HANSARD: Will the PM step in to prevent the processing backlog from getting even worse at IRCC?

Oral Questions
April 25th, 2023 / 2:50 p.m.

Jenny Kwan Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, immigration backlog and processing delays continue to have a detrimental impact for people who want to reunite with loved ones and for those who need to get to safety.

As the crisis in Sudan worsens, Canadians with loved ones in Sudan are worried sick about their safety. The Liberals must get a fair deal for the PSAC workers to restore all immigration services. The longer the government drags its feet, the longer loved ones trapped in Sudan will have to wait.

Will the Prime Minister step in to prevent the processing backlog from getting even worse at IRCC?

Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure this House because my colleague mentioned the fact that people stuck in Sudan are not able to get out of Sudan. Canadians right now are being contacted 24-7 because consular services are emergency services. We are there to help them. We have had 550 of them who raised their hands saying they need help; 100 have gotten out of Sudan.

We are on this and we will make sure that every Canadian is coming back and is safe.

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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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