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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-35.

Topics

National SecurityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the United States have the longest undefended border. In the weeks and months since the terrible events of September 11, because of increased security, we now have the longest delays ever in the history of the border.

This has created great frustration with business people and other travellers, some of whom have been harassed by untrained security personnel simply because they dress or look a little different.

I would call upon the appropriate officials of both governments to move to ensure not only that our borders are secure but that they can be crossed quickly with a minimum of inconvenience.

Chinese Women Entrepreneurs AssociationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday in Vancouver I had the pleasure to join 400 people for the sixth annual banquet of the Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Association.

The association was established by a group of motivated and community minded women of Chinese descent with successful businesses and professions. This outstanding group of 180 young women generously provide support to their community by sharing their valuable business experience and insights with new Canadians.

I salute them for their dedication and contribution. Indeed they are fine examples of our celebration of diversity in Canada.

RamadanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Ramadan is an important time of the year for the Muslim community. Starting November 16 and lasting for 31 days it is a time of reflection, a time of spiritual renewal.

This year more than most, because of the unconscionable acts of inhumanity on September 11, Ramadan has special meaning for the Muslim community as it expresses deep sympathies for Muslims and all others who perished.

We want the Muslim community in Canada and around the world to know that as the followers of Islam celebrate the revelation of God's word to Muhammad we join them in honouring his call for harmony. I ask members of the House to recognize and embrace the Muslim spirit of reflection and annual renewal. I am sure that our upcoming year will be bettered by such resolve.

To Oula Sanduga of my Edmonton office and all the members of the Muslim faith nationally and internationally I say Ramadan Mubarak.

Robert LepageStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Liberal Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Robert Lepage on receiving the 2001 London Evening Standard theatre award for best play.

The award winning play, “The Far Side of the Moon”, the English version of his “La face cachée de la lune”, was a sold-out success at the National Theatre in London this past summer. This is the first time a foreign playwright has been so honoured. His accomplishment brings honour to all Canadians.

Robert Lepage has a rich and varied body of work, with which most of us are familiar. After his start in 1984 with Théâtre Repère, his career was marked by successes at the National Arts Centre, and with major companies in Germany, Great Britain and Sweden. In all of these, as in his screen debut, Robert Lepage moves his audience with his bold and skilled handling of images and new technologies.

He has mounted some of Shakespeare's major works, as well as his own creations, which include “Vinci”, “The Dragon's Trilogy” and the film “Possible Worlds”.

On behalf of the government, I congratulate Mr. Lepage on this accomplishment and wish him continued—and greater—artistic success.

Canada Labour CodeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec women who are pregnant or nursing and who come under the Canada Labour Code still do not enjoy the same benefits as women who come under the Quebec legislation.

Women whose work is covered by the Quebec law and who take advantage of preventive withdrawal are paid 90% of their salaries, while those covered by the Canadian legislation receive only 55%.

The federal government must cease to show its disdain for expectant or nursing mothers by refusing to treat them with all the dignity they deserve. No price can be put on the birth of a healthy baby.

The Minister of Labour finally made a commitment last week before the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development to listen to the voice of reason and has assured us that she will take this recommendation into account in the forthcoming review of part III of the Canada Labour Code.

At the same time, the minister boasted of Quebec's social policies. Now she must put her words into action. Women can count on the Bloc Quebecois to ensure that the minister fulfills her commitment.

MarijuanaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, home grow marijuana operations are a plague in communities across Canada. Just this year Waterloo regional police have raided 64 home grow operations and suspect another 200 homes are actively growing marijuana.

Across the country residential family homes are being converted to large scale marijuana operations producing an average of 300 to 400 plants, typically for export. Hydro meters are illegally bypassed and special generators and lights are installed.

Officials have increasing concerns about the deadly booby traps and dangerous living conditions that exist in these houses. Just last week a man, a woman and their four children ran from a flame filled Kitchener house where marijuana was being cultivated.

This is not a drug problem. It is a community problem. It is a community emergency. I encourage all my colleagues to discuss this concern with their municipal governments and law enforcement officials. Currently sentencing through the courts provides no real disincentives to the perpetrators.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of both the minister of fisheries and the minister of aboriginal affairs the concerns brought to my attention by the fishing community of Bella Bella. It is seeking access to an increase in its allocation of the herring spawn on kelp fishery.

