HANSARD: Will the minister grant these international students a pathway to permanent residency?

Debates of June 12th, 2023, 2:45 p.m.
House of Commons Hansard #211 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Oral Questions

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, international students who have been defrauded by crooked consultants should not be punished with deportation and inadmissibility based on misrepresentation. They have invested everything they have for a better future. They work hard and study hard, and they do so under very difficult conditions. They are under enormous strain, and their lives are in limbo. The Liberals can eliminate this uncertainty by allowing them to stay in Canada and build the lives they dream of.

Will the minister do the right thing, the compassionate thing, and grant these international students a pathway to permanent residency?

Sean Fraser Minister of Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I agree with much of my hon. colleague's question. I am glad to share that we have been working very hard, as we discussed in a recent meeting just a little more than a week ago.

We are working to develop a process to ensure that those innocent students, who are the victims of fraud, will have an opportunity to remain in Canada. However, to the extent that people committed fraud, or were complicit in a fraudulent scheme, they will bear the consequences of choosing not to follow Canada's laws. I am hearing stories of students who are dealing with serious mental health concerns because of the uncertainty they are struggling with. We will put a process in place to allow them to prove that they were taken advantage of and provide an appropriate remedy for them.


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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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