HANSARD: Private member's bill to establish independent ombudman's office for IRCC

Debates of June 13th, 2024
House of Commons Hansard #331 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session
Department of Citizenship and Immigration Ombud Act
Routine Proceedings


Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-399, An Act to establish the Office of the Ombud for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce a private member's bill to establish an independent ombud's office for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, with a mandate to examine the department's policies to ensure the principles of fairness and equity are upheld.

I thank my friend and colleague, the member for Edmonton Griesbach, for seconding the bill. He is a champion for equality and justice.

The bill aims to create a dedicated oversight body to ensure fairness and accountability within IRCC. The ombud's office would serve as an impartial entity to address complaints and concerns by providing an accessible platform for grievances. This office would help in examining concerns with differential treatment and discriminatory practices in IRCC's policies and programs and would be able to look at trends and patterns to identify systemic issues.

The bill would enhance trust in Canada's immigration system by ensuring it operates justly, effectively and equitably for everyone. I hope all members of the House will support the bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)



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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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