House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

October 22nd, 1998 / 10 a.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present the fifth report of the Canadian NATO parliamentary association which represented Canada at the 1998 spring session of the North Atlantic Assembly of NATO parliamentarians, held in Barcelona, Spain from May 22 to 26, 1998.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the rules of the House, I have the honour to present a subcommittee report.

As the House will recall, the last time I was here we talked about section 110 of the United States Immigration Act. This report reflects the ongoing work that the Canada-United States interparliamentary group is doing with respect to alleviating the effects of that act on Canadian citizens crossing into the United States.

As the House will know, in the last week there were some very important results, to the benefit of all Canadians, and I have the honour to submit this report.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 39th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Government Operations and the associate membership of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

If the House gives its consent, I intend to move concurrence in the 39th report later this day.

Manitoba Claim Settlements Implementation Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-56, an act respecting an agreement with the Norway House Cree Nation for the settlement of matters arising from the flooding of land and respecting the establishment of certain reserves in the province of Manitoba.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Nunavut Act
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-57, an act to amend the Nunavut Act with respect to the Nunavut Court of Justice and to amend other acts in consequence.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada Labour Code
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-447, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code (application of part I to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who are peace officers).

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the bill I am introducing today is to give members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the right to form a union. RCMP officers are the only peace officers in Canada denied the right to collective bargaining.

The purpose of the bill I am honoured to introduce today, seconded by my NDP colleague and by my friend and colleague, the House leader of the Conservative Party, is to put right this injustice.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives it consent, I move that the 39th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House earlier this day be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to)

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have three major groupings of petitions that I would like to present to the House today, the first bearing 606 signatures.

The petitioners call upon parliament to enact two-strike legislation requiring anyone who is convicted for the second time of one or more sexual offences against a minor to be sentenced to imprisonment for life without any eligibility for parole or early release, and also, with respect to anyone awaiting trial on such offences mentioned in this petition, the petitioners pray that such a person be held in custody without eligibility for bail.

The second grouping of petitions, bearing 573 signatures, calls upon parliament to bring about a pedophile registry to register those persons who are sexual offenders and pedophiles who cannot be cured or rehabilitated. The petitioners call upon parliament to enact such legislation.

The third grouping of petitions, bearing 526 signatures, again calls upon parliament to eliminate the right of a convicted pedophile to be let out of jail on bail pending an appeal. This would thereby ensure the protection and safety of the victims and the community from such a convicted offender.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to present a petition on behalf of my constituents regarding section 43 of the criminal code which says that every school teacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child under their care as long as it is reasonable force.

The petitioners are concerned that section 43 may be removed and are further concerned that government is funding groups which are studying the removal of this section. The petitioners therefore request that parliament reaffirm the duties and the responsibilities of parents to raise their children according to their own conscience and beliefs.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is it agreed?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from October 19 consideration of the motion that Bill C-54, an act to support and promote electronic commerce by protecting personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in certain circumstances, by providing for the use of electronic means to communicate or record information or transactions and by amending the Canada Evidence Act, the Statutory Instruments Act and the Statute Revision Act , be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am particularly interested in this topic. I have had the honour since 1987 to be associated with the program on strategic computing in the public sector at Harvard University. I have worked with a research group there headed by Dr. Jerry Mechling who is acknowledged to be one of the two most knowledgeable people in public sector information management in the world. It is a personal honour to know Jerry and to be able to work with him and with the team of faculty and researchers he regularly assembles from all over world to consider these issues of how our policy and use of information technologies needs to evolve in order for the citizens of the world to derive the most benefit.

The process we utilized was that three times a year we would call together senior practitioners from the state, federal and local governments in the U.S., from Canada and other countries around the world. We would then draw together experts from the vendor communities like IBM, Dell, Microsoft, et cetera, and from the user communities.

At a conference last year a cross-section of about 120 chief information officers and faculty from schools all over the U.S., with a substantial representation from Harvard, considered the question that is addressed in this legislation. We wrestled with the question and asked people how we should move this forward. We asked how we could build a sense of comfort to encourage the average person who may not be technically adept or who may not have a lot of familiarity or facility with computers to become involved in and adopt electronic commerce.

Since 1987 we have had a great deal of these research meetings. In the initial stages we always talked about technological issues. We needed better case tools. We needed to refine object embedding. We had to sort out the whole process for prototyping. We needed to constantly improve the way in which we built our various services. We needed more band width. We needed better routing.

The consensus from some of the most senior people in the field last year was that the problems in e-com at that point were 2% technical and 98% policy. The technical side of the networks had advanced to a point where there were still some technical problems. There are some issues that still need to be resolved and there always will be because this field is evolving incredibly fast. For the most part those issues were addressable.

