House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was security.

Topics

Public Safety Act, 2002
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, as I said, the privacy commissioner has raised a lot of concerns about this. I am sure he will be before the committee whenever the bill gets to committee.

This is a new Achilles heel of the government's legislation. It is something that is new. It was not in Bill C-42. It is a new thing and it cannot be passed off as just modified Bill C-42 legislation. It is a brand new requirement and is a brand new power given to the RCMP, CSIS and the government. It is something that the government has yet to convince me or other Canadians is necessary to fight terrorism.

It might be a convenient tool for a whole variety of purposes, but there are all kinds of convenient tools that we do not provide to government because we value other things. I again refer to what the hon. Liberal MP and chair of the Ontario caucus said about this new police power. He said that it was wide open to what he referred to as function creep. It goes from terrorism to organized crime to ordinary criminality to invasion of privacy of Canadians who are otherwise law abiding. This has a lot of potential for abuse.

Canadians should be concerned. That is the reason why we need a rather lengthy legislative process on this. Part of the purpose of delay, just to speak to parliamentary dynamics for a minute, is not delay for its own sake. It is not delay to be inefficient or obstructionist. Delay is what gives the public time to find out what is going on.

If everything was done in a hurry and done “efficiently”, everything would be over before the public figured out what was going on. As far as I am concerned, here is a classic example of the function of parliamentary delay. This needs to be delayed until the Canadian people can be made more fully aware of this new dimension of the legislation that the government has before it. Then, as political parties, we can all make our respective judgments to whether or not the Canadian people are willing to accept that. We cannot make that judgment if it is all over and done with before they realize what has happened.

Public Safety Act, 2002
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask a question to the learned hon. member on the statements made by the Minister of National Defence. I personally have lost faith in the minister since his terrible blunder regarding the issue of prisoners in Afghanistan. I find it unacceptable that he should get so much power under this legislation.

This morning again, he told us that the public would not lose its recourses and that it could still launch court challenges. I wonder if the hon. member could comment on this, because section 260.1(14) reads as follows:

No action for loss, damage or injury lies by reason only of the designation of a controlled access military zone or the implementation of measures to enforce the designation.

The minister is obviously misleading the House and I wonder if the hon. member could comment on this.

Public Safety Act, 2002
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, the member raises a good point about the extent to which any claims can be made as a result of damage or loss of economic opportunity or whatever the case may be with respect to the effect of these controlled zones.

He also made the other point about the minister of defence. It would be very shaky ground indeed for us to try and define what should or should not be the role of the minister of defence based on the performance of this Minister of National Defence because it might be a very circumscribed role indeed.

Public Safety Act, 2002
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Madam Speaker, I only heard the last bit of what the member just said. Certainly I am sure everyone has discussed the effect of the interim orders and the fact that they are only good for 45 days if they have not been approved by governor in council, and they can last for a maximum of one year.

Of all the departments affected here, one part that is not affected by the same time is the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It certainly has different time lines.

Could the member engage on why there are different time lines for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act?

Public Safety Act, 2002
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Frankly, Madam Speaker, I am not sure why there are different timelines for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. That is one of the things which we would want to pay attention to in committee.

Soccer
Statements By Members

May 2nd, 2002 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I rise today to report on a tremendous victory for members of parliament. I speak of course of the tremendous thrashing the MPs gave the pages during last night's annual soccer game.

The score was an astounding 4 to 1. It was an all party event. The members for Yukon, Edmonton--Strathcona, Fundy--Royal and the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development all contributed markers to this great victory.

I suppose I should mention page Tristan Dumbarton who scored the one lonely goal for the other side. Special mention, however, must made of my friend from Yukon as the best dressed player on either side, and also of my learned friend from Fundy--Royal for breaking Tory tradition and truly using his head.

We should all thank the member for Sackville--Musquodoboit Valley--Eastern Shore and his staff for organizing the event. I would ask all members to join with me in celebrating this clear vindication of members' privileges.

Press Freedom Day
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Madam Speaker, tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day. The freedom of the press is something we at times take for granted in Canada. Fortunately, with rare exceptions, the media in this country do not have to worry about being bombed or shot on their way to work.

However, in dozens of other countries members of the media are assaulted, kidnapped and murdered simply for telling the truth. In the last two years more than 100 journalists have been killed while covering violent conflicts. This year World Press Freedom Day is devoted to the question of terrorism and media freedom.

May 3 is a day for the media around the world to remind governments and the public about the necessity for freedom of the press, which is essential to democracy. One of the most cherished and fundamental rights is freedom of speech.

I use this day to thank and honour those journalists who are putting themselves in danger while reporting on international conflicts and to the media in this country for continuously searching for the truth and assisting in upholding democracy.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, yesterday the legislative assembly of Saskatchewan held an emergency debate to discuss potential U.S. increases in agricultural subsidies. Saskatchewan's minister of agriculture said, “We've played by the rules fully and in Western Canada we've been beat up by playing by the rules.”

The premier said, “This is the time for the national government to come to the aid of Canadian farm families. We have implored the government to help farm families combat foreign agriculture subsidies but to no avail.”

Even the European agriculture commissioner called the bill “a retrograde step that will bring further market distortions” and “create serious difficulties for developing countries.” The farm bill will seriously damage agriculture in Canada.

