House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was spam.

Topics

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the government on bringing this legislation forward, because I think it has done something that is a positive step towards dealing with what is a critical issue.

I think the legislation has a lot of good points to it. We have heard some very astute comments made in this House by people who have read the bill very carefully. We know where improvements can be made.

First of all, we know that the electronic commerce protection act will accomplish little if there is no real commitment to enforcement.

In this act the CRTC has been given a wide range of investigatory powers, including the power to compel ISPs to preserve transmission data. Once it concludes its investigation, it can pursue a settlement or bring a notice of violation. Penalties can run as high as $10 million.

There are smaller roles for the Privacy Commissioner and the Competition Bureau, as well, to facilitate anti-spam law suits.

Again, I think these are positive steps that the government has brought in and that the previous Liberal government did not. I am just wondering if my hon. colleague can comment on what he thinks about the enforcement mechanisms in this bill, particularly addressing two issues. One, should there be a criminal sanction to this bill, which is presently lacking; and two, does he have any suggestions for how we can get at people and organizations located outside Canada that issue spam?

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I tried to address that in some of my comments.

No, I am not one who believes there ought to be criminalization unless there are very egregious examples where someone has done this and done this repeatedly.

It also suggests to me that if the purpose, particularly as it relates to commercial interests, is that someone is trying to make more money, then the best way to hit them is in the pocketbook. If people are doing this to destroy or become involved in the destruction of someone else's property, I can assure the hon. member that there are already provisions in the Criminal Code, as the hon. member knows. That is, of course, a form of vandalism or theft of intellectual property, and that can be dealt with criminally.

From a strict commercial point of view, the sanctions in terms of monetary penalties are the way to go. They have to be serious, particularly when there are egregious examples.

The member has asked a question on international enforcement. I call upon Parliament to begin the process of understanding the various forms of international treaties that exist and to improve on those to ensure that there is no jurisdiction left open for international spammers that affect our businesses.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pickering—Scarborough East for all the work he has done over the years, again, going back to 2003, really being on the forefront of this issue.

My question is going to relate a bit to what the previous member asked.

The member for Pickering—Scarborough East talked about unintended consequences on domestic business.

The NDP seems to be leaning toward basically criminalizing individuals, arresting them and charging them with a criminal offence. Someone running a business, especially a small business person who really does not have a lot of resources, could be charged up to $1 million. If the business were incorporated, it could be charged up to $10 million. I say “up to”. I would trust the courts would have the judgment to implement the right amount.

One of the areas that I look back on is the number of laws that have come down much too harshly, to the point where it becomes ridiculous and the laws do not get enforced.

Would the member talk to us about reasonable punishment and reasonable punitive action, so that the law could be enforced, so that we would get the results we want and so that people who just send emails are not criminals?

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I mean no disrespect to my colleagues in the NDP who call for criminalization, but it sounds a whole lot as if they have taken the Conservative-Reform agenda, the hang 'em high approach to just about everything.

It is an interesting comparison, but it bears some discussion.

There is a very specific reason why, and the hon. member has alluded to this. There are often small businesses that make mistakes. They may be mistakes that may be repeated. They may be desperate. There are a number of reasons why these things may and can occur. There has to be a modicum of judicial discretion given in those circumstances that does not have a sort of one-size-fits-all approach, to take a howitzer to a very small business.

I can tell the hon. member that I have worked on a number of pieces of legislation where I thought we would use the heavy hand, where we would come at them with everything we had. The reality is that would do nothing to stop the problem, let alone doing undue damage to people who rightfully and unintentionally may have crossed a particular line.

It also speaks to the idea of criminalizing Canadians while, at the same time, allowing international spammers to continue unmolested and beyond the reach of our domestic legislation.

It is for that reason that I think we have to be very careful on how we approach this. I think the sanctions that were envisaged by the industry committee and adopted by all parties including the NDP, on the civil side, did in fact meet the test.

We want to look before we leap. We want to ensure we protect Canadians from Canadian spammers. However, we also have to recognize that some people will make a mistake, and when they do make that mistake, I think it is totally unfair that we should throw the book at them with a criminal sanction. I think we should hit them monetarily because after all that is perhaps the reason that they are in fact engaging in this practice. We should hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think we all agree that most of the actions against perpetrators would be dealt with through undertakings and agreements to cease and desist, and we would not even get to the basis of fines.

The fact of the matter is, though, that the roll-out of the bill is something that concerns me, the effects on small business and its customers. There are going to be road bumps that we have to deal with on that issue.

I just want to ask the member whether he thinks the government is prepared for a proper roll-out of this bill so that we do not create confusion in the public over what the provisions are.

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Elmwood—Transcona raises some very important points. I am not convinced that there is a program going forward that would ensure we are able to follow up.

I am also of course reminding the hon. member that I do not believe in the criminal sanction, because I simply believe that it would not have the intended consequence we want.

More important, to prove criminality is a lot harder than going the civil route. Anybody who has practised the law would tell us that if we are trying to arrest the problem, particularly as it relates to a monetary, marketing, economic or financial transaction, it would be far better to go that route, save and except in the most egregious of circumstances. I can say that with this legislation we would have to start looking—

Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I have to stop the hon. member there so we can start statements by members.

Genome Canada
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year, one of our country's true success stories celebrates an important milestone.

For 10 years, Genome Canada has invested in large scale projects enabling Canadian scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of representing the Minister of Industry at “Genomics on the Hill”, a one of a kind science fair that gave parliamentarians the opportunity to see first-hand some of the most innovative genomics research projects taking place across this country.

