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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Airline SafetyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member since September 11 has not looked at the substance of things that we have done.

We have instituted much more rigorous security measures at our airports, security measures that work and are respected by the industry.

I have said on a number of occasions publicly and in the House that there would be amendments to the Aeronautics Act that were planned for next year. We are bringing them forward before Christmas precisely to deal with some of the aspects that have come out of the tragic circumstances of September 11. The bill will be introduced tomorrow. I ask the hon. member to be patient.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 12, 1995, the Prime Minister stated that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had the mandate to promote Canadian unity, not provoke separation.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Let them clap, Mr. Speaker, and while they are at it, they should change the name, they should call it “The O Canada Broadcasting Corporation”.

How can the Prime Minister who, following the referendum, did not hesitate to rein in the CBC in the name of Canadian unity now refuse to denounce the censorship of which Normand Lester is a victim by claiming that the crown corporation is independent?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am astounded that the Bloc Quebecois member would expect the government to make decisions regarding staffing at the CBC. If we were ever to interfere in such matters, we would be accused of censorship.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question was for the Prime Minister, not the aspiring prime minister. What I am asking is that they intervene, as they did following the referendum.

Peter Desbarats, an important Canadian journalist, said that if Mr. Normand Lester had penned a book celebrating Canada's history, he would never have been suspended. I would add that, if Normand Lester's book had promoted Canadian unity, he would still be working.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that the reason he is refusing to denounce the CBC's treatment of Normand Lester is precisely because what Mr. Lester did does not fit within the mandate of promoting Canadian unity that he would like to impose on CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the member from the Bloc Quebecois wants the Government of Canada to interfere in the CBC's affairs. We do not interfere, nor will we.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past, the Minister of Canadian Heritage made no bones about the fact that Radio-Canada should promote Canadian unity. Back then, it was not a serious matter. Last week, in the case of the Museum of Civilization, the Prime Minister saw to it that the decision be changed.

Do the Prime Minister and his Minister of Canadian Heritage not realize that their complacent attitude regarding Radio-Canada's decision is tantamount to supporting the suspension of journalist Normand Lester?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada will never get involved in issues relating to the employment of a Radio-Canada employee.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will let those who are listening to our debates assess the quality of the answers provided.

Is Normand Lester's book not a perfect opportunity for the government to settle its accounts with the journalist who exposed the scheme between the government, Robert Guy Scully and the Heritage Minutes ? Is the government not using Normand Lester's book to finally get at him?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, according to its publisher, Normand Lester's book got the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Therefore, I am surprised that we would target Mr. Lester's book, considering that, according to his publisher, it received funding.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

November 21st, 2001 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

I am sure that many Canadians who want Canada to be an environmentally responsible member of the international community would be concerned that yesterday the Minister of Industry seemed to suggest that Canada is not going to keep its commitments on the Kyoto accord.

I ask the Prime Minister, was the Minister of Industry speaking for the government when he made the suggestion that Canada might not keep its Kyoto commitments, or just who is speaking for the government when it comes to the Kyoto accord?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has one policy that we all agree on. We want to and we hope that we will be able to sign the Kyoto agreement. The negotiations are not yet terminated. At the meeting in Bonn we made progress on some elements of it. We made more progress at the meeting in Marrakesh last week.

The question of the export of clean energy has not been concluded yet. We have to consult with the provinces too, but we intend to go through the process. The goal is to sign the Kyoto agreement.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, could the Prime Minister tell his colleagues, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Industry, to sit down together and come up with a program for communicating to industry that it can be competitive and friendly to the environment all at the same time, instead of sustaining the myth that somehow there is a contradiction between keeping our Kyoto commitments and a competitive industry in Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult for me to do better than I am doing right now. They are sitting next to each other in the House of Commons so it is not a big problem for them to communicate.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the name of security the government's amendments to the anti-terrorism bill put the civil rights of Canadians at serious and unnecessary risk. Those parts of the bill are not about Osama bin Laden. They are about shutting down the information commissioner and other officers of parliament.

This is a power grab by the government to limit the power of parliament and to limit the rights of Canadians. Why explicitly does the government not allow the information commissioner to exercise his normal duties?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. member refers to officers of parliament. Let me read for the House and the right hon. member what one of those officers, the privacy commissioner, said today in a press release in relation to the amendments of yesterday:

All existing privacy rights of Canadians remain fully safeguarded, the oversight role of the Privacy Commissioner remains intact, and even the issuance of certificates is closely circumscribed and subject to judicial review.

He went on to say:

Your action is a great victory for the privacy rights of all Canadians. You have reaffirmed on behalf of the Government of Canada that privacy is a fundamental human right--

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is not encouraging to have another watchdog of parliament muzzled. These provisions are one more example of the culture of secrecy which is the trademark of the government.

The Prime Minister hides his agendas. His office interferes at APEC. He tried to conceal his phone call to the Business Development Corporation. Now the government seeks the power to extend secrecy in the name of international relations, security or defence.

Why did the government ignore the unanimous recommendations of the special Senate committee for an independent oversight committee to protect the rights of Canadians?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me make it absolutely plain that while we are not creating a new officer of parliament, in relation to oversight I return to what the privacy commissioner said. He is an officer of parliament who in fact believes that we have continued to vindicate privacy as a fundamental human right even in times of gravest crisis.

Far from being secretive in this legislation, I point out to the right hon. member that what we have done through our amendments and in the original legislation is attempt to ensure the highest degree of political accountability and--

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, each year about 18,000 people arrive at this nation's airports without documentation. Somehow they get on a plane in another country and yet arrive here without papers and claim refugee status.

If the government ever gets around to air safety legislation, will the minister ensure it has provisions to stop this mysterious cycle of disappearing papers?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, we are aware that people arrive in Canada who do not have proper documentation. In fact other countries have the same problem.

Let me quote Ambassador Cellucci. He says that we need to work together overseas even before people get on airplanes. We are not saying that the United States and Canada should not continue to be countries that welcome immigrants, refugees or those seeking asylum. I agree with Ambassador Cellucci.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, then the minister should agree with the official opposition because that is exactly what we have been saying all along. Not only is the immigration minister risking national security. She is doing incredible damage to Canada's legitimate refugees.

Those who abuse Canada's refugee system bring into question the legitimacy of all refugees. If the government will not include measures in air safety regulations, will the immigration minister immediately announce measures to detain undocumented refugee claimants until their identity and background can be verified?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a proud signatory to the Geneva convention of 1951. We have an obligation to offer protection to those who are in genuine need. We know that some people come to Canada without documents. Some of those people are in genuine need of protection and others are not.

It is wrong to acquaint undocumented people with automatically posing any kind of security risk. That is not true. That is why when we have evidence to suggest that someone poses a security risk we can and we do detain them.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, a CBC producer took part in the Montreal love-in, held in violation of Quebec's referendum laws, without any repercussions, yet Normand Lester writes a book that has nothing to do with his job and is suspended.

Journalistic ethics alone are not enough to justify the difference in treatment. Does the difference not lie instead in the Corporation's desire to comply with the wishes of the Prime Minister, who complained right after the referendum that it was not defending Canadian unity sufficiently?