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House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, implicit in the hon. member's question is that the Conservative Alliance, or DRC or whatever it is called, wants the government to hand over $75 million without the due diligence being done.

The government will look after taxpayer money. It has said the loan guarantee would only be forthcoming if certain conditions were met, and they have not been met at this point in time.

National DefenceOral Question Period

November 9th, 2001 / 11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has presided over the gutting of our military establishment since 1993. The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies said that the 1994 white paper is “outmoded and does not address the security challenges of our country today”.

My questions is simple. Will the Minister of National Defence engage in a thorough, sweeping and public review of our defence and security systems immediately?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, immediate attention is needed for fighting terrorism. That is what the Canadian forces and the government are doing.

Eventually, yes, everything needs to be reviewed, there is no doubt about it. However the government is keeping up with what is happening. We are ensuring that we have multi-purpose, combat capable forces. We have invested some $3 billion in the Canadian forces over the last three years.

We are not standing still. We are moving with the times. We are moving with the needs for safety and security of Canadians.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is the problem; there is no plan. It is all right to have money, but the strategic studies group has said that apart from having the money we have to know where the money will go and have a plan to address it. Again, this group and others have said very clearly that Canada needs a plan to address homeland security. There is no plan.

Will the Minister of National Defence, not later but now, do the right thing and start to implement a thorough review of our homeland security defences for all Canadians out there who need it?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Prime Minister has established a committee of the cabinet that looks at security issues.

In the post-September 11 world we know the security environment has changed fundamentally and we have set about making changes. We have put $280 million into upgrades of many our systems. We brought in Bill C-36. There is more work that is still being done to ensure that we are responding to the needs of Canadians to ensure their safety and security and to ensure that we contribute to the anti-terrorism campaign internationally.

Anti-terrorism ActOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the saga of the Young Offenders Act, the minister showed absolutely no openness to the legitimate demands of Quebec.

Within the framework of the anti-terrorism bill, is the minister going to be more receptive and bow to the arguments of the Privacy Commissioner, who is calling upon her to amend her bill so as to lessen its impact on the Privacy Act?

Could she at least sometimes heed what is said to her?

Anti-terrorism ActOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is always with great pleasure that I listen to the hon. member. Let me tell the hon. member, as I have said before in the House, that I know the concerns of the privacy commissioner. In fact, my officials and my deputy minister have been in discussions with the privacy commissioner and his officials. We hope that in working together in a constructive fashion, we will be able to deal with his concerns.

Anti-terrorism ActOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the commissioner, “We live in a country governed by the rule of law, not in a place where the authorities are endowed with unfettered power”.

Is the minister aware of this flaw in the anti-terrorism legislation and does she plan to show more openness by amending her bill accordingly?

We are asking this politely, in the interests of Quebec.

Anti-terrorism ActOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have made it plain since we introduced Bill C-36. This is important legislation and that is why we want to hear what the Senate committee, which has reported, and the House committee, which continues its work, have to say.

However, on the specific point in relation to the privacy commissioner's concerns, we understand those concerns and my officials and his officials will continue to work to clarify the matter and hopefully reach a successful resolution.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is in denial. She will not face the truth. A steady stream of immigration officials, retired and current, are frustrated with the minister and her mismanagement of the department. Today we found out from members of her own immigration refugee board that, and I quote, “If anybody thinks things are going to be done faster with the new system, they are dead wrong”.

These are honourable officials in the IRB with legitimate concerns, not opposition MPs or the media but people who care about their country. Why does the minister not fix what is obviously broke?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, if the member would continue with the quotes, he would hear that the chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is speaking about individuals who may not be well informed about the new legislation and how it will work.

I agree with the chair of the board who said that the new appeal procedure, when in place and functioning, will indeed be faster and achieve our goal of two things: first, have a fast determination procedure; and second, give us a system with integrity that will stay out of the federal courts so that we can not only have a fast decision but remove people who do not--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yorkton--Melville.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, currently it takes up to 10 months to process just one refugee claim. There is a huge backlog. Under the new law it could take anywhere from 23 months to 29 months. This is obviously gross incompetence on the part of the minister and her senior executive.

That is why so many frontline and retired officials with long experience are speaking up in frustration and obvious risk to their positions. They have come forward because they care about their country.

Why should Canadians believe this minister when she has been wrong so many times and mismanaged the immigration file to the point of crisis?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act streamlines the numbers of steps at the refugee determination stage: one hearing, one appeal and one judicial review will replace the multiple levels and steps that are in place today. That will give us a faster opportunity to make a decision, stay out of the federal court and be in a position to remove people more quickly. That is the way it is supposed to work.

While we are planning for volumes, we--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, after announcing it was claiming protection under the Bankruptcy Act, Canada 3000 indicated that it would no longer be operating.

The former owner of Royal Air has offered to buy the company back so long as it gets a loan guarantee of $30 million.

Now that Canada 3000 has stopped operating, does the Minister of Transport intend to take part of the $75 million loan guarantee intended for Canada 3000 and give it to Royal?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said, the situation with Canada 3000 is unfortunate.

However, discussions are continuing and a loan guarantee may still be possible. We will await the outcome of all the discussions.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, with Canada 3000's activities ceasing, the minister will have some manoeuvring room.

Once he has helped Royal, does the minister intend to put the remaining $45 million at the disposal of regional carriers giving them help as well in the form of a loan guarantee?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there are no loan guarantees at the moment for Canada 3000, Air Transat or Air Canada.

We are looking at the current situation to see if we can improve things with Canada 3000.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, more than three years ago a Sri Lankan group warned the government of money transfer businesses in the Toronto area that were fuelling the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. During the same time period the RCMP, warned the government about 8,000 Tamil tigers living in Toronto. In both incidents the government ignored these warnings.

Why has his department of the solicitor general repeatedly failed to respond to serious warnings that Canada was being used as a base to wage terrorist and other criminal activities?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague knows what he is indicating is not correct. The fact of the matter is this government's fight against terrorism is not new. Canada signed every UN resolution on terrorism. In fact Canada helped draft the resolution against terrorists and fundraising.

The government has and will continue to make sure that appropriate measures are put in place to keep this country one of the safest, if not the safest country in the world to live in.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am simply quoting from reports that were given by RCMP to the Senate a number of years ago, so they are the truth.

Since being probed by the RCMP, an Ottawa office of Barakaat North America allegedly generated millions of dollars for Osama bin Laden. It took United States authorities, not the RCMP, to shut this operation down.

Why did the solicitor general again fail to heed the warnings of the RCMP about this money transfer business operating just miles from here?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, is my hon. colleague trying to indicate that this government has not taken appropriate measures to freeze assets? He is well aware that this government has taken appropriate action. He is well aware that the RCMP and CSIS have worked around the clock with their U.S. counterparts to make sure that the people responsible for the acts of terrorism are brought to justice.

We have and will continue to fight terrorism in this country.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence is renowned for its expertise in the field of nuclear, biological and chemical defence. Could the Minister of National Defence tell us how this expertise is being put to use in the current campaign against terrorism?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the defence research establishment in Suffield, Alberta has a particular expertise and reputation with respect to dealing with nuclear, biological and chemical defences. In fact, a year before the anthrax scare started in the United States, it was researching to whole matter of opening envelopes and how we could protect ourselves.

I think because of that, the U.S. centre for disease control in Atlanta has invited an expert team to become part of its efforts to deal with anthrax related tests at the Brentwood mail handling facility in Washington, D.C. Canadians are on the job helping in the anti-terrorism campaign.