House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was broadcasting.

Topics

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-42 must be consistent with the charter of rights and freedoms. The authority given to the minister is not permanent. It is limited to one year and renewable for one year.

As I have just said, this is entirely consistent with our charter of rights and freedoms. Members of the public in Quebec and throughout Canada must be reassured on this score.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, to live in a military security zone for one year must be quite the experience. The Deputy Prime Minister should remember that.

The Bloc Quebecois is not opposed to having some parts of the bill be dealt with separately. I believe this is what the government is about to do. It only makes sense that intelligence information be transmitted for the purpose of air safety. But safety must not be ensured at the expense of privacy. It would be a mistake to examine the legislative framework alone, without the regulations.

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons admit that it would be extremely dangerous to examine the legislative framework alone given the importance of the regulations?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I discussed the issue to which the hon. member is referring as regards the regulations at the drafting or other stage of the new bill that the government intends to introduce this afternoon and which is designed to split a clause.

To the extent that we can find them, even at the drafting stage, it would be our intention to table them, perhaps as early as this Friday, or else, as soon as possible.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering that we are dealing with privacy, we are quite prepared to support the passage of the clauses of the bill.

However, parliament cannot do a responsible job if the government House leader does not pledge that the consideration of the bill will not end at the committee stage, before we have seen all the regulations to know exactly what kind of information is involved and ensure that privacy is indeed protected under the proposed legislation.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are very sensitive to the legitimate concerns raised by the hon. member. In fact, officials of my department have met with the privacy commissioner. I am sure he will have some comment on this particular clause to amend the Aeronautics Act. It would be our intention by Friday, if the House agrees to the splitting of Bill C-42, to bring in some draft intent of the regulations that would follow from this particular section in the new bill.

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today a broad coalition of community organizations is calling on the government to withdraw Bill C-36. Since September 11 alarming incidents of racial hatred have occurred right across the country. We need leadership from the government. We need concrete measures to combat racism. Instead, the government is targeting voices of dissent and abandoning visible minorities and, by shutting down debate, proving that Canadians have a right to be worried.

Will the government show some leadership and launch an urgent positive plan of action to combat racism?

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have spoken out vigorously as a government against incidents of racism. We have shown our commitment in that regard by concrete steps like the Prime Minister's visit and speech in a major mosque a few weeks ago. The bill is not targeted against any ethnic or religious group. Instead, it is designed to provide a foundation of peace and security in which the rights and freedoms of everybody in this country will be protected. In light of that, the hon. member should withdraw her unwarranted assertions and support the bill.

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I guess tokenism is the best we can hope for from an arrogant majority government.

On September 21 the House unanimously supported the NDP motion for parliamentarians to stand together in protecting the human rights of all of our citizens. In total contradiction, the government is about to ram through Bill C-36. The legislation is the most flagrant attack on the civil liberties of Canadians since the War Measures Act.

In response to the rising tide of opposition, will the government learn from the mistakes of the past and withdraw Bill C-36?

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the bill is not an attack on civil liberties. It is there to provide a foundation of protection for civil liberties.

The hon. member is totally off base in her assertions. She is wrong. I ask her to review the basis for her assertions. If she will look at them, she will agree that what we have done is in conformity with the motion passed by the House. It is in conformity with the charter of rights and freedoms. She ought to admit that and join once again in supporting this measure directly, one that is supporting the rights and liberties of all Canadians.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, in Bill C-42 the government has decided to introduce the ability for ministers to pass interim orders declaring emergencies, just as in Bill C-36 the government will grab more executive power. There is no provision for these orders to come to parliament for debate. The orders appear to have no set criteria, do not have to be publicized in the Canada Gazette for 23 days, nor pass through parliament.

Why has the government brought in these measures when the Emergencies Act, with comprehensive powers and specific limitations, already exists?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I answered this question last week.

Canadians want to know that in any urgent situation the government can act very swiftly in the national interest. There are legitimate safeguards in the legislation, Bill C-42, including the gazetting of the regulations, including a limit on the regulations, including the fact that the regulations are subject to judicial appeal. All the safeguards are there.

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government continually increases the concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister and selected ministers. The Emergencies Act provides detailed examination by parliament of any order issued against it. It includes the right to debate, the right to vote and the right to revoke an order.

But the last eight years of increased executive rule have shown the Prime Minister's autocratic style and increased contempt for parliament. Bill C-42 is just the latest example of executive order to bypass parliament. For a member who has served in the House for over 40 years, and his deputy as well, why has the Prime Minister exhibited such contempt for parliament?

Public Safety Act
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wants me to call upon my almost 40 years here, I can say that the Prime Minister has shown regard for parliament and the rights of Canadians equal to, in fact surpassing that, of any other prime minister, especially the last Conservative prime minister.

I call upon the hon. member therefore to accept what I say. If he wants me to base my comments on my 40 years here, I invoke them to show that the hon. member is wrong and he ought to withdraw his unwarranted assertions.

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

November 28th, 2001 / 2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister of Canada swung an axe across the throat of parliament. While committee members had an opportunity to speak to Bill C-36, members of all parties in parliament lost the ability to express the concerns of Canadians.

If the bill was the right thing to do, why did the Prime Minister do the wrong thing by invoking closure?

Anti-terrorism Legislation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, why is it that when the leader of the hon. member's party was a member of the Klein government in Alberta he stood by while the government invoked closure 30 times? Of those 30 times, 20 were put into place when the Leader of the Opposition was a whip or a House leader in the Alberta government. Why was something right then but wrong now?