House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was citizenship.

Topics

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it would certainly be a wide open question if the hon. member were asking me what we have done to combat organized crime.

For example, 13 proceeds of crime units have been established across the country to make sure the profit was taken out of organized crime. I understand the Attorney General of Ontario caught up to this too, yesterday. On the Sidewinder investigation, the investigation was done and it was completed.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is a very shallow answer from the minister. This has to do with the very core of democracy in Canada.

These allegations of political influence by organized crime are unbelievably serious. In the Vancouver Province story on the same issue it is alleged that a former prime minister, his deputy and a former premier also received donations.

There were recent revelations that the Liberal Party and some of the frontbench ministers received political donations from the Russian Mafia, which just shows how far this problem has gone. I want to know what specific steps the solicitor general is undertaking to uncover this problem,

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. In the questions today we are getting very close, if not we are not there, to criminal wrongdoing by other members of parliament. I think that we should be more than judicious in our choice of words because all of us are involved in this particular thing.

I see the hon. government House leader rising to his feet to respond, but I caution all members to be very judicious in their questions and in their answers.

Organized Crime
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, political contributions to registered political parties in Canada have to be made from Canadian sources and have to become public.

Only third party financing in Canada is not subjected to that law. We put it in our bill and the member across and his party voted against making that a public declaration.

Privacy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government. The Minister of Human Resources Development would have been better to have acknowledged not just that the privacy commissioner said they were operating within the law but also that it might say something about the law. That is what the privacy commissioner said, and he called for an updating of the law.

I want to ask whichever minister is responsible, trying to get out of this daily cat fight between the minister and her detractors, what the government will do about the call by the privacy commissioner for an updating of privacy law in the country. That is the real issue here and we need a response from the government on the particular issue.

Privacy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we take the recommendations of the privacy commissioner very seriously. In fact my colleagues and I understand that the Privacy Act, as it exists, has been in existence for some time. With the advent of new technology indeed it probably is time to review the existing Privacy Act.

Privacy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, at least the minister did not say in a timely fashion, which we often hear. Will the Minister of Justice do this in a timely fashion? Will she commit to the House that they will do what they have already been done in the private sector?

We just passed laws in the House updating privacy legislation with respect to the private sector. We now need it to happen in the public sector. Can we have a commitment from the minister or the Prime Minister that this will be a top priority of the government and that it will happen soon?

Privacy
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that we take the privacy of all Canadians very seriously. I am glad the member has commended my colleague, the Minister of Industry, for the very fine work he did on Bill C-6.

Let me reiterate that we on this side of the House take privacy concerns very seriously. We will review the existing privacy legislation in a timely fashion.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the privacy commissioner's report is alarming.

The commissioner reports that the sole file on each and every Canadian citizen is in fact held by HRDC. This file is known as the Longitudinal Labour Force File. The commissioner feels that this file represents a threat to privacy.

Does the minister intend to take any concrete action to protect the privacy of Canadians from possible intrusion by another mafia boy?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would agree that the issue of privacy is important to all Canadians. We take it seriously.

I would note that we have taken action. I would also note the comments of my colleague, the Minister of Justice, to review the law. We take this issue seriously and we will continue to ensure that the privacy of Canadians is maintained.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been in her department for almost one year and yet has to take action to protect the personal and private information of Canadians.

Could the minister please tell us what she has been doing to protect the privacy of Canadians since last August?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I have itemized already the undertakings that we have made to date, not the least of which includes recognizing that we should only keep information for a predictable period of time.

I also want to say, very specifically, that the deputy has written to the privacy commissioner and asked him to join us in a working group to continue to ensure that the safety the information now has can be confirmed into the future.

Status Of Women
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a recent report Canada was accused of not having a comprehensive strategy to respond to the global trafficking of women and children.

My question is for the Secretary of State for the Status of Women. Could she tell us what we are doing to stop this horrific practice of the trafficking of women and children?

Status Of Women
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the government considers this form of trafficking to be the most despicable form of exploitation in the world. We have taken steps. There is a nine department committee, of which the Status of Women is co-chair, that is looking at setting up legal and other social solutions. We are working with experts and with community groups to devise solutions.

I want to point out one solution which was recently made in the immigration and refugee legislation. There is a new offence against trafficking that will increase the penalty to $1 million or life imprisonment for people who resort to this kind of exploitation.