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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was border.

Topics

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the member is going way out on a limb. He is getting very extreme and is fearmongering on this particular issue.

What has been made clear by the president of the United States, by the Prime Minister and all of us is that this is a campaign against terrorism. It is not just going to be fought on the basis of military means. It is not going to be fought with conventional warfare means by and large. There are many different ways we must come together in this fight against terrorism. That is what we are going to talk about doing.

Let me also remind the hon. member that the United Nations, in particular the UN Security Council, has said under article 51 that the United States does have a right to defend itself. It has been attacked.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, intelligence reports from CSIS, Jane's and the U.S. congress all cite Canada as a country where terrorist cells are operating, yet the solicitor general continues to evade questions regarding their existence.

How many times do we have to ask this question before we get an answer? We have been asking it all week. Why will the minister not come clean with Canadians and tell us whether there are terrorist cells in Canada and whether he has secured new additional funds to adequately deal with them?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have addressed this question a number of times.

The Prime Minister and I have said a number of times that all measures will be reviewed. If measures need to be put in place, they will be put in place. The director of CSIS has indicated quite clearly he has the financing to fulfill his mandate. The RCMP had a major infusion of dollars. The Minister of Finance has indicated quite clearly that we are going to do what is right for the long term to fight terrorism and make sure the country remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to live.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and again today the transport minister was asked about box cutters found on a flight out of Pearson airport. His only response was to admonish the member for asking such a question.

After question period yesterday I spoke to an Air Canada employee who was outraged at the minister's flippant response.

It was confirmed that the box cutters were indeed found on an aborted Air Canada flight destined for New York on September 11. How is it that the American government can be open and honest with its citizens while this government hides behind a cloak of denial?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member criticizes my answer to the hon. member from the Alliance who posed the question initially. All I said was that he had his facts wrong.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Nabil Al-Marabh, who had been connected with two of the World Trade Center hijackers, was under arrest in Canada but the IRB released him.

The minister said that we cannot detain or deport persons on the basis of what she calls rumour and innuendo. The evidence against Mr. Al-Marabh was that he had been arrested on stabbing charges in Boston, that he had attempted to illegally enter the United States, that he had illegally re-entered Canada, that he was carrying a forged passport, that he was carrying a forged citizenship card and that he was carrying a forged social insurance card.

Why was this real evidence and not rumour or innuendo, not enough to detain or deport this suspected terrorist?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I remind the member that the campaign against terrorism is an international struggle. Canadians demand responsible actions. I will not in any way compromise any investigation nor will I participate in trial by innuendo. In Canada we have the rule of law. We rely on the rule of law when making decisions which are appropriate at the time.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat what the minister refers to as rumour and innuendo. This individual had been deported from Canada, had re-entered the country illegally, had been arrested carrying a false Canadian passport, citizenship card and SIN card and had been charged by U.S. authorities for a stabbing in Boston.

The IRB adjudicator in the case admitted that he was not someone who could be trusted to simply appear at a future hearing but released him anyway. Why will the government not agree to detain or deport immediately any failed refugee claimant with links to terrorism who break Canadian laws?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, it is wrong to equate all failed refugee claimants with terrorism. That is clearly wrong. It is also important for the hon. member and all people to know that when we have evidence that someone poses a security threat, we take action immediately. The person is detained and we then argue for continued detention.

Similarly, we do not detain people on mere whispers. Neither do we detain on suspicion. When we have the facts and the evidence and hard information, we take the action Canadians expect us to take.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a while ago the minister of defence informed the House that the government had drawn up a number of different military scenarios.

I believe it is absolutely normal for a certain number of military scenarios for a response to terrorism to be contemplated within a broad coalition. In fact, if they were not it would be a cause for concern.

I would however like to find out from the minister of defence whether any figures have been attached to these military scenarios. Has the cost of these actions been assessed, which would be evidence of responsibility?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I indicated in answer to a previous question that the military were working on options. The government has not set out scenarios at this point in time. It is working on options and yes, costing will also be a part of those options.

At the same time, the United States knows what we are capable of doing. The Americans know what capacity we have. They are designing the program and will ask us in terms of what they think the needs are. They are the ones quite logically who are co-ordinating this entire effort, but nothing has been finalized. It is still in process.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am not inquiring as to whether a final decision has been reached. I trust that the minister is working with the military and that the military is not the only one involved in these scenarios. There is a political aspect. There is a certain control that has to be exercised in this regard.

