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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-36.

Topics

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the last election there was a lot of talk from these Liberals about Canadian values.

In the months since September 11, it has become clear that one of the great values of all Canadians is their safety and security. In fact, the Liberal dominated finance committee has joined with the official opposition and said that we should increase spending on security and defence.

Again my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Will we get assurances that they will cut down the wasteful spending and put money toward security and defence?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for reminding us and all Canadians that this week is the first anniversary of our third back to back majority victory.

That means that when Canadians looked at the potential and reality of the leaders of the various parties and the programs of the various parties, they rejected the Alliance Party out of hand as a discouraging, discredited, ragtag group, which has been confirmed every day over the past year.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public safety bill will allow the government to get around the National Defence Act, which prevents the army from being deployed in Quebec unless Quebec so requests.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister even alluded to Quebecers' right to protection by the central government to justify Ottawa's unilateral power to order the creation of military security zones.

Since the federal government does not want to have to wait for a request from the provinces before deploying the army in their territory, will the government admit that wisdom dictates that the bill should be withdrawn?

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, again the hon. member is exaggerating what the military security zone is all about. It really intends to protect military equipment, the property that is off base. We already have the right to protect it on base. It would give us the right to protect it if it was in another location or on visiting ships from our ally countries, to be able to make sure that we can protect them. It is nothing more than what is absolutely necessary for the proper protection of this military property. All of this is subject to current laws and regulations. There is nothing new in this at all.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing new and yet they are bringing in a bill.

Examples have been given of many new things in this bill and the minister is not on top of it. It is a botched bill and it is being rushed through. Even if we want to split it—and we will—we are not exaggerating, just reading what is in the bill. We do not trust the minister's good intentions. A judge will look at the wording, not at what is in the minister's head, what he is thinking or what he does not understand.

I ask him to withdraw his bill and scrap it.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-42 must be consistent with the charter of rights and freedoms. The authority given to the minister is not permanent. It is limited to one year and renewable for one year.

As I have just said, this is entirely consistent with our charter of rights and freedoms. Members of the public in Quebec and throughout Canada must be reassured on this score.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, to live in a military security zone for one year must be quite the experience. The Deputy Prime Minister should remember that.

The Bloc Quebecois is not opposed to having some parts of the bill be dealt with separately. I believe this is what the government is about to do. It only makes sense that intelligence information be transmitted for the purpose of air safety. But safety must not be ensured at the expense of privacy. It would be a mistake to examine the legislative framework alone, without the regulations.

Will the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons admit that it would be extremely dangerous to examine the legislative framework alone given the importance of the regulations?

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I discussed the issue to which the hon. member is referring as regards the regulations at the drafting or other stage of the new bill that the government intends to introduce this afternoon and which is designed to split a clause.

To the extent that we can find them, even at the drafting stage, it would be our intention to table them, perhaps as early as this Friday, or else, as soon as possible.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, considering that we are dealing with privacy, we are quite prepared to support the passage of the clauses of the bill.

However, parliament cannot do a responsible job if the government House leader does not pledge that the consideration of the bill will not end at the committee stage, before we have seen all the regulations to know exactly what kind of information is involved and ensure that privacy is indeed protected under the proposed legislation.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we certainly are very sensitive to the legitimate concerns raised by the hon. member. In fact, officials of my department have met with the privacy commissioner. I am sure he will have some comment on this particular clause to amend the Aeronautics Act. It would be our intention by Friday, if the House agrees to the splitting of Bill C-42, to bring in some draft intent of the regulations that would follow from this particular section in the new bill.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

November 28th, 2001 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today a broad coalition of community organizations is calling on the government to withdraw Bill C-36. Since September 11 alarming incidents of racial hatred have occurred right across the country. We need leadership from the government. We need concrete measures to combat racism. Instead, the government is targeting voices of dissent and abandoning visible minorities and, by shutting down debate, proving that Canadians have a right to be worried.

Will the government show some leadership and launch an urgent positive plan of action to combat racism?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have spoken out vigorously as a government against incidents of racism. We have shown our commitment in that regard by concrete steps like the Prime Minister's visit and speech in a major mosque a few weeks ago. The bill is not targeted against any ethnic or religious group. Instead, it is designed to provide a foundation of peace and security in which the rights and freedoms of everybody in this country will be protected. In light of that, the hon. member should withdraw her unwarranted assertions and support the bill.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I guess tokenism is the best we can hope for from an arrogant majority government.

