March 23, 2000 (36th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member for Calgary Northeast as he was talking about the Chinese migrant boat people. I also dealt with that in my remarks. As a member of the citizenship and immigration committee, we certainly heard about it over and over again, mostly from the members of the Reform Party.
It is true that when the first boatload of people landed on the shores of the west coast, the Reform Party members had a press conference demanding that the boat be turned around and sent back in its present state. They did not even want to give them a new boat. They just wanted to send them back where they came from, obviously not recognizing the 1985 supreme court ruling that once people have laid their feet on this soil they do have a right to a hearing.
Obviously the Reform Party members wanted to be judge and jury both. They wanted to take one look at these people and claim they were not refugees because they did not deem them to be refugees as they did not look like us and send them back to where they came from without even a hearing. This is absolutely absurd because everybody has a right to due process and a hearing, and that is exactly what is going on right now.
I do not expect the member for Calgary Northeast, who has not sat on that committee for a long time, to be fully up to speed on what people are doing to deal with this issue. However, for the member for Calgary Northeast to say that nothing is being done about people smuggling and nothing is being done to deal with the backlog of these desperate migrants who have washed up on the west coast, is absolute baloney.
These people have been locked up and are awaiting hearings. They are being dealt with one by one. In the hearings so far it has been found that most of them do not fit the category of refugee and they are being sent back to where they came from, to the Fujian province. Five or six have been found to be genuine refugees and they are being welcomed into our country.
For the hon. member to stand up and help fan the flames of hatred in this country with misinformation like that is inexcusable. I personally will not sit here and listen to it. I hear it too much on the immigration committee as it is. These members are the architects of the misinformation that is actually turning into an anti-immigration movement in this country built around 500 or 600 desperate people who are seeking a better life on our shores.
I notice there is an organization now called the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee. I am just wondering if there is any connection with the Reform Party because these hate-mongers are saying exactly the same thing as this political party, and there is also the commonality with the names. I am just wondering if they are not more constitutionally connected or associated.
That will be my question. Is there a direct connection between the Reform Party and the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee, which is the purveyor of hate in this country when it comes to anti-immigration?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Citizenship Of Canada Act
Full View