House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was world.

Topics

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1:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Surrey Central to debate the NDP motion. I express my shock and extend my deepest condolences to all those who lost their loved ones. My heart, thoughts, sympathy and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of these cowardly and atrocious acts.

I condemn in the clearest possible terms terrorists and those who support them. Crimes against humanity means crimes against innocent people. It means murder, torture, rape or violence carried out by terrorists, repressive governments, military dictators or fanatics in the context of ethnic, religious and geographical conflicts. It also applies to such acts when carried out by organized criminals. Whenever or wherever innocent people are killed it is a crime against humanity.

We often think of the innocent people who were killed in the despicable acts of terrorism in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. However the evil web of terror has affected many more lives. The attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania ended the lives of over 300 firefighters, over 100 police officers, and the many crew members and passengers on the airplanes. Over 6,000 people died in the attack. I agree 100% that it was a crime against humanity, civilization and the people of the global village.

However it was not only a crime against people living in New York City or Washington. It was a crime against everyone who believes in civility. While we stop to mourn those who died in the September attacks let us not forget the millions of victims of other crimes against humanity around the world. The people responsible for these horrible acts must be brought to justice.

To fight terrorism we need a concerted effort. We need international co-operation and resources. We need laws that have teeth both at home and abroad. In Canada we need to deal with lax laws that allow terrorists to raise funds, breach our security and transportation systems, flout our immigration and refugee laws and abuse our freedom.

The United Nations motion allows space for the types of changes for which the Canadian Alliance has been calling for a long time, changes that would let us stand with our allies in the fight against terrorism.

We should focus not only on terrorists but on suspected terrorists. They should not be allowed to repeat their terrible acts. We should also focus on organized criminals. Terrorism and organized crime go hand in hand. The effect of terrorism is visual and emotional. The effect of organized crime is latent and hidden but equally dangerous.

Our remedy against terrorism should begin in the House with a change in the political will of the weak Liberal government. Rather than denying terrorists or terrorist fronts tax free status and declaring their activities illegal, Liberal ministers have attended their fundraisers to help them raise funds in Canada. They have done this despite warnings by CSIS and the U.S. state department. When my Canadian Alliance colleagues and I questioned Liberal members about this in the House they ridiculed us. We were right then and we are right now.

The arrogant Liberal government refused to support our motion asking the government to introduce effective anti-terrorism legislation, to reallocate funding and resources to our law enforcement agencies and upgrade safety and security standards. It refused that motion in the House. To live up to the spirit of the NDP motion the government needs to admit its mistakes and change its don't worry be happy mentality.

Canada's foreign policy, which is supposed to project our interests around the world, has as one of its three objectives a focus on Canadian culture. I am not against promoting Canadian culture but no one has been able to define what Canadian culture is so how is DFAIT supposed to promote it? Instead of these flimsy notions, DFAIT should have clear and focused objectives and goals. The objectives of our foreign policy have to be revisited and the policy should be formulated to achieve those goals.

No foreign policy in the world should have double standards. I am not only talking about Canada, but globally. They should be just and fair. Preventive diplomacy should be one of the top priorities of foreign policy.

Let me give an analogy. When a pressure cooker is heated it produces steam. If we attempt to stop that steam by applying more weight on the pressure cooker, the steam will not stop; rather, the pressure cooker will explode. We simply have to remove the heat under the cooker and it will stop producing steam.

When foreign policies are unfair, when they apply double standards, favouritism, or use governments or people for selfish motives, they create uneasy, apathetic feelings that lead to conflicts, revenge and terrorism. The root causes of terrorism should also be dealt with simultaneously or before applying military pressure or force. I repeat that the root causes of terrorism should also be dealt with simultaneously or before applying military pressure or force. Hate or revenge is hard to contain with force alone, at least in the long run.

The motion calls on us to support an action against ethnic based intolerance directed against Arabs and Muslims in Canada. Sikhs have been attacked and even killed in the aftermath of September 11. The motion omits to include intolerance against Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities.