On September 21 the House unanimously supported the NDP motion for parliamentarians to stand together in protecting the human rights of all of our citizens. In total contradiction, the government is about to ram through Bill C-36. The legislation is the most flagrant attack on the civil liberties of Canadians since the War Measures Act.

In response to the rising tide of opposition, will the government learn from the mistakes of the past and withdraw Bill C-36?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the bill is not an attack on civil liberties. It is there to provide a foundation of protection for civil liberties.

The hon. member is totally off base in her assertions. She is wrong. I ask her to review the basis for her assertions. If she will look at them, she will agree that what we have done is in conformity with the motion passed by the House. It is in conformity with the charter of rights and freedoms. She ought to admit that and join once again in supporting this measure directly, one that is supporting the rights and liberties of all Canadians.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, in Bill C-42 the government has decided to introduce the ability for ministers to pass interim orders declaring emergencies, just as in Bill C-36 the government will grab more executive power. There is no provision for these orders to come to parliament for debate. The orders appear to have no set criteria, do not have to be publicized in the Canada Gazette for 23 days, nor pass through parliament.

Why has the government brought in these measures when the Emergencies Act, with comprehensive powers and specific limitations, already exists?

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I answered this question last week.

Canadians want to know that in any urgent situation the government can act very swiftly in the national interest. There are legitimate safeguards in the legislation, Bill C-42, including the gazetting of the regulations, including a limit on the regulations, including the fact that the regulations are subject to judicial appeal. All the safeguards are there.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government continually increases the concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister and selected ministers. The Emergencies Act provides detailed examination by parliament of any order issued against it. It includes the right to debate, the right to vote and the right to revoke an order.

But the last eight years of increased executive rule have shown the Prime Minister's autocratic style and increased contempt for parliament. Bill C-42 is just the latest example of executive order to bypass parliament. For a member who has served in the House for over 40 years, and his deputy as well, why has the Prime Minister exhibited such contempt for parliament?

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wants me to call upon my almost 40 years here, I can say that the Prime Minister has shown regard for parliament and the rights of Canadians equal to, in fact surpassing that, of any other prime minister, especially the last Conservative prime minister.

I call upon the hon. member therefore to accept what I say. If he wants me to base my comments on my 40 years here, I invoke them to show that the hon. member is wrong and he ought to withdraw his unwarranted assertions.

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister of Canada swung an axe across the throat of parliament. While committee members had an opportunity to speak to Bill C-36, members of all parties in parliament lost the ability to express the concerns of Canadians.

If the bill was the right thing to do, why did the Prime Minister do the wrong thing by invoking closure?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, why is it that when the leader of the hon. member's party was a member of the Klein government in Alberta he stood by while the government invoked closure 30 times? Of those 30 times, 20 were put into place when the Leader of the Opposition was a whip or a House leader in the Alberta government. Why was something right then but wrong now?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that is the arrogance that comes from a government that has invoked closure 73 times.

For years the Liberal government refused to pass legislation that would protect Canadians and our allies. Ignoring the advice of the RCMP, members over there had lunch with terrorists. Now the government refuses to listen to members of parliament.

Why is it that the government would prefer to have lunch with terrorists rather than listen to the RCMP or members of all parties in the House?

Anti-terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Lunch, Mr. Speaker? The hon. member shows out of his own mouth that he and his party are totally out to lunch on this subject and every other subject on this important topic.

We are fighting for the rights of Canadians. We are fighting to provide their security and we are succeeding in spite of the opposition and the obstruction of the hon. member. Yes, he is out to lunch.

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday representatives of Air Canada told the Standing Committee on Industry that multi-carrier competition in the air industry is a thing of the past. As we know, the lack of competition has contributed to the deterioration of regional air service.

Will the Minister of Transport admit that the government needs to change its approach and does he intend to allow competition to develop, primarily by supporting the creation of future regional competitors?

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that is the purpose of our policy. It is very important to have airline competition in Canada.

This is why we are currently looking at amendments to the Competition Act, in order to enable the commissioner to implement a system that would encourage competition.

Air TransportOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, adding to the powers of the competition commissioner has no significance if there is a monopoly situation with no competition.

If the minister is serious about his desire for sustainable solutions for regional air transportation, will he acknowledge that he needs to revisit his decision and use the loan guarantees promised to Canada 3000 to stimulate real competition?