Debates of the Senate  
  2nd Session, 39th Parliament,Volume 144, Issue 71.
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Orders of the Day: Budget Implementation Bill, 2008

On the Order: Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Stratton, seconded by the Honourable Senator Nolin, for the third reading of Bill C-50, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 26, 2008 and to enact provisions to preserve the fiscal plan set out in that budget.

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: I thank the honourable senator very much for his explanations with regard to Part 6 of Bill C-50 with regard to immigration policies. He was discussing the unprecedented and unaccountable discretionary powers that will be granted to the minister. He also indicated that the witnesses did not feel that these changes were necessary.

There was a poll conducted at the beginning of May by Nanos Research, reported in the June issue of Policy Options, which indicated that nearly three quarters of Canadians think that immigration is either important or somewhat important. It is a topic that is very much on the minds of Canadians.

If Part 6 remains in Bill C-50, rather than being removed and dealt with separately, what do we say to Canadians? What do we say to groups like the Chinese Canadian National Council, that has probably written to every senator in the chamber, indicating that it wishes that section to be removed? The council represents 1.6 million Canadians, the second-largest racialized group in Canada, second only, I think, to South Asians. It is obviously an important issue, so why are we keeping this measure in Bill C-50? Why is that the recommendation? What do we say to them?

Senator Day: Honourable senators, that is a question that would be much better answered by the sponsor of the bill. Like the honourable senator, I have a great deal of difficulty answering the many hundreds of letters I have received in relation to this particular aspect of the bill. I can tell the honourable senator that I received a submission from the Chinese community along the lines of why we have this legislation. It is a very difficult question to answer when I have so many concerns myself.