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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

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, like many who watched it, I was cheered to see President Bush last night praising the United Kingdom and its prime minister, Tony Blair, for pledging to fight with the United States.

Indeed, even the president of France, Jacques Chirac, was quoted yesterday as saying that France will be there with the U.S. too.

Will the government work with our friends and allies to build a military force to destroy the military capability of any terrorist of any country that supports international terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the prime minister of the U.K. was in the room at the time. It is logical that he would have been pointed out by the president. Again, the president talked about a number of countries that he wants to come on side and be part of building the coalition.

As I indicated previously, Canada has already been thanked by Mr. Bush and, most important, we have made it abundantly clear that we do stand with him and that we are committed to this campaign. We have provided all the requests and the assets for which the Americans have asked. We have told them that we stand ready to be with them in this entire campaign, militarily or in other ways.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. ambassador and President Bush have made it clear that the U.S. is looking for military support. Canadians want Canada to commit to the fight against terrorism. The government must answer the call.

When will the Government of Canada join with our allies, the United Kingdom and France, to show a real military commitment in the coming fight? Where is the government's action plan? What exactly will the government deliver to the fight against terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we continually get a Rambo style of commentary coming from the Alliance.

There is more than just a military involvement. The president of the United States and others have made it clear that this is a multidimensional campaign against terrorism.

In terms of the military aspect of it, we have made it clear to the United States. It knows what our assets are. We have said that we will consider the use of any of those assets in terms of any military campaign.

The Alliance seems to want to get off to war awfully fast. What we want to do is try to settle the campaign against terrorism with the least loss of life to our troops or to any civilians.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to this morning's newspapers the Prime Minister may present a certain number of military scenarios to President Bush during their meeting on Monday.

Will the Minister of National Defence confirm that the government has planned different military scenarios, some of which involve deploying thousands of Canadian soldiers abroad?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times before, the United States is still in a planning phase, determining what the full nature of the campaign will be. It will consult with us and with other allies. It knows our assets and the capability of our personnel. It knows what we are capable of doing. It saw what we did in Kosovo and what we have done in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

We have told the Americans that our assets and our personnel are there and available. This is more than just a military effort. It is a diplomatic and economic effort and an effort in many other respects to try to deal with the campaign against terrorism.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I imagine that we too know what our assets are. We know what we have and the Americans know it. That is not what we want to know.

We are asking if military scenarios have been planned involving the deployment of thousands of Canadians abroad. This is quite specific. This is what we would like to know.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times before, of course there are options that are being prepared in that regard. No decision has been made on any specific element of the Canadian Forces. Indeed, the United States has not made a decision on what is totally needed and what it would request of Canada or other countries.

Certainly we are working out a wide range of options that could be used in terms of support.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House I asked the Minister of Transport whether he could confirm a Sun media report that knives and box cutters were found aboard a Toronto-New York carrier flight the same day terrorists hijacked four planes with the same weapons and crashed three of them into buildings in the United States.

The minister told me to check my facts and that is exactly what I am trying to do. I am seeking the information directly from the person who should know whether or not this happened.

I ask the question again. Could the minister confirm that those weapons were found on planes that left the Canadian airport?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, before September 11 security was rigorous both at airports and onboard planes. Certainly after that time things have been tightened up considerably.

We do not talk about specific planes or specific incidences of security for obvious reasons. However, I wish to say that the hon. member does not have his facts correct.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister is not giving any facts it is awfully hard for Canadians to piece the puzzle together.

This week we have seen very little action from the Minister of Transport to improve air security. He asked airlines to lock the cockpit doors but most of them were already doing that. He was asked to provide air marshals by Air Canada and he refused, even though he is considering a $3 billion to $4 billion bailout of Air Canada.

We have seen that bombs and weapons can be smuggled through airport security. The minister has known for months of these security risks and has done nothing.

What kind of attack will it take to force the minister to take the kind of action that is necessary to make sure that our planes are safe in the skies?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

I do not know where the hon. member has been for the last week, Mr. Speaker. He must have travelled from his constituency. The fact is that we have put in place extremely tight security measures. I have said that we do not preclude bringing in further measures.

I met yesterday with members of the Air Transport Association who have been working with us. This is a group that represents the airline industry and we are working, not just on a daily basis but on an hourly basis, to evaluate security and to ensure that whatever measures need to be taken are put in place.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

September 21st, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the first four months of this year the federal government has accumulated surpluses in excess of $10 billion. Yesterday the Minister of Finance told us that because of the anti-terrorism effort and security measures, these surpluses could disappear and our way of life could change.