I call upon people of all faiths, religions and backgrounds to work together to put a stop to terrorism and terrorist acts. The idea of dying for one's faith has been distorted by the evil ones. Retaliation against a religion or faith is not appropriate. This is not a religious issue and let us not make it into one. Evil resides in the hearts of individuals, not in a religion or a nation. Let us look beyond the appearance of a person and into a person's soul.

It also suggests that Canada's multicultural policies are not as successful as the government touts. They officially promote tolerance. Tolerance implies that I do not like someone but somehow I will tolerate him or her. Rather than promoting tolerance, government policies should be promoting acceptance. We are all Canadians. No one is more Canadian than another. All Canadians are proud of that. The government should promote acceptance. We should accept everyone, whether they are ethnic minorities, no matter what religion, colour or whatever the criteria may be.

In conclusion I would like to say that as Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, this is not a time for further study or vague directives. In his words, this is a wake up call and it is a time for action. I urge the government to be proactive and take action, introduce anti-terrorism legislation and other things that we have been recommending.

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1:25 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the member specifically whether he supports the motion before the House and in particular the provisions in subparagraph (c) directing the government to table a report setting out the steps that Canada will take to implement an action plan. I ask this question because his colleague, the spokesperson for foreign affairs, indicated that he did not support this provision. He believed that we were exaggerating the extent of racist attacks in Canada. Is that the position of the member who has just spoken?

I also want to raise another issue and perhaps he could comment on it. The member has spoken of the importance of tolerance and respect for fundamental human rights. As one member of the House, and I emphasize I am speaking only for myself, I want to say that I reject the criticisms and the attacks on the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism which were made in the House by a number of members in the context of the comments that were made at a women's conference recently at which the secretary of state was participating.

Surely one of the most precious and fundamental rights in a civilized and democratic society is freedom of speech. I would hope that the member would join in recognizing that it is inappropriate and unfair to attack the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism for not criticizing comments that were made by Sunera Thobani during that conference.

I want to ask the member to comment both on the motion and also with respect to the importance of freedom of speech and respecting freedom of speech.

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I see there are more members who want to ask questions so I will be very brief.

The hon. member is a learned member of the House and I respect him. However, from time to time he is very partisan and he distorts the opinions of the other political parties. Earlier in the day he distorted the position of the Canadian Alliance which was put forward by the chief critic for foreign affairs.

Part (c) of the motion sparks emotion. It is very reactive. We have to be proactive. We have to accept the realities in Canada. We have to condemn what needs to be condemned, such as racial intolerance. My colleagues join me in condemning these insidious acts.

That is why focus on the multiculturalism policy in Canada should be integration of communities, not segregation. The purpose should be acceptance and harmony. I believe all my colleagues believe in that.

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1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened very carefully to the remarks made by the member across the way. I remember in other speeches that the member has made, he talked about these issues as being wasteful spending.

I want to ask the member to reflect on his or his party's ideological position on multiculturalism, visible minorities, human rights and all those things which are not found in the platform of his party. It seems as though the Alliance is either rewriting or writing it as we go along.

I would like to know what is the present position. Is he speaking on his party's position or is he speaking as an individual? What is his party's position in those areas?

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am against wasteful spending and so are my colleagues in this party. Wasteful spending should occur. The multiculturalism department is no exception. There is wasteful spending, which is what we are against.

We are not against the concept of multiculturalism, harmony in Canada or accepting other communities and groups in Canada. However, when the government uses grants or contributions as a means for political propaganda and creates different tiers in the communities by giving more money to one group and less to another, it creates disparity in the community. That is what we are against. We are against government funds, taxpayer money, being used for political purposes to give handouts. That is what we are against.

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to speak to this very important motion. I thank the NDP for bringing this issue forward. Many issues being dealt with today are of critical importance to all Canadians and the government would be wise to listen to the creative solutions that are coming forth.

