Sarkis ASSADOURIAN

ASSADOURIAN, Sarkis

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Brampton Centre (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 25, 1948
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarkis_Assadourian
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0a082eeb-65fc-4738-aead-82a77b8fa85a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, contractor, executive director

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Don Valley North (Ontario)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Brampton Centre (Ontario)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Brampton Centre (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (January 13, 2003 - December 11, 2003)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 84)


February 16, 2004

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (Brampton Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, National Flag Day provides all Canadians with an opportunity to reflect on this great nation.

On February 15, my constituents in Brampton Centre joined millions of fellow Canadians across every region as they paid homage to the colours of our flag and celebrated what our flag represents to us.

With their drawings of our flag, poems about our flag, and posters, paintings and skits all dedicated to the celebration of the Canadian maple leaf, the children in the schools in my riding exhibited the greatest enthusiasm toward our national flag.

I wish to extend congratulations to tomorrow's leaders for showing their patriotism toward the flag and also to all Canadians who took the time to honour our flag and, by doing so, honour Canada and Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Flag Day
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November 4, 2003

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (Brampton Centre, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to applaud the appointment of Mr. Bhupinder S. Liddar as Canada's new Consul General in Chandigarh India, an appointment made all the more important, as Mr. Liddar is the first Canadian Sikh to become head of a Canadian diplomatic mission overseas.

Mr. Liddar is no newcomer to the diplomatic scene as he has served as editor and publisher of Diplomat & International Canada magazine since 1989, host of CPAC's the Diplomatic World , a weekly panel discussion on current international issues, as well as contributing regular columns to the Hill Times and Ottawa Sun on international relations for many years.

I urge my fellow members of Parliament to join me in congratulating Mr. Liddar on his appointment and in wishing him all the best as he undertakes this important role as Canada's new representative in Punjab.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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November 4, 2003

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, my colleague from the Alliance Party blasted the government for its record but I have to remind him that this government and this party has been more friendly to aboriginal people than any other government over the last 100 years.

Why is he so opposed to bringing this system into the 21st century? What was so good about the previous treatment of first nations that he is still defending it? I cannot comprehend his logic.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Specific Claims Resolution Act
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November 3, 2003

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, family reunification has long been a key objective of the Government of Canada's policy and legislation. It helps ensure the well-being of each newcomer we bring to Canada and it substantially contributes to community growth and prosperity. Debates on how to strengthen this important cornerstone of Canadian policy to allow more family members to sponsor their loved ones from abroad therefore have a long and rich tradition.

In June 2002 Canada opened a new chapter in this regard with the passage of regulations to significantly enhance the family reunification program, which more closely reflect today's social and cultural realities. These changes reflect extensive public consultation as well as the government's commitment to expand the family class and balance the number of family members we bring to Canada each year with a sustainable plan.

The new regulations allow individuals in a common law or conjugal relationship with a Canadian to be sponsored. They broaden the definition of dependent child by including children under 22 years old, up from under age 19 in the previous regulations. The regulations also reduce the age at which Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to become sponsors from 19 to 18 years old, and they decrease the period of sponsorship undertakings from ten years to three years in most cases.

These changes are based on careful deliberations and reflect the recommendations of individual experts in the field as well as stakeholder organizations in every region of the country. They support our commitment to the family. They also help ensure that Canada maintains the appropriate balance of economic and family class immigration.

As part of the public consultations concerning the new regulations, the government gave careful consideration to a number of options to further expand the family class, including a suggestion that each Canadian or permanent resident should receive a one-time opportunity to sponsor a non-family class relative. The once in a lifetime sponsorship option was found unworkable for a number of reasons, all of which apply to the private member's bill before the House today.

Bill C-436 would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to grant Canadian citizens and permanent residents the right to sponsor, once in a sponsor's lifetime, one foreign national who is a relative but not a member of the family class. The bill contains no definition of relative nor any apparent restrictions or limitations on intake beyond its once in a lifetime provision. Such a wide open approach would significantly increase processing delays and the size of existing backlogs for every immigrant category. It would place an unsupportable burden on existing resources, and it would help to undermine the integrity of the entire immigration program by increasing the opportunities for fraud.

Canada's recent experience with the removal of limitations on sponsorships clearly demonstrates the flaws in the private member's bill under consideration. In 1988 the government of the time changed the sponsorship rules to include all unmarried sons and daughters in the family class. Total intake in this category nearly doubled over two years, going from 53,033 in 1987 to 104,199 in 1989. When the government cancelled the program in 1993, it was after an eight year processing backlog had been incurred at some Canadian missions, and some of the effects are still being felt today.

Think of it this way. The increase from 1987 to 1989 consisted almost entirely of never married children of any age. If the proposal under debate today were limited to never married children, family class intake would at least double in the next two years. However, if all distant relatives are included with their spouses and children, family class intake could increase even more. Since the newly landed relatives could themselves sponsor any relative as soon as they were qualified to do so, the family class could potentially overwhelm the immigration program. This is clearly not in the best interests of Canadians or the newcomers we bring to our shores.

We agree with the concept of expanding the family class and making it easier for families to reunite with their loves ones in Canada. We agree with the idea of strengthening families in general. Our recent actions clearly support and reinforce this commitment, but the government has also a duty to properly manage the immigration program and ensure that the principles of fairness, integrity and balance are upheld. We therefore cannot support Bill C-436 or any other special provision that fails to take into consideration all that I have mentioned earlier.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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November 3, 2003

Mr. Sarkis Assadourian

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member would comment. We did not reach our 1% target in the last few years although that is the Liberal policy, but how would the bill help us to achieve that target without regulating this? Also, how can the government reach that target without making it difficult for society to absorb new Canadians? If we cannot do it with 225,000 because of, as my colleague said, limitations on funding, how does she expect us to do such a thing in a massive way?

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
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