There were 12 research projects highlighted at this event, including the autism genome project, which, of course, is of personal interest to me and my family. World-renowned Canadian researchers, like Dr. Stephen Scherer, are working on decoding the genetic basis of autism and providing critical knowledge, diagnostic tests and eventually treatments assisting tens of thousands of families in Canada and worldwide.

I am proud of Canada's investment of over $915 million in Genome Canada. The return on our investment is not only demonstrable to Canadians, but priceless for countless Canadian families.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, some Canadian university campuses have become hotbeds of anti-Israel activity with the resulting intimidation of Jewish students.

Anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated, especially under the cloak of freedom of speech. Yet, last week the York Federation of Students hosted an on-campus event with George Galloway, a recognized promoter of the vilification of Israel and a supporter of a terrorist organization.

One of my constituents, Rabbi Aaron Hoch, protested. York officials responded by sending the rabbi a legal notice to cease and desist or face litigation. What a dreadful way to deal with those who oppose hatred.

Ironically, two weeks ago, the International Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism, which I attended, passed the Ottawa protocol. This protocol calls on governments to work with universities to combat anti-Semitism with the same vigour they apply to other forms of hate.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to signing the Ottawa protocol and aid Rabbi Hoch in his fight against hatred on campus?

Canadian Museums Association
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the presence today of representatives of the Canadian Museums Association who are here as part of their second annual day on Parliament Hill.

They are here today to raise awareness among all hon. members of the association's financial needs. The Canadian Museums Association is calling for a program that would have the federal government match private sector donations dollar for dollar.

There are more than 2,500 museums in Canada, including nearly 700 in Quebec. They employ more than 24,000 people for a total payroll of roughly $650 million. Tourist visits to museums contribute an estimated $17 billion to Canada’s economy. What museums contribute to our economy is not insignificant. We must help them.

Litterless Lunch Challenge
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, did you know that a school-aged child generates approximately 67 pounds of lunch waste every year? That is almost 20,000 pounds of waste for just one elementary school.

That is why in October, during waste reduction week, I held a “Litterless Lunch Challenge” in my riding of New Westminster—Coquitlam and Port Moody. Over 50 classes in 5 schools participated, including Baker Drive, Parkland, Lord Baden-Powell, Maillard, Ranch Park and Moody Middle.

The winner of the 2010 Litterless Lunch Challenge is Ms. Sherle's grade four class at Parkland Elementary in Coquitlam who achieved a score of 93%. I congratulate Ms. Sherle and her class.

I also thank all the students, teachers and parents for setting an example of environmental stewardship. We can just imagine what a difference it would make if every school in Canada went litter free.

David Lam
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of the 25th Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Hon. David Lam, who died Monday at the age of 87.

David Lam was an inspiration for all Canadians. His intelligence, generosity, passion for life and love for his community are a few of his many qualities that will be missed.

David Lam encouraged the integration of immigrant Canadians into Canadian life, myself being one. He was a bridge for many new Canadians and he preached and practised the understanding of Canadian values.

He was a humble person but very strong in his ways. Although his service to the province of British Columbia in the capacity of Lieutenant-Governor granted him the official title of “honourable”, it is also a title he rightly deserved for his service to mankind.

I feel privileged to have known him and his late wife, Dorothy. Our country is all the richer for the years that they lived among us and for the many lives they touched.

Terry Fox Museum
Statements By Members

November 23rd, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago, an average young man became a hero when he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each Canadian for research.

After 5,300 kilometres, Terry Fox announced that he would postpone the rest of the run, saying, “I'm gonna do my very best. I'll fight. I promise I won't give up”.

Since Terry's death, $550 million have been raised and the annual run takes place in countries such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

There is a new dream, a dream to build a museum in Terry's honour in Vancouver, and the tremendous strides made in cancer research, a place for the world to come to contemplate and to inspire hope.

Will everyone help build the dream?

National Holodomor Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, under the leadership of this Prime Minister, a Conservative private member's bill to redress the internment of Canadian Ukrainians during World War II was put into action, and the Prime Minister championed my bill to recognize the Holodomor, the forced Ukrainian famine of 1932-33, as genocide.

The Prime Minister's official trip to Ukraine last month further demonstrates the close relationship that we enjoy between our two countries.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the millions of Ukrainians who died during the Holodomor by placing a symbolic jar of grain on behalf of all Canadians at a monument by the National Holodomor Memorial Museum in Kyiv.

He acknowledged the enormity of the event and the millions who perished under Stalin's Soviet regime and demonstrated our hope that such an atrocity never occur again.

I was proud to witness our Prime Minister standing in solidarity with Ukrainians in Lviv and declaring Holodomor an act of genocide.

This week marks National Holodomor Awareness Week. I ask everyone to learn more about Holodomor so that atrocities such as this never occur again. I encourage all members to join in honouring the survivors and remembering the victims of this genocide.

Vichnaya Pam'yat.

Laval University's Rouge et Or
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the Laval University Rouge et Or captured the Uteck Cup on their home field with a dramatic last-minute 13 to 11 victory over the University of Western Ontario Mustangs.

The game, which was played with the chill of winter in the air, came down to the final play, with the Mustangs' failed attempt at a field goal. I would like to highlight the performance of Christopher Milo, who scored four field goals and added a rouge, notching all of the points for his team and thereby earning the title of game MVP. As a result of this win, the Quebec university football dynasty will make its sixth appearance at the Vanier Cup, which determines the Canadian champion.

The win is even more gratifying for the Rouge et Or since the final match for the prestigious championship trophy will also be played on its home field at Laval University's PEPS Stadium.

The Bloc Québécois wishes the Rouge et Or and coach Glen Constantin the best of luck and a glorious victory on Saturday.