The fisheries minister must approve the 2002 management plan for this fishery in two weeks. As time is of the essence I urge the ministers to give serious consideration to the Heiltsuk band request given its current unemployment situation and the spinoff income this would produce for the town of Bella Bella. Obviously conservation and other user requirements must also be taken into consideration when deciding on allocation levels.

As the MP representing this area I urge both the minister of fisheries and the minister of aboriginal affairs to deal with this request immediately. I note for the House that representatives of the Heiltsuk band are in Ottawa today and are prepared to meet.

Youth Strategy InitiativeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Liberal Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Secretary of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the regions of Quebec, the hon. member for Outremont, for the assistance he is providing young people from all regions of Canada.

I learned this weekend that young people have access to strategic information, consultant services, loans and other key stakeholders in the export sector, through a program that has a proven track record, the Youth Strategy initiative. This program is implemented in co-operation with Community Futures Development Corporations.

For the year 2001 alone, the Youth Strategy initiative provided funding to 1,516 entrepreneurs, helped create or maintain 4,580 jobs and generated $102 million in investments. These are concrete results.

The issue of young people leaving rural areas is of great concern to the government. This past weekend, Laval hosted the 12th convention of the Regroupement des jeunes gens d'affaires du Québec. This event was organized by Laval's Jeune chambre de commerce et d'industrie. This issue was on the agenda.

Congratulations to our young entrepreneurs.

Species At RiskStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, after many witnesses, many meetings and much hard work the environment committee reported on the species at risk bill earlier this week.

I commend all the members of the committee for their involvement and contribution. None of us are completely happy with the outcome, but after much debate and many compromises we reached a result that I believe my party can live with.

I urge the government to accept this revamped bill as the absolute minimum the country needs to protect our natural environment.

Highway InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is pleased to see that the Conseil du patronat du Québec, the Chambre de commerce et de l'industrie de la Rive-Sud de Montréal, the Chambre de commerce et de l'industrie de Châteauguay, the Comité d'action régional pour le prolongement de l'autoroute 30, the Association des constructeurs de routes et des grands travaux du Québec, and the Quebec government all support the extension of highway 30 and the construction of the two bridges.

The Quebec government is ready to start the work as the main contractor. All that is missing is the federal government's will to fund half of the project. Everyone is ready, except for the federal government. The time for meaningless election promises is over. It is now time to deliver.

The federal government must announce before Christmas that it will quickly fulfill its election promises.

Ken HechtmanStatements By Members

November 29th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ken Hechtman, a Montreal reporter, is believed to have been taken hostage four days ago in Afghanistan. This hostage taking comes on the heels of the deaths of European journalists in recent weeks.

Being a foreign correspondent can be dangerous, especially in a war situation such as the one in Afghanistan. The men and women who travel to these countries do so with great courage and temerity.

They do so in the name of the right to information, freedom of expression and democracy, values we all cherish. These defenders of freedom must not be used as currency or pawns.

For these reasons, I support the Government of Canada in taking all of the necessary steps to rescue Ken Hechtman.

Bill C-42Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have become masters of combining the good, the bad and the ugly into massive omnibus bills, forcing members to accept flawed legislation in order to pass needed amendments. They did this with Bill C-36 and they appear to pushing the boundaries even further with Bill C-42.

Tagged with the misnomer the Public Safety Act, the bill should be more accurately called the ministerial power grab act as most of the bill would give ministers broad authoritative powers with no parliamentary accountability. Bill C-42 would give the Minister of Transport and bureaucrats a blank cheque to develop an aviation security process as they see fit.

Let us contrast this to the American aviation and transportation security act where it was elected representatives and senators who determined what the security measures would be.

When will the Liberal backbenchers finally realize that all bills like Bill C-42 do is strip them of whatever little power they still have left?

Impaired DrivingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Traffic Injury Research Foundation released a survey that showed 17% of Canadians admit to driving after drinking alcohol. One in every 12 Canadians admit that they were drunk at the wheel at some point during the past year.

These figures are both frightening and alarming. In 1999 there were 3,500 serious injuries and 906 deaths in fatal car crashes involving alcohol. These people are our neighbours, our friends and sometimes our family members. It is up to us to act responsibly.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House of Commons I encourage all Canadians not to drink and drive.

Peter MaarsmanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, on October 31, Peter Maarsman retired after seven years as executive director of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

During his watch the society grew from one employee and a handful of members with a budget of just over $40,000 into a thriving organization with eight staff and an annual budget of over $300,000.