September 11 focused all Canadians and indeed the international community on some challenges that have been ignored for far too long. I would like to dispel some of the myths surrounding this particular problem.

Some individuals have portrayed this as an issue of poverty and social inequities. If that were the case, there would be umpteen numbers of terrorist groups coming out of sub-Saharan Africa. That is not the problem. Osama bin Laden is worth up to $300 million. Islam is a very rich religion. It is true that many of the people who have committed acts of suicide for their jihad are individuals from impoverished areas. The people who committed these atrocities, the people who were on those planes, were well educated and from a middle income background. It is not an issue of poverty. It is not an issue of social inequities.

Why would somebody take up arms against us? The type of fundamental Islam that Osama bin Laden portrays has nothing to do with social inequity. They hate us and the west for what the west portrays. We are what the Taliban is not; the Taliban is what we are not. The west represents freedom and individualism. We are actually perceived as being venal to those who want to support the Osama bin Ladens of this world. Fundamental Islam is anathema to our western culture and vice versa.

Osama bin Laden would rather blow up the negotiating table than sit at it. Therefore there is no room for negotiation. That is why we are looking at military options to deal with those individuals. However it is interesting to look at why people would support them.

In looking at the precursors to conflict, one of the most potent tools in conflict is communication. It can be used as a tool for peace but can also be used as a tool for conflict. Look at the communication that has gone into the camps in the Gaza Strip, into Palestinian held territory and into many of the other Arab states in the world. Venal, obnoxious, vile communication is used to stir up people against the west. That is what happens and there is no counterpoint to it. Those people do not see our viewpoint and our world. Communication is used as a tool to whip up frenzy and to stimulate people to take up arms against us.

Therein lies an opportunity for us and the international community to get into those areas and portray another point of view. Some have said this could be done by using shortwave radio, the BBC or other tools as a very potent force in trying to calm down conflict and its precursors. The UN has explored this option. We would be wise to go where people are being stirred up by these vile comments and statements, lies in fact, and counteract that by portraying what is really going on in the world.

In order to combat this there are a number of opportunities. From a foreign policy perspective we have a great opportunity to raise something out of the ashes. We have a great opportunity to build communications and solid relationships with states that we have had difficult relationships with in the past. I am talking about countries like Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Arab countries, Iran. Many of these countries have come on side at least tacitly. There is an opportunity to improve that. For example, with respect to Pakistan we have lowered its debt load. We can forgive some loans internationally and decrease barriers to trade. Decreasing barriers to trade and removing sanctions would probably be the best way to improve the socioeconomic conditions in these countries. That is what we can do as a condition for working together to deal with the threat of terrorism.

Countries such as Chechnya, Azerbaijan,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and many others and a number of Middle East states are threatened by fundamental Islam. It behooves them to work with us. We can start building relations not only from a political dimension but also through communication, bilateral movement of people between countries as well as giving these countries the economic tools to allow them to stand on their own two feet. Therein lies a grand opportunity to build up relations which to this point has been very difficult to do.

Our military has been guided through cuts. NATO, the Commonwealth of defence associations and a recent report by the UN castigated Canada for not living up to its 1994 defence white paper commitments.

In my view this is what Canada needs. First, we need a $1 billion to $2 billion per year investment, 23% of which has to go into capital costs to avoid the rust out which is occurring now. Second, the navy at present can only put out one ship per coast. That has to be increased to at least two. Third, we need to increase our manpower from the low 50,000 to a minimum of 60,000 and hopefully as high as 65,000.

With respect to our air force, we have a great rust out. We need to upgrade our weapons systems on the CF-18s and improve our tanker capabilities, as well as our heavy lift capabilities. Our soldiers are burnt out psychologically and physically. They simply cannot keep up the rapid rotations. Because of this we are losing a lot of very good people. The way to avoid that is to lessen our demands and increase the numbers.

