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House of Commons Debate Surrounding Bill-C-43- An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Criminal Code

 

 Mr. Jamie Nicholls (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, NDP)                            24 September 2012

Mario Bellissimo, lawyer and executive member of the Canadian Bar Association, is one of the nation’s top lawyers.  He said referring to permanent residents as foreigners is misleading.

“They are casting the net too wide… People make one mistake—even if it’s a non-violent crime—they will be removed.”

Furthermore, he thinks the bill reflects the government’s lack of confidence in the immigration tribunal and the Canadian judiciary. We believe in the power of the Canadian judiciary and the tribunals to take care of these cases and to offer fair judgment. We do not believe that the minister necessarily needs discretionary powers.

As a member of Parliament, I personally help my constituents with the immigration process, but I have never once gone to the immigration minister to lobby a case that has already been dealt with by the judiciary and the tribunals. I simply have trust in the system. I believe in that system and I believe it needs support and leadership. However, taking the discretionary element away from the tribunals and judiciaries and giving it to the minister is not the right way to go.

In terms of dealing with violent criminals and war criminals, we certainly agree with the approach of the government. That is why we would support this bill in principle at second reading, to give the government time to do its homework and tighten up the bill.

Just as the tuna canners of old created dolphin-friendly tuna, we hope the government will make this legislation permanent resident friendly.


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