The citizens crime watch patrol, the safe rider bicycle program and the mobile patrol were developed by the society under Peter as was the community mall patrol which combats auto theft from mall parking lots. The fatal vision-drunk buster program teaches children not to get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.

What began as an anti-graffiti project, the spirit of youth mural program, saw Surrey student artists design and produce over 45 murals throughout the community over six years. Last summer a group of these young artists travelled to Ottawa to paint a mural on a business in Nepean.

Peter Maarsman can be proud of his contribution to Surrey. We thank him for his commitment to our community and we wish him all the best in his well deserved retirement.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as terrorists are being hunted down around the world, many of them know that despite Bill C-36 they can still get into Canada without documentation. Now workers at Pearson airport have told us that about 35 people a day arrive without documents. As a matter of fact, on Tuesday there were 30 who arrived here without documents. These frontline workers also tell us they are worried about possible terrorist connections that these people may have.

I ask the Prime Minister, specifically of the 30 who arrived here on Tuesday without documents, how many were let go and how was it determined that they were not a security risk?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my information from sources that I think are at least as good as the hon. member's is that there were not 30 people let go without documents. One person arrived without documents. He was examined and the appropriate action was taken.

We are being vigilant at our borders. We are giving ourselves additional legislative tools. We appreciate the fact that most of the members of the Alliance Party supported us on Bill C-36. I hope that this support on behalf of Canada's security will continue.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

That is not the case, Mr. Speaker. Terrorists know that they can enter the country without identification, in spite of Bill C-36. And amazingly, they can continue to belong to terrorist organizations.

How long on average will the government detain these individuals before setting them as free as birds?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that the minister and departmental officials will apply the law with the necessary vigour.

We strengthened the legislation with Bill C-11. I am certain that we are going to work actively and successfully to protect the safety of Canadians.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government has a real problem here because frontline workers are saying that at Pearson airport alone there can be up to 35 people a day arriving without documents. The Deputy Prime Minister has just said that it may be only one a day. This is a huge discrepancy.

We would like to know, since September 11 how many people have arrived at Pearson without documents? How long was each one detained and, of those who were let free, how was it determined that they were not a risk? There is a huge discrepancy here. The government has to face up to it.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, under our rules a detailed question like that should be placed on the order paper or, at the very least as a courtesy, conveyed to the government before question period.

I would be very happy to get the hon. member the detailed answer to his question. In the meantime it gives me a chance to reply by saying that we are working vigorously to protect the security of Canadians. We appreciate the support that has been given by the hon. member's party until now. I am sorry he is slipping away from that support and embarrassing himself.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is because the bill had nothing to do with these immigrants and refugees without documents.

Earlier this week U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft, who is responsible for both law enforcement and the U.S. immigration and refugee systems, announced publicly the names of all those who have been charged and the numbers of people detained in connection with the September 11 attacks on North America. That is reassuring to the American public.

Will the solicitor general and our immigration minister do exactly the same here in Canada to reassure Canadians that there is something going on after that terrorist attack?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. colleague is well aware that I do not make announcements for investigations by the RCMP. That is up to the RCMP to do.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is the standard answer from the solicitor general “I can't make a comment because there is an ongoing investigation”.

What is the difference between the U.S. and Canada? The U.S. attorney general stands up and says “These are the number of people that have been detained; these are the number of people that have been charged”, and he names them.

Why can we not reassure the Canadian public that here in Canada something is going on after that terrorist attack? Why not?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

I am not really sure, Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague is concerned about security or is trying to create fear in the Canadian people.

The fact of the matter is we have a very efficient police force and security intelligence agency which are working around the clock. They are working with their counterparts in the United States to make sure that anybody who needs to be brought to justice will be brought to justice.

It is up to the RCMP to inform the Canadian public what takes place within an investigation.

Public Safety ActOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, provincial ministers were told that Old Quebec could have been declared a military security zone if the public safety bill had been in effect during the summit of the Americas.

This explanation provided by the privy council contradicts the statements made by the Minister of National Defence, who told the House that the Bloc Quebecois was exaggerating the ramifications of this bill.

Will the minister admit that he misled the House and that even the privy council says that he could declare Old Quebec and the national assembly a military security zone without being asked to do so by the government of Quebec?