On the issue of Revenue Canada, my colleague from Surrey mentioned a couple of constructive things. One was that we can no longer allow individuals raising money for terrorist organizations to have a tax creditable status. They should be shut down completely. CSIS and the international community knows who they are, and Canada has to have the guts to shut them down as soon as possible.

On the issue of immigration, we need a steel sheath around Canada, but it has to be porous. It has to allow the flow of goods and services in an unrestricted fashion. It has to allow the movement of honest people who want to immigrate to Canada. However, it has to be a steel sheath against those individuals who are criminals, crooks and terrorists who intend to come to Canada and abuse our good nature. This is fundamentally important.

The NDP mentioned the prejudice and discrimination of individuals like Osama bin Laden who have warped and twisted the Koran. In Canada 99.99% of Muslims have nothing to do with what he represents and abhor all of what he says. There is a statement in the Koran, which I will paraphrase. It states that if a life is saved, it is saving the life of humanity. If a life is killed, humanity is killed.

Perhaps it makes us take notice that all the great religions of the world are peaceful religions. All support peace and kindness to each other. It is the perversion of religion, whether it be Christianity, Judaism or Islam, that is wrong and that allows this bloodletting to go on. It is wise for us to remember that people of the Muslim faith abhor this type of violence as much as any of us in the House.

In closing, there is a great opportunity after the September 11 disaster to build relations with those countries that we have not had relations with before and to improve communication with those disaffected populations that Osama bin Laden finds as a ripe garden to get to soldiers for his cause. We can combat that but it can only be done by working with our international partners in a multifactorial and multinational fashion.

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1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the speeches of course and I will point out that of all the great religions in the world we one has not been mentioned. There are many more besides the ones that arose in the deserts of Africa. I am speaking of our aboriginal people.

The members from the NDP have also spoke about Sunera Thobani, who is a professor at the University of British Columbia, and her remarks the other day at the women's conference. I personally stand behind the charter of rights to freedom of speech, but I certainly want to publicly declare that I do not agree with the position that she took. Nor do I agree that she should be receive any government moneys to advance causes that are not in keeping with the majority of Canadians' opinions. Lee Lakeman of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres was also there supporting those kinds of remarks.

If these kinds of organizations expect to continue to receive government moneys, they should concentrate on the mission statements of their organizations and not use taxpayer money for purposes other than those mission statements. I ask the member about that.

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1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a party we have never been supportive of taxpayer money going to groups that would foment hatred or disaffection within our society.

The individual mentioned has made some comments in the past, and there are others. If we look at Concordia University, we see a heinous situation taking place. Non-students professing to represent the students are asking people to take up arms against other groups. It is absolutely vile.

No longer can we use taxpayer money or the money of any public group to further that type of hatred and disaffection.

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1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for raising what is a very rational and tightly reasoned presentation on the motion.

I know he is an international traveller and a person who has performed many professional services in other countries of the world. He has also seen some of the terror and the suffering that goes on in these other countries.

Can a man who has seen the suffering honestly say that in Canada we have a rising wave of racism and discrimination against people because of what they believe? Would these people who he has served and observed in other countries feel they would be better off in Canada than elsewhere?

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1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are very lucky to live in one of the most tolerant, if not the most tolerant country in the world. We are only tolerant by virtue of the vigilance that we have as a country and as a people. I know my party, as we all are in the House, is supportive of a country that continues to uphold the basic rights and freedoms that we have all enjoyed up to this point.

It is only with this vigilance and the support of the freedom that we have enjoyed these rights. If we let our guard down we run the risk of losing those freedoms.

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1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have more of a comment than a question. I remember hearing a couplet a long time ago that said “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”.

Passing laws to reduce feelings of racism and hatred are totally non-productive and not effective. It makes us feel good if we pass such laws, and we should do everything we can to practice the tolerance we have.

