House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crtc.

Topics

Anti-terrorism legislation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House before, the power to which the hon. member refers is an exceptional power in which I, in my role as Attorney General of Canada, the chief law officer of the country, can issue a certificate to ensure that in exceptional circumstances highly confidential information is not released.

I should remind the member that the power that is seen in the anti-terrorism legislation is very similar to powers found in legislation of our allies with whom we share information and receive information.

Anti-terrorism legislation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the privacy commissioner is excluded from Bill C-36. This means that no one, no organization, not the commissioner, not parliament, not the justice system will be able to control the actions of the government.

Does the minister consider this acceptable in a free and democratic society?

Anti-terrorism legislation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I should point out to the hon. member that the ultimate control over any action taken by me in my capacity as Attorney General of Canada is the Parliament of Canada.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the Burns and Rafay case the Minister of Justice argued, and I quote:

It is necessary to refuse to ask for assurances in order to prevent an influx to Canada of persons who commit crimes sanctioned by the death penalty in other states. [Failure to do so] would make Canada an attractive haven for persons committing murders in retentionist states.

Is this still the minister's view even though the Supreme Court of Canada rejects this argument in this case?

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should be aware what the supreme court said in Burns and Rafay. Among other things, it said that the attorney general retains his or her discretion to seek assurances or not in exceptional circumstances.

The court acknowledges there may very well be exceptional circumstances to be determined initially by the attorney general as to whether or not assurances need to be sought. I would intend to exercise that discretion on a case by case basis.

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister claims that she has the discretion to extradite criminals facing the death penalty but the Burns and Rafay decision said clearly that a court would have to determine whether an extradition request would pass the Oakes test.

Who has the discretion, the minister or the courts?

Justice
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, members should be aware that I have the discretion to determine and I will exercise that discretion on a case by case basis as to whether I think there are exceptional circumstances that justify not seeking assurances.

Can that decision made by me, a public official, be reviewed by the court at the request of the accused person? Yes, of course. It would be a shocking proposition to suggest that it could not be reviewed.

Health
Oral Question Period

October 19th, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, claiming supply problems, the Minister of Health violated the federal Patent Act by ordering drugs to fight Anthrax from Apotex, a manufacturer of generic drugs, while Bayer, the company with the patent, has enough for the government's needs.

How does the Minister of Health justify his government's failing to comply with its own laws, thus jeopardizing the pharmaceutical industry in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada? That is unacceptable.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are complying with the Patent Act. I hope the Bloc will agree with us that the priority is to protect the health of all Canadians, including Quebecers.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the priority is to comply with government legislation.

The Bayer officials are positive they can supply the government. In addition, the drug ordered from Apotex has yet to be approved by Health Canada. So there was no justification for the minister's decision.

Will the government acknowledge that it acted too quickly, and illegally, and will it reverse its decision?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise behind the hon. member's question is incorrect.

No drug, patented or generic, is sold in Canada without government approval.

I therefore again ask why the Bloc is not interested in the health of Canadians. It should be our priority, for Quebecers and all other Canadians.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration claimed that whenever immigration officials are concerned that an individual poses a security threat or will not show up for a hearing they can and do detain. I suspect the minister has forgotten the case of Nabil Al-Marabh. This man was finally captured in the U.S. by the FBI and is wanted in connection with the attacks on North America.

If, as the minister claims, her officers have the tools they need, why do they not use them to protect Canadians and our neighbours?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about the impression the member opposite is trying to create. I am particularly concerned when members opposition call for the mandatory detention of all undocumented refugees, suggesting that they are all terrorists and criminals.

When members opposite do not listen to the words of the top cop in Canada, Mr. Zaccardelli, the commissioner of the RCMP, they do a disservice to Canadians. Yesterday the commissioner said that he totally disagrees with the notion that we are a safe haven. He said that we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary in this country. That was his testimony yesterday at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Nabil Al-Marabh was freed by the minister's Immigration and Refugee Board even though he had a violent criminal background, was apprehended with false documents trying to sneak into the U.S. from Canada and had been rejected as a refugee claimant. This is a man who may be connected with the horrific events of September 11.

How can the minister claim that she is doing her job and protecting Canadians when individuals like Nabil Al-Marabh can slip through her department's fingers?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, again the member opposite is taking an individual case that is before the courts. As my colleagues have said, it is irresponsible to do or say anything that may have an impact on a successful prosecution.

Let me again repeat what the top cop, Commissioner Zaccardelli, had to say. He stated that we are no different than any other western country. He said that we face the same issues, the same problems, the same challenges, and that being an open society is still trying to protect citizens as much as we can.