When will the government start working for Canadian producers? When will the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food along with his colleague in international trade take some action against these unfair subsidies? When will the government finally take action to keep our farmers competitive?

Economic Development
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Madam Speaker, I am delighted three northern municipal associations are in Ottawa today: the Association of Yukon Communities, the Northwest Territories Association of Municipalities and the Nunavut Association of Municipalities. They have a majority of the population of half of Canada in their memberships.

These northern associations made a passionate plea before the Standing Committee on Finance this morning for economic development funding and infrastructure for the north.

They offered several solutions on how to do it: development of a northern regional development agency, economic development agreements for the north, and recalculation of the way northern infrastructure programs are delivered in the north. All Canadians would benefit by having a productive, self-sustaining and dynamic northern economy that could be created by federal investment.

I encourage all members of parliament, and indeed all Canadians, to travel to this beautiful part of our nation during all seasons of the year.

Polish Constitution Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Poles worldwide, Polish Canadians and, in particular, to the Polish community in my riding of Parkdale--High Park. Tomorrow, May 3, will be the 211th anniversary of the Polish constitution. This day is not only celebrated in Poland but also throughout Canada.

May 3 is a day to reflect upon and celebrate the heritage and ideals of humanitarianism, tolerance and democracy. The constitution of May 3, 1791, was the instrument that gave rise to parliamentary supremacy and it also gave Polish citizens new found access to parliament. Constitution Day is a proud heritage for Canadians of Polish decent and a confirmation of the basic values and freedoms of our own society.

I am proud to offer my best wishes on this very memorable anniversary.

South Asian Heritage Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Madam Speaker, South Asian immigrants started arriving in Canada at the end of the 19th century and have made a marvellous contribution to this country over the past century. To recognize this, the government of Ontario recently proclaimed May of each year as South Asian Heritage Month and May 5 as South Asian Heritage Day.

The first South Asian immigrants arrived in my constituency in Lac La Biche more than a century ago. In fact, they celebrated their 100th anniversary two years ago.

I would like to recognize today Sam Chopra, president of the South Asians of Ontario, and all members of this association for the great work they have done in building stronger communities and for the wonderful hospitality and friendship which they have shared with me for the past three years.

I wish to thank all Canadians of South Asian descent for the important part they have played in making Canada the best country in the world in which to live.

Bill C-286
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, last February 28 the member for Saskatoon--Humboldt presented a private member's bill that caused a bit of a ruckus in this House. As I stated back then, his bill, now referred to as Bill C-286, would essentially gut the Official Languages Act and eliminate the rights of most linguistic minorities in the country, be they francophone or anglophone.

At the time I challenged the member for Saskatoon--Humboldt to select the bill should his name be drawn during the private members' business lottery. He accepted this challenge not only in the House but also in a press release dated April 3, 2001. I would be happy to table a copy. Despite all of this the member for Saskatoon--Humboldt did not select Bill C-286 when his name was drawn on April 11.

I can only conclude that the member for Saskatoon--Humboldt has finally realized the folly of Bill C-286 and I now invite him to do the honourable thing and withdraw the bill entirely.

Press Freedom Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Press Freedom Day, reminding us of the profound importance of freedom of expression, itself consecrated in the fundamental freedoms section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the lifeblood of a democracy.

Indeed, as the Supreme Court of Canada has put it, “liberty in freedom of expression is little less vital to man than breathing is to his physical existence”, and “it is difficult to imagine a guaranteed right more important to a democratic society than freedom of expression.”

Accordingly, Canadian jurisprudence has articulated a three-pronged purposive rationale for freedom of expression, which freedom of the press seeks to promote and protect. First, that seeking and attaining truth is an inherently valuable exercise; second, that participation in social and political decision making is to be fostered and encouraged; and third, that diversity in terms of individual self-fulfillment and the capacity for human potential ought to be cultivated in a tolerant and welcoming environment.

I am sure my colleagues will join me in celebrating World Press Freedom Day in recognition of press freedom that sustains democratic debate and fundamental values in this country, and in the hope that press freedom will yet be acquired as a feature of democratic development in countries less fortunate than ours.

Francophone Culture
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Canadian play is doing well at the box office in Lebanon at the present time. People are flocking to see Le collier d'Hélène , and I want to point this out.

Works like the one by Quebec dramaturge Carole Fréchette are contributing to making francophone culture known worldwide. I feel that our creative people need to be acknowledged for their contribution.

As hon. members are aware, the Francophone summit will be held in Beirut this coming fall.

I am pleased to learn how dynamic the francophone culture in Lebanon has become, and this augurs well for the great success of the Beirut summit, I am sure.

Children
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, from May 8 to 10, I will be in New York City with the Canadian delegation attending the United Nations Special Session on Children.

Despite the progress that has been made as far as health is concerned, one of every twelve children in the world dies before the age of five years. In a country as rich as Canada, one in five does not get enough to eat, and this has a significant negative impact on that child's ability to learn.

Massive investments in favour of children's rights and development are more necessary than ever, if they are to escape from the vicious circle of poverty.

A campaign in favour of children's rights, around the theme “Say Yes for children” is under way just about everywhere in the world. I invite all parliamentarians and the population as a whole to add their voices to this initiative by signing the virtual petition to be found on the UNICEF web site.

Let us join in solidarity with the children of the world and let us demand of our governments that they keep the promises they have made to those children.