House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Anti-terrorism Act
Orders of the Day

10:50 a.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Conservative

Rob Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said that there was a clear division between his party and the government on this issue. However, I did not get any clear direction from what he said. I ask him to reconcile his statements that the Liberal Party is balanced and has introduced appropriate measures. In fact, these measures were brought in with the Liberal majority. Perhaps he could reconcile that with what he is saying now about these measures not being effective.

Also, could he reconcile his comment about our confidence in law enforcement and in our police to protect us? Our police and law enforcement community, among others, have said that these provisions are necessary for the fight against terrorism, that we need them in place to prevent the worst case scenario. The provisions have not been used to this point, but I would hate to be in a situation where they could have been used to prevent a serious terrorist attack, but they were not available to our law enforcement.

How does he reconcile those two statements, that at one point in time these were balanced and now they are now somehow not balanced and that we support our police, yet when the police have asked for these provisions, he does not want to make them available?

Anti-terrorism Act
Orders of the Day

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I guess the hon. member was not listening to my entire speech. I stated that at the time, after the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, Canadians and lawmakers came together to establish a law, called the Anti-terrorism Act, to ensure the protection of Canadians. As part of that law, these two measures were introduced, but there was a recognition that they were extraordinary in response to the dynamics and the environment at the time. We recognized that they were unusual and powerful. That is why we implemented a five year sunset clause. We put these two clauses on a probation period and the default would be the sunset after five years.

We have had that five years. We have had the trial period. We realize that our law enforcement agencies can conduct their duties and protect Canadians without these tools. To restore the balance and to ensure that we do not risk losing that balance, we are saying we have fulfilled our duties. The two clauses have done their job. The trial period has proven that we do not need them. Let us get back to our original laws and let them sunset.

Anti-terrorism Act
Orders of the Day

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the following question. I know my hon. colleague was not part of the team that examined the Anti-Terrorism Act, although he speaks from a thorough knowledge of the subject.

What his party failed to tell him is that this committee did not cause more of a ruckus in Parliament because all participating members had a common goal. Of course, we did not always agree, but at least we were certainly concerned about achieving the same objectives, namely, the best possible balance between what is needed to fight terrorism and the respect of civil liberties. Civil liberties are one of the defining features of our society and are precisely what terrorist movements are attacking.

We do not wish to concede a partial victory to the terrorists, who challenge the wisdom of our societies, by showing them that we are willing to sacrifice any part of our liberties. Thus, we also looked at other provisions and other tools that can help make the fight against terrorism more effective, and we have pointed them out.

A government that reacts with a piece of legislation that is 170 pages in three months—and I have heard it was more like three weeks—knows ahead of time that it has probably made some errors. Those members in the party that was in power at the time should not be ashamed to recognize that after a trial period—

Anti-terrorism Act
Orders of the Day

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The question is a little long. The hon. member for Mississauga—Erindale must be brief in his answer.

Anti-terrorism Act
Orders of the Day

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague just reinforced what I had said in my speech, that at the time a lot of consultation had been done. It was introduced that these two clauses were required, but they were put on probation for five years. At the end of the five years, they would default automatically, or sunset. It was not the other way around.

We are recommending the fulfilment of that legislation, the exact completion of it. Those clauses are not needed and our law enforcement agencies can conduct their duties.

Some hon. members of the Conservative Party would like to be selective in what they want to hear, but many law enforcement agency and judicial experts have called for the sunsetting of these clauses. I call on all my colleagues to join me in voting against the motion.

North Buxton
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a town in my riding of Chatham-Kent—Essex called North Buxton, and in that town there is a church and in that church a bell has hung since 1850.

North Buxton was one of the safe havens around Chatham that served as the home for escaped slaves who came to Canada on the underground railroad. The vision of its founders was to establish an entirely self-sufficient and prosperous black community, thereby quieting the then commonly accepted notion of black inferiority.

When a group of resolute blacks from Pittsburgh heard of this place, they donated this lasting symbol of freedom, along with a letter that concluded:

...and when the bell, with its solemn tones, calls you to the House of God, remember your brethren who are in bonds; and let your prayers ascent to God, that he may, in his own good time, break every yoke and let the oppressed go free.

Paul Harris Fellowship Award
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate a dedicated group of volunteers in my riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming.

Earlier this week, Joanne Comerford, Janet Comerford and Eric Magill were each presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship Awards by the Rotary Club of Nipissing. The Paul Harris Fellowship Award is handed out annually to recognize volunteers for their long time contributions to our community.

Twin sisters, Joanne and Janet Comerford have spent years volunteering for the North Bay Capital Centre and have also assisted in various Lake Nipissing waterfront initiatives. Eric Magill's accomplishments include working with Scouts Canada, the TB Association, Near North Crime Stoppers and the Shriners Club.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any society and those three have dedicated countless hours to making their community one that we can all be proud of.

On behalf of the people of Nipissing, I would like to thank Joanne, Janet and Eric for their outstanding volunteer work. I hope they keep up the good work.