I grew up as a Germany-speaking child three-quarters of a mile away from an air force training base in the second world war. How did we got along in that community in those years? Because my mother and father led our family to be the most co-operative, helpful, useful and tolerant people in that community. We had great acceptance, not because someone passed a law, but because we proved to them that we were tolerant.

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1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is saying that we want a country where there are laws against discrimination and racism. Thankfully we have that in Canada.

He is also saying that the great strength of people in the immigrant communities in Canada, including people like him, myself and many others, is their effort, their hard work, their tolerance and their integration, and not assimilation necessarily, within Canadian society. That is something we are all proud of.

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1:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the NDP Party for putting forward this resolution. It is certainly something that is in need of debate. I wanted to join in with the first part of the resolution. Members have condemned this act of terrorism and I wanted to add my voice to that of the Prime Minister in that respect.

I want to focus however on the second and third part of the resolution and deal with some of the difficulties that Canada and this Chamber will be facing in the next few weeks and months with respect to the issue of terrorism.

By happenstance, I was travelling in Great Britain with the Minister of Foreign Affairs prior to September 11. Part of my program was in London and part of it had to deal with the issues of organized crime and terrorism. I was fortunate enough to meet with several MPs and members who would be enforcing an act called the terrorism act 2000 in Great Britain.

Great Britain of course has a long history of dealing with terrorism and organized crime. Frankly I thought that its experience would be instructive to us as we started to grapple with these issues. I was aware that we were going to have to ratify certain UN conventions and that charter issues would come up inevitably. Therefore, I knew we would have a very animated debate about balancing of those issues.

Ironically just as I was writing up my notes, 35,000 feet over the mid-Atlantic, I was informed of the disaster in New York and Washington . It added a certain poignancy to the notes and to the conversations that I had with colleagues in Great Britain.

The British bill is elegantly simple but quite instructive. The day to day reality of terrorist attacks is much more evident in the U.K. than in Canada. It has dealt with car bombs, with the IRA, with the real IRA and with a variety of other terrorist activities. That is a cultural fact in Great Britain, particularly in London where I was. The terrorism act 2000 of U.K. is the response to this horrible reality.

First, this bill enjoys broad public support. I was somewhat struck by my difference as a Canadian of the British people's willingness to assume that the government would always do the right thing, would always make the right decision was somewhat striking to me but under the circumstances possibly quite understandable.

Troubling issues such as the broad definition of terrorism in the bill were acknowledged as logical inconsistencies but of no great consequence when compared with the harm intended to be addressed. What definition there is is so broad as to be virtually meaningless. If the home secretary decides that a group is a terrorist organization, it is a terrorist organization.

The bill has designated 21 terrorist organizations in Great Britain. If people are members of a terrorist organization or on the prescribed list, the home secretary gets to decide that they part of a terrorist organization. If they do not like that designation, they have within 30 days to appeal to the home secretary to change his mind. In the great unlikelihood that the home secretary will change his mind, they then have an opportunity to appeal to the chancellor of the exchequer who has set up a special commission. That special commission is then invited to overrule the home secretary who has decided that the organization is a terrorist organization on two occasions.

The legislation was passed in the United Kingdom with one hour's worth of debate in the house of commons and one hour's worth of debate in the house of lords. All 21 of the alleged terrorist organizations were placed before parliament on the same day and by the end of the day, they were all deemed to be terrorist organizations. There were no committee hearings, no public consultation and virtually no debate. One has to congratulate Prime Minister Blair on his efficiency if nothing else.

To be found a member of a terrorist organization one is exposed to a 14 year sentence.

Such proof of belonging to a terrorist organization can include wearing certain kinds of clothing; carrying on certain kinds of activities; and, for instance, making a speech in support of a terrorist organization or being on the stage while somebody makes a speech in support of a terrorist organization.

Presumably a politician who is unfortunate enough to be on the stage at the same time as someone who speaks out about the PLO, the PTK or the Tamil tigers is sufficient to attract the unwelcome attention of the authorities and leaves that politician exposed to explaining to the authorities that he does not really support this terrorist organization.

