House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Points of Order

10 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, on November 22, the member for Beauséjour--Petitcodiac said during his speech on Motion No. 241, and I quote:

In 1955, during the 200th anniversary of the deportation, all of the Acadian leaders and the Société nationale l'Assomption—now known as the Société nationale de l'Acadie—focused on the future in commemorating this tragic event from their past.

In an important speech on this very issue, Claude Bourque, a well-known reporter and writer concluded that, in 1955, the SNA ensured healing for all Acadians by forgiving those who organized the deportation.

At the time, the chief organizer of the festivities, Archbishop Adélard Savoie, who would later become the rector of the Université de Moncton, said, and I quote: “Evoking this period should elicit the profound joy of resurrection rather than the overwhelming sorrow of annihilation. Acadians should feel no resentment or bitterness at such a time. This is the generous offer of Christian forgiveness and the expression of a firm desire to continue our forefathers' work on this beloved Earth and carry out to their fullest the designs of Providence”.

However, Mr. Speaker, a member of the board of directors of the Société de l'Assomption, who was present at the celebration, and the deputy chair of the organizing committee for this event said publicly that this information was completely false and that Mr. Bourque—

Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. From what I have heard so far, this is a debate about what a member of another party said with respect to the motion in question. I do not see this as a point of order.

If the member has something technical to add, if his point of order concerns our rules, I will allow him to continue, but I do not want this to become a debate.

Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is a point of order. What I am saying is that the member for Beauséjour--Petitcodiac misled the House through misinterpreted remarks.

I ask that the member for Beauséjour--Petitcodiac withdraw his remarks on this topic or that he withdraw them before the House.

Points of Order

10:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Again, I find that the intervention by the member for Acadie--Bathurst is a matter of debate. However, I will take the time to examine the other member's remarks in greater detail and, if necessary, I will get back to the House.

Canada Elections Act

10:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Chief Electoral officer on proposed amendments to the Canada Elections Act. This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology entitled, “Getting Back to Business”.

The committee heard representatives from many of Canada's major industrial sectors. Some of them provided estimates of their financial losses incurred that were indirectly attributable to the terrorist attacks on the United States.

The committee advises the federal government to take bold action to resolve perennial problems at Canada-U.S. border crossings and suggests that the government undertake a number of critical initiatives.

I thank the witnesses, members of the committee and the staff, especially our researcher Dan Shaw, for their diligence.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from my constituents regarding the fishing industry and the inland fisheries of Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba.

The petitioners ask that the Parliament of Canada, the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation and the legislative assembly of Manitoba grant the Lake Manitoba Fishers' Association membership an unrestricted licence to market their coarse fish, which is a big issue for these fishermen.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the 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 Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Anti-terrorism Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That in relation to C-36, an act to amend the Criminal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Canada Evidence Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act and other acts, and to enact measures respecting the registration of charities, in order to combat terrorism, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage of the bill and one sitting day shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill and fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the day allotted to the consideration of the report stage and on the day allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Anti-terrorism Act
Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In accordance with the new procedure regarding time allocation, there will now be a 30 minute question period.

Before I begin the 30 minute period, I will ask if members on both sides of the House could give the Chair and the House some indication as to how many are intending to participate in this 30 minute period. Please stand and give the Chair an indication.

With the co-operation of everyone, the minister and those asking questions, the 35 seconds will certainly not apply. Having said that, I hope the questions will be put in a reasonable period of time, approximately a minute or so. Likewise for the responses. We will have as many people participate as possible.

I will begin with the leader of the official opposition.

Anti-terrorism Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since September 17, the official opposition has been pushing hard for tough anti-terrorism legislation that would provide for the safety and security of our citizens. There are some important measures in the bill which the government has agreed to for which the official opposition asked, but there are some glaring holes in this wall of protection that should be there for Canadians.

There is no ban on membership in terrorist organizations. Unbelievably there is still parole eligibility for terrorists convicted of mass murders. If the person who planned the World Trade Center bombings, which killed thousands of people, was in Canada and was charged and convicted of this act, unbelievably he would be able to apply for parole. That is unacceptable.

There is nothing in the legislation to speed up extradition from Canada or undo the damage of the Burns v Rafay decision, which allows criminals to flee the consequences of their actions if they can make it to Canada and hide behind our softer laws. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for those people to be extradited to face the consequences of their actions.

Finally, the bill does nothing to improve our ability to detain and deport false refugee claimants who hurt genuine refugee claimants. Nothing is being done in these areas.

I ask the minister these questions. Why is the government now, through closure, slamming the door on the possibility that we could provide true safety and security for our citizens? Why will the government not allow the time for Canadians to be properly alerted to the dangerous and gaping holes? When will the government allow the time as well as the measures, even in other legislation, to close these holes and truly protect the safety and security of Canadians? Why is the government doing this?

Anti-terrorism Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if the official opposition were truly interested in the security and safety of Canadians, as opposed to stonewalling in terms of the passage of this legislation, it would be supporting us in our efforts to pass this legislation and have it implemented expeditiously.

Let me respond to a few of the questions asked by the leader of the official opposition. In terms of membership, we have talked on a number of occasions in the House and in committee. The leader and I have had the opportunity in committee to engage on this question and I have explained that what we concentrate on in our criminal law is conduct. What we want to do is ban conduc, not status.

Generally in the criminal law of our country we do not prohibit on the basis of status, that is, who someone is as opposed to what the individual does and the harm resulting from the conduct that would put in jeopardy Canadians and their families.

What we are targeting is conduct: the participation, facilitation, instruction, recruitment and financing. We believe this is a much more effective way to protect the interests of Canadians and their families, than to worry about the status of an individual. That status can be easily concealed and changed. Therefore it is much more important to target the conduct.

The leader of the official opposition talked about the extradition procedures. This legislation does not deal with extradition. I had the pleasure two years ago of taking forward a complete reform of Canada's Extradition Act, the first major reform of that legislation in 90 years. That reform was done in part to ensure that our processes permitted expeditious extradition to countries around the world with whom we had either treaties or other forms of arrangements.

I know my time is up, so I will end my comments there, although I acknowledge that there were a number of other questions asked by the Leader of the Opposition.