September 11, 1987

HONDURAN GROUPS CLAIMING REFUGEE STATUS

PC

Ross Belsher

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of State for Immigration. During the past few weeks there have been a number of groups of Hondurans who have arrived in Vancouver and, upon arriving, have claimed refugee status. It is now reported that another group from Central America has either been detained or turned back at Mexico City.

Can the Minister tell us what steps are being taken to make sure that no bona fide claims are being stopped?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HONDURAN GROUPS CLAIMING REFUGEE STATUS
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NDP

Cyril Keeper

New Democratic Party

Mr. Keeper:

Write Mila.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HONDURAN GROUPS CLAIMING REFUGEE STATUS
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PC

Gérard (Gerry) Weiner (Minister of State (Immigration))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gerry Weiner (Minister of State (Immigration)):

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly very aware of the arrival of the increasing number of Hondurans, more particularly on the West Coast. We are monitoring the situation very carefully.

My information is that more than 1,000 have now come to make a refugee claim in Canada. It is part of the increasing abuse and I say this without trying to predispose whether these people may be refugees or not because I do not make that determination.

The Hon. Member has seen a Government that has now been bombarded with an increasing flow of refugee claimants. The advice that I have been getting from my Refugee Status Advisory Committee is that almost 90 per cent of them are non-bona fide claimants. It is for that reason that, once and for all, this House should get on with the business of passing Bill C-55 and putting in place a refugee determination process that makes sense, that balances fairness with compassion and will offer genuine protection to those who need it. This will keep the abusers out, will stop the traffic and profiteering, and will

September 11, 1987

Oral Questions

maintain our proud tradition of being of help to the real refugees of the world.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HONDURAN GROUPS CLAIMING REFUGEE STATUS
Permalink

CITIZENSHIP

LIB

Robert Phillip Kaplan

Liberal

Hon. Bob Kaplan (York Centre):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State who is responsible for the granting of citizenship. This morning, in the presence of Liberal International, the National Women's Liberal Commission adopted the cause of the family of Iris Mason, a family which has arrived from Chile and has landed immigrant status. This family came from Chile where its members suffered horrible oppression and torture. They have been refused Canadian citizenship by the Government on national security grounds.

The family members appealed to the Security Intelligence Review Committee which recommended that they be given citizenship, but the Government has still refused. I gave the Secretary of State notice of my question which follows.

In light of the tragic circumstances which brought the Mason family to Canada will he accept the advice of the Government's own review committee and grant Canadian citizenship?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CITIZENSHIP
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST ON BEHALF OF REFUGEE FAMILY FROM CHILE
Permalink
PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. David Crombie (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member for being in touch with my office just prior to Question Period. It allowed me the opportunity to call for the file. I will take the opportunity to read it over the weekend, and I invite the Hon. Member to meet with me on Monday morning.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CITIZENSHIP
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST ON BEHALF OF REFUGEE FAMILY FROM CHILE
Permalink

REQUEST THAT MINISTER MAKE STATEMENT

LIB

Robert Phillip Kaplan

Liberal

Hon. Bob Kaplan (York Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary. I would simply like to ask whether the Minister would be willing to make a statement before the end of next week as to whether he is denying citizenship, to let Canadians know his reasons for doing so.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT MINISTER MAKE STATEMENT
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PC

David Edward Crombie (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism; Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. David Crombie (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important that what I do is review the file before any action is taken. I am sure the Hon. Member understands that. I have not seen the file. The Member's office called half an hour before Question Period. As I am sure he knows, I was not aware of the case. The responsible course of action is for me to read the file, which I will do over the weekend, and meet with the Hon. Member on Monday morning. At that time we can make a decision which is fair to all.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT MINISTER MAKE STATEMENT
Permalink
?

An Hon. Member:

Good answer.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT MINISTER MAKE STATEMENT
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IMMIGRATION

PC

Ross Belsher

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the Minister of State for Immigration. Would the Minister consider requiring visas for visitors coming from Central America to Canada?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
Sub-subtopic:   VISITORS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA-VISA REQUIREMENT SUGGESTED
Permalink
PC

Gérard (Gerry) Weiner (Minister of State (Immigration))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gerry Weiner (Minister of State (Immigration)):

Mr. Speaker, over the last year we have instituted a number of control measures. Obviously some of them have been visas and they have been effective. Those issues are now being studied within the annals and powers of the Government. At the appropriate time, announcements may have to be made.

* V *

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   IMMIGRATION
Sub-subtopic:   VISITORS FROM CENTRAL AMERICA-VISA REQUIREMENT SUGGESTED
Permalink

SENIOR CITIZENS

NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the new Minister of State for Senior Citizens, and I would like to congratulate him on his new job.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SENIOR CITIZENS
Sub-subtopic:   WIDOWS BENEFITS-REQUEST FOR EXTENSION TO SINGLE WOMEN
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SENIOR CITIZENS
Sub-subtopic:   WIDOWS BENEFITS-REQUEST FOR EXTENSION TO SINGLE WOMEN
Permalink
NDP

Margaret Anne Mitchell

New Democratic Party

Ms. Mitchell:

Would the Minister take action on two very important matters that were raised repeatedly by the Hon. Stanley Knowles in the past and which have still not been dealt with?

Since most older women who are living alone experience excruciating poverty, will he act immediately to extend the benefits which now are available to widows to cover single women at age 60? Why should benefits be based on whether or not a woman has a man?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SENIOR CITIZENS
Sub-subtopic:   WIDOWS BENEFITS-REQUEST FOR EXTENSION TO SINGLE WOMEN
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Minister of State (Seniors))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George Hees (Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Senior Citizens)):

Mr. Speaker, I will be very glad to look into this representation and do whatever I can to do what is proper in this case.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SENIOR CITIZENS
Sub-subtopic:   WIDOWS BENEFITS-REQUEST FOR EXTENSION TO SINGLE WOMEN
Permalink

OPTIONAL OLD AGE PENSIONS REQUEST

September 11, 1987