It is a charming notion that this situation could never happen here. However there is enough pressure and urgency in the general public to require us to do something. We saw a bit of a chicken little response on the part of the premier of Ontario yesterday who believes that the sky is falling and that the appointment of two esteemed individuals in our community would somehow or another assuage our terrorist threat.

More frequently this is a simple solution to a complicated problem. More often than not a simple solution is the wrong solution. The U.K. terrorism act, 2000 is the wrong solution.

The U.S. model is only slightly less draconian. The anti-terrorism and effective death penalty act, I do not know what an ineffective death penalty act might be, prohibits contribution to designated foreign terrorist organizations regardless of the intended purpose.

The issue here is the designation. The designation expires every two years unless renewed and the American secretary of state can add or revoke a designation. Congress can legislate a revocation. The designations are also subject to judicial review.

On the face of it the U.S. model is somewhat more attractive than the U.K. model. This sounds a lot less draconian but it has its own problems.

If I told the House that the IRA is not part of the prescribed list in the U.S. legislation I expect members would be somewhat surprised. That is in fact true. The IRA is not a terrorist organization as far as the United States is concerned. One can speculate on the politics that might be involved in that but that is a reality.

Similarly Sinn Fein is not a prescribed entity in the United States. According to representatives of Sinn Fein they do not see themselves as a front for or participating in a terrorist organization such as the IRA.

These are the kinds of decisions the Government of Canada and the House will have to make. Will Sinn Fein be considered a terrorist organization for the purposes of legislation that we might put forward to the House? What about the Hezbollah? The Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government. I believe that pretty well everyone in the Chamber would think that the Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.

What will Canadians do? What will the government do? My first recommendation is not to do anything in haste. If we legislate in haste we will repent in leisure.

Let us consider the model of the judge advocate designation. When we studied the organized crime legislation that model was given consideration. However our judiciary did not want to involve itself in the issue of designating organized crime as a criminal organization. We should also look at the model that we used for organized crime whereby the solicitor general designates who is or who is not part of a criminal organization.

How will SIRC supervise CSIS? CSIS will be fairly involved and I would like to know that SIRC will have some significant input.

My final point is to say that we should not throw the baby of our fundamental rights and freedoms out with the bathwater of real or apprehended security. We have a lot of decisions to make. I neglected to mention at the outset of my speech that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Oak Ridges.

Family Services Canada
Statements By Members

October 2nd, 2001 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in view of the tremendous loss of life and devastation to families that our American friends and neighbours suffered on September 11, Family Services Canada is dedicating the October 1 to October 7 National Family Week 2001 to the victims of this tragedy.

It encourages all Canadians to come together as families to demonstrate our concern, compassion and caring for all of our fellow human beings affected by this calamity.

I commend Family Services Canada for planning events throughout this week to celebrate the importance of families, something we all depend on to get us through the happiest and most difficult periods in our lives.

In the spirit of National Family Week I call upon all Canadians to set aside some time this week to think about the members of their own families and communities and how they can make a personal difference in the lives of others, be they family, friends or neighbours.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, an April 18 report from the solicitor general states:

There is now a growing awareness that the agriculture sector--that is, crops or livestock--has to be considered a potential target for terrorist attacks.

Next week the solicitor general's office will finally meet with one provincial government to discuss this threat. The beginning of this consultation process is really six months late.

It has been six months since the solicitor general's own staff told him that our farmers were at risk of terrorist attack. He should have immediately begun meetings with farmers along with municipal and provincial governments to improve security.

The solicitor general is not the only minister who is failing Canadians. Last Wednesday when I questioned the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food he had an opportunity to tell farmers what he had done to protect our industry from terrorist attack. His answer revealed that he had done nothing. The government's failure to act in a timely fashion could cost our farmers and our economy dearly.