number of people to come to their country as we have permitted to come into Canada, they would be permitting anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million people to come into their country. Instead, they are permitting something in the neighbourhood of 300,000 people per year.

Compared with any country in the world, we have nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, we have a great deal to be proud of. We have encouraged or permitted-depending upon how people might look on what we have done-people from all parts of the world, of all races, colour and religion, to come to Canada. The population mix in this country has completely changed since the end of World War II. If hon. members visited Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver they could not help but notice that change in the first half hour of walking around any one of those cities, and the same has happened to a smaller degree in many other cities of Canada. I, for one, welcome the change that has taken place. It has made this country a much more interesting and exciting place in which to live. The people of Canada, past governments and parliaments are to be congratulated for the very warmhearted and tolerant view they have taken in this regard.

I can only speak personally about what I have seen in the 15 years I have been in this chamber, but I cannot help but feel that in the past 30 years or so this matter has not been discussed sufficiently in parliament or outside parliament. I cannot help but feel that we did not often enough get the formal approval of the people of Canada. For example, in 1966 the government made the decision, which had the approval of members of parliament from all parties, that any vestiges in the regulations or the policies of the department which tended to discriminate against any prospective immigrant on the basis of race, colour or religion should be removed. I think all members of parliament, and particularly members from cities such as Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, know what a change that has meant in terms of the entry into Canada of people of Chinese origin.

However, to a large extent these decisions were made outside parliament and without public discussion. They were made by the government, and I suppose more particularly within the Department of Manpower and Immigration. I have no inside information and I do not think it is necessary that I do, but I presume that this kind of decision was reached between the minister and his senior officials.

To the extent that we believe this legislation spells out clearly our immigration policy, I commend the government. Let me put on the record what this bill respecting immigration to Canada provides. On page 5, under part I, "Canadian Immigration Policy", the objectives of the bill are stated. I quote from clause 3(f) as follows:

-to ensure that any person who seeks admission to Canada on either a permanent or temporary basis is subject to standards of admission that do not discriminate on grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion or

sex-

I know I speak for every member of my party when I commend the government and the people of Canada for taking what I consider to be a humanitarian and democratic approach. I will come back to how successful we are in implementing that objective a little later in my speech. I would like now to deal with another subclause dealing with objectives and I quote clause 3(d) as follows:

March 15, 1977

-to encourage and facilitate the adaptation of persons who have been granted admission as permanent residents to Canadian society by promoting co-operation between the government of Canada and other levels of government and non-governmental agencies in Canada with respect thereto-

I say to the minister that we have failed miserably in attaining that objective. This is a subject which has interested me, for obvious reasons, since the day I came to parliament. Winnipeg is an ethnic city, and if there is an ethnic constituency in that city it is mine. However, despite the general knowledge which I have of the subject, I could not help being astounded by a submission which was made to the special joint committee on immigration. That committee dealt with immigration and the green paper on immigration. The Toronto board of education came before the committee and told the committee about its problems. I am now talking about the old, inner city of Toronto for which the Toronto board of education has responsibility.

I was surprised and astonished when that board told us that more than 50 per cent of the students in its school system come from immigrant families the parents of which do not speak English in the home, or come from areas like the West Indies, Pakistan, India or Hong Kong where the English spoken is, to say the least, substantially different from ours. The Toronto board of education outlined and documented the problems with which it was faced in trying to integrate these students and indicated what was required. I realized then how far we have to go before we will meet the objectives set out in this bill.

Mr. Speaker, may I call it five o'clock?

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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION

SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED

LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 40, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: The hon. member for Halton (Mr. Philbrook)-Finance- Accuracy of statistics on payments to Quebec-Request for statistics on payments to other provinces; the hon. member for Okanagan Boundary (Mr. Whittaker)-Agriculture-Pesticides-Government position on importation-Suggested strict adherence to labelling regulations; the hon. member for Halifax-East Hants (Mr. McCleave)-Veterans Affairs-Status of plan for new hospital system in Nova Scotia.

It being five o'clock, the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper, namely, public bills, private bills and notices of motions.

Criminal Code

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Subtopic:   SUBJECT MATTER OF QUESTIONS TO BE DEBATED
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March 15, 1977