Hélèna Arpin-Couillard
Statements By Members

February 9th, 2007 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 7, Hélèna Arpin-Couillard of Châteauguay celebrated her 100th birthday at Résidence Youville. The event was marked with great ceremony by her family: seven children, 24 grandchildren and 41 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Arpin-Couillard is still in wonderful shape today and remains quite independent. An active centenarian, she is able to enjoy her hobbies and follow her favourite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. A dedicated fan, she never misses a Canadiens game.

I want to acknowledge the 100th birthday of this woman, who has lived in Châteauguay-Station all her life and has seen our beautiful community grow and develop. It is a pleasure to have the members of this House share in this special moment honouring someone who is cherished by all those around her. She is a true witness to our local history, and she inspires respect and admiration.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Arpin-Couillard.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in Ottawa, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities big city mayors caucus is meeting, including the City of Hamilton's new mayor, Fred Eisenberger.

I met with Mayor Eisenberger yesterday and he updated me regarding the severe crisis that cities, like Hamilton, are facing. Hamilton estimates its infrastructure needs to be about $1.5 billion. Sewers and water treatment facilities need repairs and upgrading. Roads have been patched until they look like a quilt. Libraries and community centres need upgrades and expansion to properly serve the public.

Cities, like Hamilton, need immediate, long term solutions. Federal and provincial downloading created this problem and we must work to solve it.

Groups like FCM and the Canadian Urban Transit Association have fresh and workable ideas to address the problems facing cities. The federal government should immediately strike a national round table on cities to look at these ideas and begin their implementation.

As the Conference Board of Canada said in its groundbreaking report this week, “Canada's success depends on the success of our major cities”. Let us not fail our country by failing our cities.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, this week, the ballots for the western Canadian barley plebiscite are being mailed out, with three clear choices. These are similar to questions that the Canadian Wheat Board uses in its own polling.

The questions are straightforward: “Do you want the system to continue as is? Do you want the option of selling to the board and any other buyer? Or, do you want the board to get out of marketing barley entirely?”

Over the next few weeks we will hear people using intimidation and fear to try to maintain the system as is. The reality is that there is good reason to support change. Western Canada desperately needs the same options and opportunities available to other farmers throughout this country.

The Winnipeg Commodity Exchange website now posts daily barley prices that let farmers see what they should be getting for their product. Farmers have compared U.S. prices to our projected returns.

With the daily price in the United States running at 85¢ to $1 a bushel above the Wheat Board's projected payments, it is clear that there is no premium in the present system. If farmers want to ensure profitability in the future, they must vote for change.

Air Canada
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words about a remarkable Canadian success story, one which has strong connections to my riding of Oakville.

Air Canada is our nation's largest full service airline. From its beginnings in 1937 as Trans-Canada Airlines, Air Canada has become the 14th largest commercial airline in the world. It is the largest provider of passenger services in the domestic market and to destinations around the world.

During 2005, Air Canada carried over 30 million passengers and served over 795 destinations in 139 countries.

My riding of Oakville is home to a significant number of Air Canada employees and I commend them and their colleagues for providing us all with one of the vital links that brings this nation together and connects us to the world. I fly Air Canada with pride.

Vimy Memorial
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a 26 tonne replica of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial was unveiled in Confederation Park here in Ottawa. This grand ice sculpture reminds us of the sacrifices and achievements of those brave Canadians who fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge 90 years ago. It also pays tribute to the breathtaking Vimy Memorial in France, a symbol of the legacy our soldiers left behind.

On Easter Monday, April 9, thousands of Canadians, including about 5,000 youth, will gather in France to mark the 90th anniversary of this significant battle. They will also witness the dedication of the newly restored Vimy Memorial. Many thousands more will attend the national ceremony here in our nation's capital.

I encourage all members to visit the Vimy ice sculpture in Confederation Park and to attend upcoming local events marking this important anniversary.

Sentences
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are extremely proud of their plan to increase sentences and give amnesty to people who do not want to register their long guns. As a result, more people will be in prison and more weapons will be in circulation in Canada, just like in the United States. We need to look at where we are headed.

The incarceration and homicide rates in the United States are among the highest in the world. Proportionally, the United States incarcerates six times as many people as Canada, where the homicide rate is three times lower.

The United States' incarceration rate is five times that of England, four times that of Australia, six times that of Germany, and three and a half times that of France. These countries have homicide rates that are five, six, seven and eight times lower, respectively, than the American rate. The United States' incarceration rate is between 10 and 11 times the rates in Finland, Switzerland and Denmark, whose homicide rates are three, six and five times lower, respectively, than the American rate.

When it comes to fighting crime, the American model is not a good one to follow.

This Parliament must find enough members to prevent this calculated, ineffective move by the Conservatives—

Sentences
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Commissioner of Official Languages launched an inquiry while the Liberals were still in power.

He found that the Canadian Forces were not increasing their bilingual workforce quickly enough under the former government.

The new model of the official languages program announced by our Conservative government implements the commissioner's 13 recommendations. Our government does not just stop at fine words, it takes action.

Our government shows that it has the political will to make improvements to its programs in order to respect linguistic requirements.

The main objective of the new model is to ensure that bilingual services are delivered when and where required, in compliance with the Official Languages Act.

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces remain committed to respecting their obligations under the Official Languages Act.

I would add that the most harmful scenario to francophones outside Quebec and in the Canadian Forces would certainly be the separation of Quebec.