THIS WEEK ON #FAQMP: Conservative MP Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines)
Catch this week’s new episode online at faqmp.ichannel.ca: Thursday March 7 at 2 pm ET.
Conservative MP RICK DYKSTRA is Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Jason Kenney. Among the topics of discussion on this week’s show: Bill C-43, which aims to protect Canada from foreign criminals. Here’s a quick overview from Associate Producer Patrick Hickey:
Conservative MP Rick Dykstra has a message for foreign-born criminals: You are not welcome in this country. “They make a mockery of our system. They make appeal after appeal after appeal. That is not going to happen anymore.”
Bill C-43 was first introduced by Citizenship & Immigration Minster Jason Kenney in June 2012 and has already passed its first two readings before the House of Commons “Canada is not a haven for criminals,” Dykstra told the House this past September. “We are going to make sure that the enforcements laid out in this piece of legislation are in fact finally put to rest and implemented.”
Among these new enforcements: a limitation on the appeals available to permanent residents who have been ordered deported due to criminal convictions. C-43 also seeks to prevent foreign criminals gaining entry to Canada via legitimate immigration. Under current rules, foreign nationals barred from Canada for serious criminality can apply to certain humanitarian programs within Citizenship & Immigration Canada to delay or prevent their removal from Canada. C-43 would eliminate these individuals’ access to such programs.
Critics have raised concerns that C-43 is too heavy handed. The Canadian Bar Association cautions that its ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ to denying deportation appeals doesn’t take into consideration an offender’s potential for rehabilitation or even the true seriousness of their crimes. Minor offences such as shoplifting or simple marijuana possession could fall within the scope of C-43.
The Harper government, however, has indicated that it will continue to move the bill forward. Says Dykstra: “At the end of the day it is a bill that makes sense and it is one that has the overwhelming support of Canadians.”
For more background from Patrick, CLICK HERE.
#FAQMP viewers also had questions for MP Rick Dykstra about immigrant and refugee healthcare – and, in particular, about cutbacks to the Interim Federal Health Plan (IFH), which provides health insurance for refugees and refugee claimants while they are waiting for their cases to be settled. For more on this issue from #FAQMP host Kevin O’Keefe (pictured above, right), CLICK HERE.
#FAQMP streams online at faqmp.ichannel.ca on Thursdays at 2 pm ET. Viewers can take part in a live chat with the #FAQMP team during the online broadcast.