House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Questions and comments. The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this debate confirms to me something that I have often observed about how people project their inner selves onto their opposition. I could not help but think of that when the member opposite suggested there were rants going on over here, because quite frankly, I have never heard such a rant as the member delivered a few minutes ago.

When we talk about the facts, again I see him looking at his one-pager. I want to tell him about some facts from my riding of Kitchener Centre. I would like to invite him to drop by the Morning Glory Café which receives money from our government in order to help young people find jobs and to improve their job skills. I would like him to visit our police and our crime prevention society which are doing great work with anti-gang strategies thanks to a $3.5 million grant from our government. I would like him to check out the high on life program which our government is funding to help young people stay off drugs.

These and other measures are all things our government has been funding. I would like to know if the member has even heard of them or if he is deliberately misleading people by ignoring them.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, of course the member was out of order. When he sees full well that my desk, like the desks of all my NDP colleagues, is packed with information and facts, for him to compare it with a one-pager that he got from the PMO is inappropriate.

That is exactly the issue. He is talking about the few surviving programs that the Conservative government has not yet cut. We said that the National Crime Prevention Centre has been cut 70%. He is right to say there is still that 30%. He brought forward some of the programs.

What the member is doing, very directly, is reinforcing the NDP's position. He is saying that crime prevention programs work. He is saying that the few that are left in his riding, that he has managed to preserve, are doing a good job.

So join with us, join with the NDP and fight the government's mean-spirited approach on criminal justice—

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The time for questions and comments has expired. Resuming debate.

Is the House ready for the question?

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

All those opposed will please say nay.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Ending Early Release for Criminals and Increasing Offender Accountability Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

The vote stands deferred until the end of government orders tomorrow.

Strengthening Aviation Security Act
Government Orders

October 19th, 2010 / 1:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, ON

moved that Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Strengthening Aviation Security Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to rise in support of Bill C-42, Strengthening Aviation Security Act. The bill before us today would help to ensure that Canadian business people and tourists who choose to travel by air can continue to access certain destinations in the fastest and most cost-effective way possible while also building on our ongoing efforts to enhance aviation security in conjunction with our international partners.

It also would allow Canadian air carriers to comply with the secure flight regime in the United States by providing passenger information to the Transportation Security Administration 72 hours before departing for destinations such as Latin America or the Caribbean. At the moment, airline carriers themselves are required to match passenger information against U.S. no-fly and selectee terrorist watch lists if their flight destination is to anywhere in the United States.

The previous government passed legislation in 2001 so that Canadian airline carriers could do this, although concerns have subsequently been raised about privacy issues and the number of false matches. Secure flight is expected to reduce the number of false matches by transferring responsibility for watch list matching from the airlines to the Transportation Security Administration for all U.S. domestic flights, as well as for all international flights to the U.S. and those which fly through U.S. air space. The TSA has also developed a comprehensive privacy plan to incorporate privacy laws and practices into all areas of secure flight.

The legislation before us today is important for a number of reasons. First, I want to point out that any nation, including the U.S. and Canada, has the sovereign right to control its own air space. International laws do recognize that airlines have the right to fly over any country in the world but they also recognize that each state has a right to regulate aircraft entering into, within or departing from its territory.

Moreover, the Chicago convention expressly recognizes that each state has sovereignty over its own air space. Article 11 of the convention requires compliance with:

…the laws and regulations of a contracting State relating to the admission to or departure from its territory of aircraft engaged in international air navigation.

Secure flight is therefore in accordance with the international rules of which Canada is a signatory.

As Canada's Assistant Privacy Commissioner noted at committee hearings on the passenger protect program and the U.S. no-fly list in the spring, it is important to note during this debate that the sovereignty of any state extends to its air space. As a sovereign nation, Canada could say that this country will choose not to comply with secure flight rules but that would force Canadian airline companies to access destinations, such as Mexico, by flying outside of American air space, substantially increasing travel times and costs.

What our government has chosen to do instead is negotiate with the American government and thereby receive an important exemption to the secure flight rules for domestic flights between Canadian cities which overfly through U.S. air space.

The second reason that this legislation before us today is important relates to our commitment to protect the safety and security of Canadians. In a perfect world, programs such as secure flight and passenger protect would not be needed. The truth is, however, that today we live in a world in which terrorist attacks do occur and the threat of an attack against Canada and Canadians either at home or abroad remains a real possibility.

Our government is unwaivering in its determination to keep all Canadians safe and secure. As a government, it is our highest responsibility and we take it seriously, especially with respect to air travel. We must remember that terrorism is not just something that happens somewhere to someone else. Intelligence experts in Canada and abroad have told us that civil aviation remains a favourite of terrorist attacks globally. This is because aircraft passengers and related facilities offer the kind of high profile targets terrorists seek and damage to a nation's civil aviation sector can be particularly crippling to a nation's economy and sense of security. We cannot and we will not be complacent. We must remain vigilant.

Since 2006, that is exactly what this government has been doing. Our government has worked to prevent global terrorism. We have strengthened aviation security and taken steps to protect the safety of air travellers through actions and measures, including a new passenger protect program, to keep people who may pose an immediate security threat from boarding commercial flights and a new air cargo security pilot test program. We have introduced legislation to starve terrorists of financing.

Our government has openly condemned groups with links to terrorism and has worked with the United Nations and our allies to prevent terrorism.

We have also introduced measures to allow the RCMP to expand criminal background checks for workers with access to secure areas in Canada's airports, people such as baggage handlers, catering crews and airplane groomers and flight crews, among others.

What is more, we took additional steps to strengthen aviation security in the week following December 25, 2009, when there was an attempted terrorist attack on a flight bound for Detroit. Those measures include strengthening explosive trace detection, new full body scanners and steps to develop a passenger behaviour observation program. It included funding of $1.5 billion over five years to help the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority strengthen the security of our aviation system and protect air travellers. It also included a full review into the spending efficiency and structure of Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Most recently, our government announced the air cargo security program, a $95.7 million investment that will be phased in over five years building on the air cargo initiative unveiled by thePrime Minister in June 2006. Of course we share views through several multinational discussions on global aviation security. Because of the action our government has taken, air travellers today are safer and more secure than ever.

However, we cannot let our guard down. We cannot become complacent. We need to continue to strengthen security within our borders. We also need to continue to work with our international partners to ensure not only the safety of Canadians but also the safety and security of our allies and partners.

This is what Bill C-42 is all about. It is about working with our partners to enhance international aviation security while also ensuring that individual privacy rights are respected.

I would note in this regard that the American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged that the present version of secure flight represents a substantial improvement over its precursors. What the group has emphasized is that the Department of Homeland Security will neither use commercial data to conduct background checks on travellers, nor create a risk score for passengers through secure flight.

The Department of Homeland Security also is minimizing data collection to only necessary data elements and greatly reducing the length of data retention by removing information on most travellers after seven days.

Bill C-42 is not a large piece of legislation but it is an important one. It supports the commitment I believe all of us share to protect the safety and security of air travellers. It supports the commitment I believe every Canadian shares to combat terrorist threats both at home and abroad. It also supports the commitment, which I believe we all share, to ensure that air travel remains safe and that Canadians can access destinations south of the border in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible.

I therefore urge all hon. members to work with the government to ensure that we pass Bill C-42 into law in a timely and fast manner.

Strengthening Aviation Security Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his presentation on this particular bill. It is certainly a bill that will be debated here today.

When he speaks of the American Civil Liberties Union and says that there are significant improvements, could he describe what those significant improvements were to the homeland security procedures that would be followed to establish this information, as most of these procedures are based on secret agreements?