What I am asking, therefore, is not to wait until the United States tells us what we can do. Instead, the Prime Minister needs to be able to tell them what we could do.

In any logical, realistic and responsible assessment, costs are evaluated in order to determine capabilities and possibilities. Has there been a cost assessment of these operations?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there are no costs I can talk about at this point in time. Yes, all of these matters are being assessed. There is regular day to day, ongoing communications with the United States which is preparing the plan.

We told the Americans of our capabilities. We are looking at how we can reshape some of those capabilities in view of the circumstances post-September 11. We are in frequent communication with them. They know that. They know that we want to be of help.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a consequence of the terrorist attack on the United States ordinary Canadians are expressing concern over their personal safety.

While Canadians appreciate the need to exercise discretion when discussing plans for security, our citizens need to know that the military bases and our nuclear power facilities are secure.

People want to help. What plans does the government have to involve the public in this fight against international terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, what I cannot understand is why opposition members continually ask government members sensitive information on security issues.

They want information on investigations. They want information on security measures. I can assure my hon. colleague that all the measures that need to be taken will be taken by the government.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, involving the people of Canada in the security of our nation does not mean divulging state secrets.

Even though the Prime Minister has fallen short during this crisis, the people of Canada have not.

When will the minister table a plan in the House to respond to the concerns of all Canadians whom we all want to help?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we said many times what we are going to do. We are going to walk every step with the United States on this issue. We are going to take what measures need to be taken to increase security in this country.

The Minister of Finance has indicated quite clearly that financing will be made available for extra security measures. The Minister of Transport has indicated extra measures are being considered. All appropriate measures are being taken by the government to make sure this country remains one of the safest countries in the world in which to live.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Extreme weather was evident during the 2001 growing season worldwide. Drought in particular is having a serious impact on Canadian farmers.

Can the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House what the extent of the drought is and whether the government has programs in place to help farmers through this crisis?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there is no question that many farmers in Canada are going through one of the most severe droughts in decades.

We are monitoring that. However I remind everyone that we have a range of programs and safety nets. More farmers purchased crop insurance coverage for more acres. There is a total coverage of over $6.5 billion. We estimate that after farmers' 30% of the premium, crop insurance alone will pay out over $1 billion.

There is the net income stabilization account. There is the Canada farm income program. We estimate at this stage that between the federal and provincial governments there will be close to $4 billion in--

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Elk Island.

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister told us on Monday that committees would be informed and involved in finding solutions to the present threat by terrorists.

We gave notice and had motions prepared to call the Minister of National Revenue and the commissioner of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to the finance committee. However instead of receiving, debating and voting on our motions, the government pulled all Liberal members away so that quorum was lost.

Why does the government not want these officials at committee?

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have indicated our full co-operation insofar as committee structures are concerned. The hon. member will know that.

I do not know when the incident he referred to specifically occurred. I know yesterday we adjourned committees. We even suspended the House in order to attend a ceremony that members organized. Perhaps that is when the event occurred. If it occurred otherwise, I will endeavour to work with him and indeed all members.

Finally, we even asked for a vote in the House to refer a particular issue to committee earlier this week and unanimous consent was denied.

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, this was not a case of members not knowing where the committee room was. They were already there. This was a case where well before the time of the gathering in room 200, west block, committee members walked out. It was quite clear that it was at the call of the whip or some other official from the government.

My question is very simple. The Liberals defeated our supply day motion to produce anti-terrorist legislation. Now they will not let us work through committees. How and when will Canadians ever get some answers to this serious issue?

Standing Committee on FinanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated to the hon. member and indeed all hon. members that I would work in co-operation with them to do everything we could to make the committee work available.

We are in the process. I even had an informal consultation with the hon. member's House leader about the restarting of committees, because under the standing orders they do expire 10 days after the House comes back in September.

To the extent that we can co-operate, get them fully going and studying all issues relating not only to this but anything else, the hon. member will get my full co-operation.

Stock Market SpeculationOral Question Period

September 21st, 2001 / noon

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of countries are currently looking into the movement of capital and dubious stock market speculation orders made shortly before the September 11 strikes. Terrorists might have speculated knowing the events that would occur.

Could the solicitor general tell us whether such an investigation was undertaken in Canada as well and specifically at the Toronto stock exchange?