House of Commons Hansard #79 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was united.

Topics

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I gave an adequate response, but no one can guarantee to anyone that there will be no civilians who unfortunately might lose their lives in any operation. It would be naive to think so. When we are in a war we have to make sure that those who are guilty face the consequences of their acts.

We cannot promise that not a single life will be lost. Some soldiers and some civilians might be affected, but sometimes that is the price we pay to have peace and destroy the evil of terrorism.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister has said that in light of the horrible events of September 11 all security measures must be reviewed. Members of parliament are eager to participate in that review.

Will the Prime Minister ask the standing committees of the House of Commons to undertake, as our first measure of business, an immediate and urgent examination of the current security situation in airports, airplanes, ports, borders and security agencies so they can quickly provide the government with recommendations for improvements to the Canadian system and recommendations to better co-ordinate activities between Canadian agencies and their international counterparts?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Standing Orders 108(1) and 108(2) of the House of Commons already permit committees themselves to generate an issue of business for further study. That is clearly accommodated for right now to the extent that the government can accommodate any reasonable request of that nature, and of course we would co-operate.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence. Is the government's commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Americans limited to humanitarian aid and North American security only, or will our armed forces be committed to possible attacks overseas?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to combating terrorism. We are committed to working with our American allies, our other allies in NATO and other countries of like mind, to combat terrorism whether it is on our own shores, in our own country and continent, or overseas.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the immigration minister. The auditor general says that people can come to our borders, tell us just about anything they want, and we have very little means to verify it. What is the government doing to close this big hole in our security system?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the protection of the citizens of Canada is a priority, particularly security threats. We are all concerned and want to do everything we can to fight terrorism.

I would say to the member that Bill C-11 which is presently before the Senate will give my department new and important tools. Just weeks ago members of his party said the bill was too tough. I hope he will agree today that we need it and that the Senate should pass it as quickly as possible.

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, our leader rose in the House and was very critical of Bill C-11. Canadians are feeling very vulnerable. The auditor general says that people are admitted through our immigration system without assurances that they have not committed crimes abroad. That is what the auditor general says.

What has the minister done to close this absolutely huge gap in our security system?

Immigration
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the member's question is not accurate. Anyone who comes to Canada as an immigrant must have a full security and criminality screening before they come. That is a statutory requirement today.

I will say that Bill C-11 gives us important new tools to ensure that we are able to do things such as up-front security screening and to bar access to the refugee determination system for anyone that we believe poses a security threat to Canada. We need the bill. His party did not support it. I hope they have changed their minds and will encourage the Senate to pass the bill quickly.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of Quebec and Canadian nationals are at present in a high risk area around Afghanistan, and many are concerned.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us what measures have been taken to evacuate these people should the worst occur?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first, I thank the member for his question. We are currently advising all Canadians against visiting these areas right now.

Second, our ambassador and officials in the area can help Canadians get out. We are advising them to do so immediately.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have received calls from people currently in Pakistan or the Middle East. One Quebec woman, who works for an NGO in Pakistan, has asked for help.

Has the minister considered emergency measures to evacuate Canadians at risk?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our representatives in the area are currently making preparations.

The member could advise those involved to contact representatives in embassies or consulates as soon as possible to obtain information.

Airline Safety
Oral Question Period

September 17th, 2001 / 2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a result of Tuesday's tragic events, U.S. transportation secretary Norman Mineta announced that FAA federal air marshals who are trained will be allowed on board aircraft, flying anonymously on select flights. Saturday's National Post reports that Air Canada is calling on the federal government to implement a similar program in Canada.

Will the government finance air marshal in Canada?

Airline Safety
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to pay tribute to all the workers in the transportation industry, the airlines, and the airports across the country for their Herculean efforts, and also the people of Canada who welcomed all of those stranded air passengers, in particular the people of Atlantic Canada who welcomed half of all the flights.

To deploy armed air marshals on flights is a radical suggestion. It poses severe logistical and financial implications and it is not the direction in which we are moving.

We are committed to providing enhanced security on the ground so we will not need air marshals on planes.