May 11, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)


James Shaver Woodsworth



As the Immigration Act now stands, it is possible for a variety of causes to deport people, no matter how long they have resided in Canada. Last year there were several cases that aroused a good deal of public interest, one case in which a woman was deported after some eighteen years' residence in Canada. Her connections in the old country had been broken up; she had during all those years established connections in this country and suddenly, because of some physical ailment of a rather serious character, she was deported. There have been a large number of cases of a similar character. Therefore I propose in this amendment that there should be no deportation after ten years' continuous residence. Just as in certain insurance policies there is a definite period after which the policy becomes non-contestable, after ten years' continuous residence in this country no one could be deported.
The second clause relates to those who have been resident for ten years in Canada and who may have been forced to go, we will say, to the United States for a short period to seek work. They very often find themselves unable to return to this country although they have lived here for a large number of years, and there have been certain cases where they have been threatened with deportation to the countries from which they originally came. The second clause would permit them, if everything else was all right, to enter Canada on account of their having resided in this country for ten years. I might put it a little more correctly in this way: after ten years' residence in Canada, they would not be precluded from reentering this country simply for the reason that they had gone elsewhere on this continent for a short period.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Full View