Customs Act

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill for her service to Canada. She might have missed that I did say we are going to support this bill. I do support the beyond the border initiative, and if she wants me to underscore more for this place, I will do that now. My concerns and my itemized list that I would like to see are similar to what I have suggested her colleague, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, was asking for back in 2011.

My wider concern is not that we are working with the United States on the border, but that at a time when presidential orders in Washington are leading to thousands of people illegally crossing into Canada and we are not even addressing that issue, we are going to sign on to a common entry and exit system. That certainly would not have passed muster back in the days of bluster of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, as he was then in the opposition.

Where are Canadians’ assurances with respect to the Hondurans who are in the United States on a short period of time? There is a chance that they will start coming into Canada, because they have a Prime Minister who has flaunted our systems and a government that is unwilling to create a rules-based process. We have the most substantial update to customs legislation in a generation, and I see no plan for our border. I would like to see clear issues in Canada’s interest, including respect for our border, in this package with this bill, or at least articulated by the government. At a time when the government is asking us to pass something that is a key priority for the United States, I want to see Canadian priorities advance at the same time.

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