Lives on Hold Campaign, in the House of Commons
9 May 2006
Statement in the House of Commons:
Ms. Meili Faille (Vaudreuil-Soulanges, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Canada
currently has a moratorium on the return of foreign nationals to
certain countries where there are generalized risks to the safety of
individuals. Some such people have been in Canada for a number of
years, existing in a legal limbo that deprives them of many fundamental
goods and services and prevents them from leading a normal life.
It appears very difficult for many such foreign
nationals to obtain permanent residence, which they so desperately
Their precarious situation causes them considerable
distress and suffering and the Bloc Québécois is calling
for speedy action.
Let us work together on developing a system that
would make it easier to grant permanent residence to everyone who has
been in Canada for more than three years and who is from a country that
is under a moratorium.
* * *
Question to the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, Hon. Monte
Ms. Meili Faille (Vaudreuil-Soulanges, BQ): Mr.
Speaker, people without status are in an untenable situation. Since
Canada stopped deporting people to certain countries in 1994, people
without status have been facing a legal void that keeps them from
leading a normal life. Some have been in limbo for almost nine years.
Can the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration put
an end to the anguish of the people without status who are visiting him
today by making an announcement soon about a process that will make it
easier for them to obtain permanent residency?
Hon. Monte Solberg (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, CPC): Mr.
Speaker, today I met with a number of people who are without status in
this country. Obviously they have a very difficult situation. I talked
to them about the need to use humanitarian and compassionate avenues to
permit them to stay, where it is warranted. Clearly, I am open to
hearing what they have to say and will continue to look for solutions
to their situation.
* * *
Ms. Johanne Deschamps (LaurentidesLabelle, BQ): Mr.
Speaker, on behalf of myself and of the member for Vaudreuil-Soulanges,
I have the honour to table a petition concerning lives in limbo signed
by 4,000 people. The petitioners are asking the government to establish
a process that will facilitate granting permanent residency to any
individual who has been in Canada for more than three years and who
comes from one of the countries under a moratorium, such as
Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti,
Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
This state of uncertainty is a major cause of human
anguish and suffering, so we believe it must be acted on quickly.
Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP): Mr.
Speaker, I wish to table a petition on behalf of the Canadian Council
for Refugees and other partners, calling on the Canadian government to
establish a process to facilitate the granting of permanent residence
to persons who have been in Canada for more than three years and who
are from countries on which Canada has imposed a moratorium on removals.