April 6, 2017
Bill to Amend—Third Reading—Debate
On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Omidvar, seconded by the Honourable Senator Gagné, for the third reading of Bill C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, as amended.
Hon. Judith Seidman: Actually, you are quite right. This was a subject that was debated in our committee, and it was quite an issue. From my point of view, I fully support what you are proposing. In fact, my question to you would be: According to Statistics Canada, since adults age 55 to 64 currently comprise 36 per cent of our workforce, which is quite significant, why would we stop at 60? Why wouldn’t you think that it should be 55 to 64 instead of just 55 to 60?
Hon. Diane Griffin: When someone comes into the country, they can be a landed immigrant or permanent resident for a number of years before they apply to become a citizen or are eligible to become a citizen.
What is the difference between someone being a permanent resident one day and a citizen the next? After the citizenship ceremony, they’re able to vote. There’s one big difference.
In our country, we’re very fortunate. I think of Canada as a compassionate country. I still argue that if someone has made every effort to learn the language. I agree with you, our workforce is older and people are learning new skills all the time, or they drop out of the workforce. Seeing the current age range of our workforce, there are a lot of people not dropping out and coping quite nicely, including learning to operate these little gadgets and much bigger gadgets that sit on the desk and make great doorstops.