C-394, An Act to Amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Sponsorship of Relative)
Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Parkdale—High Park for tabling the bill.
There are others of us in the House who have tabled similar legislation in the past. The member for Vancouver East, the member for Winnipeg North and I have all tabled similar legislation, because we in the NDP caucus believe that the definition of family that is in the current immigration act does not apply to all families. We know that in many families the relationships that are formed between a brother and a sister are stronger than that between parents and that the definition discriminates against those families and those relationships.
It is something that we know is very important. We also know that it is very important to strengthen the whole family reunification aspect of our immigration law. That has been a keystone of immigration policy in Canada. It is one of the strongest aspects of our immigration policy, because people who arrive with family members already in Canada tend to be happier. They settle faster. They integrate into the communities faster because they have that family network to help them to settle successfully here in Canada.
This will also make Canada much more competitive with our main competitors for immigration, such as the United States, because we will be seen as a country that encourages the maintenance of family relationships when immigration happens.
I think that makes this a very pro-family piece of legislation. I would like the member to comment on how pro-family this piece of legislation is.
Ms. Peggy Nash:
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Burnaby—Douglas for his work in presenting this kind of legislation in the past. While I am at it, I would like to also thank my colleague from Vancouver East and my colleague from Winnipeg North, who also in the past tabled similar legislation.