What was lacking was a policy and legal structure that would allow us to take the next step. We asked what that question meant, what would a government or a business have to do tomorrow in order to take the next step. A whole list of issues arose which we worked down to a dozen.

The number one and number two issues were that we had no choice but to deal with the privacy regime and we had to do it proactively. We could not sit back and wait, let a bunch of disasters happen and then have the public rise up and push us to do it. Governments around the world needed to be proactive in putting in place privacy legislation which stated very strongly to everybody that this is important and they are going to protect it. There are a lot of ways to do that but that was considered to be a critical factor in allowing e-commerce to advance.

One of the participants gave an interesting example. This was IBM but it is typical of a lot of high priced consultants. He was part of an IBM group doing a workshop with technicians, people who are very comfortable, very familiar with the use of technology. IBM was there to sell its new commerce server. At the start of the workshop he asked the some 200 experienced practitioners, users of the technology, how many of them had bought something on the Internet. About three hands of the 200 people went up in the air. That is what he wanted.

He launched into a discussion about how the new server was going to protect them and how they were going to deal with cryptography and how they were going to deal with the protection of the persons. He went through a whole exercise and at the end of it asked with all of that, how many people would purchase on-line. One more hand went up. Even in that community, which was adept and comfortable and knowledgeable with the technology, there was still an emotional and personal resistance to engaging too much on-line.

The second point raised in that discussion was the issue of leadership. There is an interesting conundrum throughout the world and certainly we see it here. The technologies that are driving business, driving commerce, driving daily life are all technologies that were not in existence when most of the members of this House were in their training years.

When I went through university, the computer was something which sat in a building somewhere and I interacted with it with a series of punch cards. I am not the oldest member in this House. The first IBM PC appeared on a desk in 1980 when a lot of us were well into our working careers.

The people who have evolved into the legislative leadership positions, people in cabinet and senior administration, are people who have grown up and gone through life without the individual comfort with these technologies that someone growing up and going through school and university today will have. I suspect there are lots of examples. My son is four years old. He has been using his computer for a year and a half. My daughter at age six thinks nothing of accessing her Disney programs or other things on the Internet.

Our children are growing up with a completely different relationship to these technologies from what we have, yet we are the people who are in control of the decisions about what they can and cannot do. It creates a problem because some of the fears about the technology are the traditional fears about black boxes and mystical powers that may arise from them. I say that without wanting to be too facetious.

One of my jobs a few years ago was to train senior managers in data analysis on computers. I noticed something early on particularly with people in this age range. There is almost an equation. If someone does not know how to use a computer, then they are somehow stupid. I do not know how to use woodworking tools very well but I do not consider myself stupid. Yet somehow if a person cannot use a computer, a fear arises.

I remember once a gentleman was highly frustrated. He was having trouble getting the model to work and was having trouble with a simple keyboarding thing. I pulled him back from the computer and told him to relax. He said he could not deal with computers. I asked him what he did. He was a jet pilot, a brigadier general in the Israeli air force. He flew a machine every day that had nine computers in it and thought nothing of it. However, his interaction with that box angered him.

The reason I even bothered mentioning this is that there is an element of that kind of fear when we approach these technologies.

We are charged in this House, and I say exactly the same thing to our Prime Minister and others, with doing what we can to put in place all the protections that are necessary for every person in Canada. I frankly believe that our legislation is going to serve as a model for other parts of the world.

We must say to every person in Canada that we take their privacy seriously and that we are going to protect it. We are going to ensure that their information is handled as safely and securely as it is possible to make these systems function. At the same time we are going to say it is going to improve their quality of life.

I read the submissions by the four opposition critics who spoke on the bill when the minister introduced it. I was rather pleased. I think in all four of them we see a recognition of the necessity for doing this and an acceptance of the issue.

We see in it some traditional fears about change. Will there by disillusions? Anytime we produce a change in the market there will be some disillusions. People can create enormous scenarios about how serious those may be but that is an area that needs to be considered. I would argue it is also the reason we need to be proactive and move quickly rather than wait and have the rest of the world make these changes while we have to play catch-up.

On the issue of leadership I would point out, without wanting to be too self-congratulatory of the government, the Minister of Industry and his deputy Michelle d'Auray, the leader of the e-commerce unit.

We Canadians are modest and we tend to be almost a little shy about talking about how good we are. People in Canada are not aware of exactly how far ahead of the rest of the world Canada is.

John Manley since the day he assumed his office has been providing exactly the kind of leadership the professionals I was talking about want to see happen. Manley is the—

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member because he is in full flight. We know the member means the Minister of Industry and we just wanted to clarify that.