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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liability.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the American President recently signed an order authorizing the creation of special military tribunals.

The Bloc Quebecois has supported the anti-terrorism measures, but supporting the creation of military tribunals for non-American terrorists who flout the American constitution is out of the question.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to stand up in this House and tell us that he too rejects the idea of these special military tribunals?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we need more information on the American proposal. We know that international conventions have provisions for the creation of tribunals based on the principle of military law, but at this point in time we do not know exactly what the U.S. is proposing.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are basing our conclusions on the press release and the statements by the President himself.

Eighty countries lost citizens on September 11, and the entire international community felt the impact of these attacks. It is the entire international community, via the United Nations, which should judge the terrorists.

Does the Prime Minister intend to promote the idea of a special international criminal tribunal mandated to judge the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have discussed this question in connection with the creation of the international criminal court.

What we have here is, in fact, a criminal act committed in the United States. First of all, even taking international conventions into consideration, the U.S. has first right to judge it.

For the moment, this is a totally hypothetical question because those accused of this crime have not been apprehended.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

November 20th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, Hassan Almrei was arrested in Mississauga in a raid on October 19. CSIS believed that he was a member of an international network of extremism for Osama bin Laden.

Yesterday the federal court ruled that there was reasonable grounds for links to terrorism. Will the minister ensure that her system swiftly deports such an individual?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows that I cannot comment on individual cases, particularly those that are before the courts.

What I can tell him is that it is a priority for my department and for this government to remove as quickly as possible those people who are inadmissible to Canada, especially those who we believe pose a security threat.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the country is watching how well the immigration minister protects us. Certainly the Americans are watching, and the minister has not inspired a lot of confidence. Look at the lineups at the border for example.

How the minister handles refugee Almrei reflects upon our security and our economic interests. What is the minister going to do to fix the system that has allowed Almrei to be accepted first of all as a refugee and then apparently cannot be deported?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we all know that there are people who come to Canada and ask for protection who do not need protection. We also know that there are people who come to Canada who ask for protection and who in fact are inadmissible to Canada. That is what the Immigration and Refugee Board sorts out.

Under the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, we have done everything we believe is reasonable to try to make that as fast as possible because the goal is to provide protection only to those people who are in genuine need and to those who are not admissible or not—

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean--Saguenay.

International AidOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance tried to tell the House that the federal government had increased spending on international development assistance. That is not the case.

Will the Minister of Finance admit, that in real dollars or as a percentage of GDP, the result is the same: international assistance has been cut significantly by this government, between the time it came to power in 1993 and today?

International AidOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as we all know that CIDA received an increase in the budget of 2000. There was a commitment for an increase in aid levels for the next budget as well. The Prime Minister has been clear many times publicly as has the Minister of Finance. We will wait to see the budget.

International AidOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the government make a commitment to increase humanitarian aid at least to the level it was at when it came to power, in other words, 0.45% of the gross domestic product?

International AidOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has asked for $8 billion in tax point transfers. They have also asked for another $5 billion to stimulate the economy and $600 million for debt reduction.

Now they are asking for another $2 billion for international aid. It wants to break our bank the same way it wants to break up Canada.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP last month raided the offices of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada on corruption charges.

We know that the minister will give us her standard answer of how she cannot comment because there is an ongoing investigation, but would she tell us what new measures she has taken to prevent corruption in her department?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member opposite that whenever there are allegations or suggestions of inappropriate behaviour, they are investigated and looked into because we take those kinds of allegations very seriously.

However, I want him to know that when there are allegations made at the immigration and refugee board, the chairman has all the tools necessary to take appropriate action.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the problem with this minister is that she is constantly in a reacting mode, instead of being proactive.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has offices across the country.

What new initiatives has the minister implemented to protect Canadians across the country against the fraudulent and criminal activities that seem to be taking place in her department?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we take any allegation and any evidence presented extremely seriously and refer it immediately to the RCMP, which has the responsibility for conducting investigations.

I repeat, if there are any allegations concerning the immigration and refugee board, I know that the chair of the board takes those concerns as seriously as I do. He would also call in the RCMP. He has all the tools necessary, as chair of that independent, quasi judicial board, to take appropriate action.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, agriculture was one of the major issues faced at the World Trade Organization meeting in Qatar by some 142 countries last week. Yesterday our Minister for International Trade congratulated the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for his help at that meeting.

Would the minister please indicate to Canadians and to the House how Canadian farmers will benefit from the agreements reached in Qatar?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister for International Trade said yesterday, we did reach our objectives at the WTO meetings in Doha last week.

There are clear objectives in the ministerial text which will now allow Canada to go ahead and pursue our objectives of the elimination of export subsidies, increased market access for agriculture and agri-food products and substantial reductions in trade and production distorting domestic subsidies.

I want to thank the officials, the industry people and the MPs who were there with us and supporting us.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice who repeatedly said in the House that she would listen to the committee considering Bill C-36, that she would listen to the witnesses and respond to public opinion on this matter.

Could she tell the House why today, before the committee, she refused to listen to the many, many Canadians who came before the committee? They asked for a real sunset clause on more than just the two clauses that she has indicated will be subject not to a sunset clause but to some kind of twilight zone into which the minister wants to put these two amendments and which amounts really to a 10 year sunset clause.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me first of all say that again I thank the committee for the work it has done and the many witnesses who have appeared before it.

In fact, the government has listened. One of the things that we heard was that there was concern in and around the operation of two provisions in particular.

Today I announced that the government is willing to provide a sunset clause. I do not know why the hon. member would refer to this as anything less. We are indicating that those two provisions will cease to exist unless members of the House and the Senate make it--

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg--Transcona.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that it was not just those two clauses that many people wanted sunsetted. People were particularly concerned about the definition of terrorist activity and even as amended, there remain concerns. This would have been one other clause, for example, to which the minister could have given a real sunset clause and did not.

Again I ask the minister, why did she not listen to the committee and to the many witnesses who identified not just those two clauses, but many as being eligible for a real sunset clause?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the suggestion that we would sunset definition sections of this legislation is, with all due respect, hard to believe. As the Prime Minister and others have said, the threat of terrorism, the war against terrorism will not be short term. What we all have to understand is that our first obligation is to ensure the safety and security of Canadians. We will not sunset key definitions like terrorist activity that strike at the very heart of that which would destroy, maim and kill innocent people.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Justice.

Based on today's testimony, the minister has clearly ignored most of the unanimous recommendations from the special Senate committee on Bill C-36, the anti-terrorism bill. Those include ignoring the recommendations which would sunset the ability of the minister to control information and sidestep parliamentary watchdogs.

Why has the minister chosen to exempt these hide and seek certificate processes from those which would be sunsetted in Bill C-36?