Does the government agree with the disturbing comments of the Minister of Finance, which, to make matters worse, contradict those of the Prime Minister who said this week that there was no question of the terrorists dictating how we lived our lives?

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as we have all seen there is considerable economic uncertainty globally. That having been said however we know that there will be costs associated with the fight against terrorism. I must reiterate that, as he said the other day, the minister is going to be providing Canadians with a comprehensive statement of our fiscal situation in the fall.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation is cause for concern, but there is no need to make matters worse. That is what the Minister of Finance did yesterday.

There can have been only two reasons why he said what he did: either he is telling us whatever comes into his head about the surpluses as he has done for the past five years, or the minister of defence has asked him for billions of dollars to take part in the war effort and to finance his scenarios.

Will the minister of defence inform the House about the nature of these extraordinary demands for billions of dollars?

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as the minister said yesterday, our priority is to protect Canada, which involves two things: national security and our economic security. I can assure the member that nobody in the world will fight harder than we will against a deficit.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister finally meets President Bush next week to tell him what Canada can contribute to the war against terrorism. However he has an equally important measure to deliver regarding Canada's border integrity.

What message is the Prime Minister bringing to President Bush to ease his fears and protect the Canadian economy?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.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, with regard to our shared border, all members of the House know that Canada and the U.S. have been working together to ensure that our businesses keep working. We know as well that part of the mandate of Canada Customs is the question of the protection of Canadian society. We have been working with the United States. Back in 1995 we signed an agreement on our shared border. We must continue to co-operate with the United States.

Bill S-23 is before the House. The principles we have in the bill must be enacted as soon as possible. I am counting on the support of the opposition parties to make sure we move ahead with the bill.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the words of the U.S. administration should be setting off alarm bells at the PMO. Colin Powell criticized our border integrity. President Bush has stated that the most important relationship the U.S. has is with Mexico. Last night he stated that the U.S. has no truer friend than Great Britain. Canada once enjoyed these designations.

With billions of dollars in trade and thousands of Canadian jobs contingent upon our trading relationship with the U.S., what measures has the Prime Minister actually taken to strengthen Canada's borders and fortify our trade links?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.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, as we all know, following the tragic events of last week Canada Customs officers have been fantastic and deserve a good round of applause.

When we began reforming the system a year and a half ago the opposition of course was not there because it was not interested in Canadian security, safety or in the customs system. However this government was very interested and that is why we began the process a year and a half ago.

Bill S-23 is before the House. This is what we need in order to make sure that we have and keep a safe country, and I count on the opposition's support.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

Canadians as we know, are very concerned about terrorism and how it is financed. Given that money is the fuel and food for terrorism, will the government be introducing amendments to our recently enacted anti-money laundering legislation to combat terrorism?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that very important question.

We are considering that at this very moment. We have had discussions with Fintrac on our money laundering legislation and we certainly are looking at that measure. It is also important to tell Canadians what else we are doing currently. Pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1333, on February 22 Canada passed regulations to “freeze without delay funds and other financial assets of Osama bin Laden and individuals and entities associated with him, including those of al-Qaeda”.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

While Canadians strongly condemn the terrorist attacks on September 11, many Canadians are also deeply concerned and reject George Bush's dangerous new war that ignores the United Nations and international law.

Will the Prime Minister tell George Bush on Monday that there are not only two choices, the choice between the United States and terrorism, but that there is a third choice, the choice of respect for international law and the United Nations? Will the Prime Minister make it clear that we reject George Bush's war?

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this country respects international law. The Prime Minister has made that very clear. We are a country that is a democracy, that respects the rule of law. I am sure President Bush knows that. What needs to be done though within that framework, within the rule of law and within the framework of the United Nations is to deal with terrorism effectively. It is a threat to the United States. It is a threat to us. It is a threat throughout the world.

The two men will get together on Monday and discuss how we can work together to effectively do that.

TerrorismOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, George Bush's new war is in fact in contempt of international law and will result in the deaths of thousands of innocent Afghani civilians, just as we have seen over half a million Iraqi children die innocently.

George Bush has said that he will use all necessary weapons in this war. Will the Prime Minister make it very clear to President George Bush that Canada utterly rejects any suggestion of the use of tactical nuclear weapons in any war at all?