Section 1 is an interpretation section. I am concerned about the general interpretation of "member of the family". I recognise that the Bill, as drafted, covers most nuclear families. For example, if the applicant is married, it covers his or her spouse, or if the applicant is under the age of 18 and is not married, it covers his or her parents, or an unmarried child of the applicant who is under the age of 18 years. However, I foresee certain circumstances arising from another culture — and all refugees will come from another culture — where, for example, divorce is more common, where it is not uncommon to abandon children in certain environments, particularly if there has been civil war or strife, where there are step-parents, where grandparents are effectively acting as parents and where there are guardians because the child has been abandoned or cannot locate its parents as a result of civil strife. For that reason, I would like a general mechanism to allow the board, the tribunal or the Minister in exceptional circumstances to recognise other persons as being members of the family for these purposes.
It is impossible to draft the section so tightly that one could name all the relatives. Some situations involving adoptive parents, step-parents, guardians, grandparents acting as parents, etc. are more prevalent in foreign cultures than they are here. For that reason, I would like the Minister, the board or the tribunal to have the leeway to decide if someone should be incorporated as part of the family.