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House of Commons Hansard #81 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coalition.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the number one suspect in the September 11 attack, Osama bin Laden, has a fortune of several hundreds of millions of dollars spread around in hundreds of businesses.

Could the solicitor general tell us what specific steps have been taken in Canada to locate, freeze and confiscate any funds bin Laden might have?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated, the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions has acted upon a security council resolution of December last year.

In February he ensured that regulations were enacted to permit us to seize and restrain any property owned or controlled by Osama bin Laden or his associates.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's efforts in respect of laws, but last February justice department lawyers expressed their concern to the supreme court that its decisions could create a safe haven for foreign terrorists in Canada.

In light of recent events, will the minister make the appropriate application to reopen arguments before the court and close the door to terrorists?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in the House before, the hon. member refers to the case of Burns and Rafay.

The supreme court was clear that, in relation to matters surrounding extradition, I do not have to seek assurances where the death penalty may be involved in exceptional circumstances. I will decide on a case by case basis as to whether there are exceptional circumstances that would not require me to seek assurances.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is clear the minister does not even know what case she is talking about because it is not the Burns case. It is a subsequent case where her lawyers made that compelling argument.

In light of new compelling evidence, the court may reopen legal arguments in the case of Suresh. No more compelling evidence could exist than the events of September 11.

Will the minister make an immediate application to the court in the case of Suresh to protect Canadians or will she continue to risk an open door policy for terrorists?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that there is no open door policy nor is there any safe haven in this country for terrorists.

Let me reassure the hon. member that if he is in fact referring to the case of Suresh, this matter is before the court. We are awaiting judgment in this court. We will consider all our options in terms of any future arguments regarding the issues involved in Suresh.

Canadian CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-23, which aims to facilitate international trade, will require, among other things, freer circulation of persons and goods.

Does the Minister of Revenue agree that the bill should be amended in light of the situation created by the September 11 attack?

Canadian CustomsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, there are no simple answers to the question of terrorism. I think a number of organizations and agencies will work together to fight and beat terrorism.

One thing is sure and that is that customs is one of a number of important elements. When we analyze them today in our trading context, with globalization and the trade relations we have with the United States among others, we realize they must be balanced.

I still think that Bill S-23 represents good modern reform in the current context, and I invite all MPs to intervene to give—

Canadian CustomsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

Canadian CustomsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister describes his bill as a canvas on which he will outline his plan to modernize customs. This is worrisome.

Would it not be wise for the minister, before going any further, to define and make public the safety regulations that he has in mind for Canada customs, in order to allow parliamentarians the opportunity to debate them?

Canadian CustomsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-23, now before parliament, which will receive second reading tomorrow and which will hopefully be referred to committee as soon as possible, is a good bill that will meet all modern needs for customs and customs management.

This bill will allow us, as a society, to undertake improved risk assessment and offer Canadians increased protection, which is what we want.

Penalties will in fact be established, penalties which will come into effect gradually, as we assess them and as we implement them with the business community and Canadian society in general.

National DefenceOral Question Period

September 19th, 2001 / 2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that last year the Prime Minister struck a special committee to deal with national security, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. I found out today that it had not met for more than a year. This is not dealing with national security. This is just going through the motions.

How can the Prime Minister seriously say that he is dealing with national security when his own special committee has not met for more than a year?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all my ministers are doing their jobs extremely diligently. I know that the opposition does not believe it, but we had the testimony yesterday of the ambassador of the United States.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, diligence to the Liberal government is not meeting for more than a year.

A close adviser to the Prime Minister admitted this national security committee was merely a tradition. In fact he said “the committee is not significant”.

Faced with our increasing international security problems, why has the Prime Minister allowed this committee to do nothing for a year and why does he think his national security committee is not significant?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when there is a need for a meeting of either the main security committee or the subcommittee either myself or the Deputy Prime Minister will preside over these meetings.

EnergyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

We have an extensive energy infrastructure in Canada, including oil and gas as well as, in the case of myself and other members, particularly the member for Huron--Bruce, nuclear power plants. In light of the recent terrorist attacks on the United States, I would like to ask the minister what measures the government has taken to ensure the security of these energy systems.

EnergyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. We take nothing for granted with respect to Canada's energy systems and infrastructure. In the tragic circumstances of last week our established regulatory authorities worked very well to safeguard Canadian interests. I think here of the National Energy Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the explosives administration within my department.

We have excellent co-operation from the provinces and the private sector and with the United States. We have applied all of the valuable expertise that was gained through the Y2K exercise. Enhanced surveillance and security remain in place, but I will not discuss the details.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, Air Canada is pleading for financial help in the wake of last week's tragic terrorist attacks. The airline industry will not be the only industry affected by this tragedy.

There is no question that there is a great risk of job loss for airline workers. Can the government assure the House that if it decides to proceed with any financial assistance to airlines it would be tied to an assurance of maximum job protection for airline workers?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is getting ahead of herself a little bit. We are currently assessing the financial situation not just of Air Canada but of all the companies. I have been in touch with the chief executive officers of the major Canadian airline companies. We are concerned about the viability. We are concerned about the integrity. We are concerned about service to communities and we are concerned about all the people that work for the airlines.

Once this evaluation is complete then we will be in a position to decide what, if anything, should be done.

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago in Ottawa a young Canadian Arab was beaten unconscious when biking home. This is only one of a number of alarming incidents across Canada in the wake of the attack on the U.S.

The Government of Canada has a clear responsibility under the criminal code and multiculturalism policies to both prevent and act on hate crimes. I would like to ask the Prime Minister what action the government is taking to, first, prevent further incidents, and second, given the situation we are in now, to protect Canadians from further incidents taking place.

DiscriminationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I could not have been clearer on this issue than I have been in my speeches on this issue in the last week. It is completely unacceptable that while we are fighting terrorism we would try to make somebody responsible because of the religion that person professes. If somebody is doing these things, as the hon. member reported, the criminal code is there for that. The authorities should arrest the people who do these violent acts and make sure they face the penalty they deserve.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks on the United States, the airline industry around the world has been devastated. Any new security arrangements are going to carry a cost. Is the government considering compensating the airline industry for its direct losses and costs as a result of last Tuesday's events?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do believe I answered this question a few minutes ago. I would like to say that there has been no decision taken in the United States, either by the congress or the administration, on specific measures to help the airline industry. It is under review.

We have to make sure that if any assistance is forthcoming such assistance is properly identifiable to the needs of the companies and will deal not only with the problem at hand, but will deal with fairness not just to the airline industries but to all those other industries that have been affected.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the government that the airline industry is not the only sector of the economy that suffered direct losses as a result of last week's terrorist attacks. Canada's trucking industry, for one, manufacturers and all of our exporters incurred significant losses resulting from this crackdown on terrorism.

If the government is prepared to compensate the airlines, what measures is it taking to deal with real losses in these other sectors of the economy?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, at the moment, as I said to the hon. member for Churchill, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. We have to assess the degree of the dislocation and the damage and there is no doubt that there has been a lot of it. Once we have that assessment we will deal with the facts and decide what if anything should be done. That is just one aspect of the transportation industry.

The member rightly identifies the trucking industry. There are others. The shipping industry was also affected, plus manufacturers, as he said. Let us get the facts before we act.