House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the newspaper story used by the Prime Minister this week in a disgusting drive-by smear against a member of Parliament contained assertions about alleged police proceedings of a highly secret nature. They are secret to ensure the integrity of those proceedings and yet the information, true or not, was made public.

Why did the government deem it appropriate to publish secret security information? Does that disclosure, in itself, not constitute breaking the law?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the government did no such thing. I believe the reference was to an article in The Vancouver Sun, which did not even get read in the House. If he has an issue, it is with The Vancouver Sun.

I would remind the member that in the reference he is making, the assertion is from a professor at the University of Ottawa, Errol Mendes, who has been a very significant contributor to the Liberal Party over the years.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Wascana now has the floor. I do not think he needs a lot of help with his question.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the despicable events of last Wednesday were no accident. At the very moment the Prime Minister was on his feet slurring the member for Mississauga—Brampton South, his press office was sending copies of that newspaper story to all the media. From beginning to end, this was contrived, premeditated slander.

Let us go right to the source. Who in the government disclosed secret security information? Was it or was it not the Prime Minister's Office?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member knows well that this government does not control the media in this country, anything but, and the issue he is talking about was written by respected journalists.

However, yesterday the Prime Minister clearly invited the hon. member and members of the opposition, if there were anything in that article that they wished to deny, to do that.

The main issue here is the lives that have been lost to terrorism. Over 350 Canadians lost their lives in the Air-India incident, one of the worst terrorist incidents in the history of the world. We need the tools to investigate those threats. We need the Liberals to vote for the anti-terrorist measures that they brought in themselves five years ago. We need them to support that legislation.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada has just ruled that security certificates are invalid because they violate fundamental rights.

As a result of this ruling, will the government abandon its George Bush tactics and amend the law as quickly as possible so that those charged under a security certificate may have access to the evidence in order to have a full and complete defence?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. The government intends to respond decisively and in due course to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House that the Bloc Québécois voted against this type of measure in 2002.

The Supreme Court goes even further. It unanimously deplores the fact that judges do not have access to all the evidence since the suspect cannot provide a defence.

Does the government intend to amend the legislation to give judges the full capacity to rule on security certificates presented to them, thus enabling them to hand down informed rulings?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there is no way the Bloc Québécois voted against the motion because the procedure for issuing security certificates has been around for several decades. The Bloc could not possibly have been here at that time.

The government intends to respond decisively and in due course to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us first recall that the Anti-Terrorism Act was passed in 2001.

The fears of those who have grasped how important it is to safeguard basic rights and freedoms have recently been confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada. The government has gone too far in its drift in security policy, with the security certificates.

Will the government finally realize that nothing can be more important to the security of our fellow citizens than respect for basic rights? Will it amend the Anti-Terrorism Act accordingly?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government does thank the Supreme Court for its decision on security certificates. We have just received the decision and are reviewing it carefully. The security certificate process was put in place to protect Canadians against threats to their safety and security and the government does intend to respond in a timely and decisive fashion to address the court's decision.

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court has given the government a maximum of one year. Meanwhile, other people are remaining subject to draconian surveillance.

Out of respect for these men, will the government take swift action to address the security certificate deficiencies and allow these people to regain their rights as soon as possible?

Security Information
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have just received the Supreme Court's decision. It will be reviewed very carefully and the government will respond in a timely and decisive fashion.

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America
Oral Questions

February 23rd, 2007 / 11:25 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, discussions on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America affect ordinary people. However, this whole process, launched by the Liberals and pursued by the Conservatives, is very vague.

Secret talks are being held on security, transportation, the environment, health care and increasingly deeper integration, all without the mandate of Parliament and without any public input on integration.

Why does the minister refuse to reveal the agenda of these meetings?