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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

InfrastructureOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in order for such a thing to happen we would need to have the Ontario government identify such a project as a priority for that government, agree to an accelerated timetable and commit the matching funds to make it happen.

We have not heard that it is a priority for the Government of Ontario. In fact, we have not heard yet from the Ontario government at all with respect to its priorities under the strategic infrastructure fund.

National DefenceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the maritime helicopter project website claims that the deadline for accepting new bids to replace our Sea Kings was to be October 2002, but in this week's Hill Times , however, the defence minister states that his department has no timeline whatsoever.

Will the minister tell the House what he is going to do to get that contract back on track? When will the new deadline for the bids be set? We have the safety of men and women in our Sea Kings at stake.

National DefenceOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Haliburton—Victoria—Brock Ontario

Liberal

John O'Reilly LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence has invested approximately $80 million in major upgrades to enhance our Sea Kings, and they presently fly very safely and are doing a good job for our country. I remind members that nothing flies in the military that is not safe. That is the commitment we make to our men and women of the forces: that their safety comes first.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

November 20th, 2002 / 3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of a group of Canadians of extraordinary talent and accomplishment in the field of literature. They have devoted their energies toward enriching the cultural life of Canada.

I am referring to the recipients of the Governor General's Literary Awards.

The recipients are here today. I will call their names in order and ask hon. members to refrain from applauding until I have completed the list: Gloria Sawai; Monique LaRue; Roy Miki; Robert Dickson; Kevin Kerr; Daniel Danis; Andrew Nikiforuk; Judith Lavoie; Martha Brooks; Hélène Vachon; Wallace Edwards; Luc Melanson; Nigel Spencer; and Paule Pierre-Noyart.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The House resumed from November 18 consideration of the motion that Bill C-17, an act to amend certain Acts of Canada, and to enact measures for implementing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in order to enhance public safety, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 3:05 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at the second reading stage of Bill C-17.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to a legislative committee.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

The House resumed from November 19 consideration of the motion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, November 19, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division relating to the business of supply. The question is on the motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

SupplyGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Chair has received notice that the hon. member for Saskatoon--Humboldt wishes to make some submissions to the Chair with respect to a question of privilege that was raised yesterday by the hon. member for Acadie--Bathurst.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise in response to the point of privilege made by the member for Acadie--Bathurst on November 19.

I will not debate the policy matter involved but, by way of summarizing my past comments in the House, I will respond to the content of his remarks.

Yesterday the member in question made a factually incorrect and misleading statement about my tireless effort in the House to champion the cause of equality of opportunity and merit based hiring. It was an attempt to intimidate those who justly oppose the discriminatory impact of forced bilingualism on unilingual Canadians and the discriminatory effect of race based hiring.

Clearly the member for Acadie--Bathurst is evading the fact that we cannot discriminate in favour of someone on the basis of race or language without unfairly discriminating against someone else because of their race or language. He should withdraw his question of privilege and apologize to me and to all Canadians for his attack on and specious attempt to silence defenders of equality.

For the record, I stand solidly behind my legitimate criticism of the government's race based hiring scheme and discriminatory language laws. The truth of the matter is that those who support state sanctioned racism by hiding behind politically correct rhetoric instead of a white sheet can indeed be deservedly characterized as modern day Klansmen.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I am not sure I need to hear further from the hon. member for Acadie--Bathurst at this time. I have the submissions he made the other day. I do not think the hon. member for Saskatoon--Humboldt has added significantly to the debate. He has repeated really what he said before.

As I indicated in the House at the time, I will examine the matter and get back to the House if necessary.

I have notice of another point of order from the hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am rising with respect to the incident that occurred yesterday on Parliament Hill. Members of this party, and I hope all members of the House, were appalled and quite disturbed by the security breach that occurred when a protester was able to come so close to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney during our ceremony yesterday and, for that matter, was also in some proximity as well to our current Prime Minister.

I understand the Board of Internal Economy intends to look into this. Obviously, we urge it to do that. However I would point out that the Board of Internal Economy meets and reports in secret.

I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our party, and I think probably on behalf of many other members, that you commit, as our presiding officer, to provide the House with a timely and full public report on whatever is learned from both internal and external agencies on precisely what occurred yesterday.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, as one who was present yesterday at the same event, in fact I sat beside the hon. leader of the official opposition, I would just like to second in public his concerns about what happened yesterday.

Before we knew it, someone had entered the room and was able to run right up and have his hand right over the head of the former prime minister having just passed by the current Prime Minister. It seems to me that this should have been prevented.

I too would like to know why it was not prevented and why someone was able to proceed along that corridor, which had been cleared. There was no crowd between where the barrier of the people was and the wall where the former prime minister and the current Prime Minister had come in. Presumably somebody was at the doorway to prevent a person from rushing in the way he did.

I would like to register my own concern and hope that this is being looked at so nothing like this can happen again because it could have been a whole lot worse than somebody waving a flag.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we are all very concerned and extremely distraught to hear what happened. The Prime Minister of Canada was immediately beside the right hon. gentleman as well, and we are all equally concerned. However I want to be cautious with something that was said earlier and that was about the public reporting of what Mr. Speaker might discover.

We have spokespersons for the board, two who can answer questions in the House. There may very well be information which Mr. Speaker has to reveal to the board but for reasons of security, our spokespersons for the board will not be able to reveal that publicly.

I want the House to be cognizant of that as well so that our spokespersons for the board, namely the chief whip for our party and one representative from the opposition, are not made to say things which could be to the detriment of enhancing security measures around here. I recognize that is not what we want.

That is the only concern that I have.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I also was there yesterday, as were you. It was the most nervous time in the 10 years I have been in the House of Commons. It was the most frightening time I have ever experienced in the House of Commons. One did not know what would happen.

We were looking at all three of you, Mr. Speaker, you, the Prime Minister and the previous prime minister, wondering exactly what this man was trying to prove.

The security here is so very important, Mr. Speaker. You will be getting a letter which I wrote to you today. All of us in the House have to know exactly what happened. The person who was in the picture, which appeared in the paper today, looked like he may have been a civil servant because of what he was wearing. I pray to God that he was not.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Haliburton—Victoria—Brock Ontario

Liberal

John O'Reilly LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to interject in this conversation because I was there yesterday also. As the House is aware, I was under a death threat at one time in the House. I studied security in the House. I looked at the parliamentary precinct we work in.

I want members to know that I do not think it is any secret that there are over six security systems that work within the House and the other place. We have House of Commons security, the Burns type security that run the groups that go into parliament and the PMO has security. If 9-1-1 is called, the Ottawa police cannot respond to the House because there are so many security systems here.

I would suggest that it is time the House take action and form one security service for Parliament Hill. I have asked for this since 1998. Do members realize that plain clothes people can carry guns but uniformed people cannot. They are not in the same union. They do not have the same radio bands. They cannot talk to each other from one side of this House to the other side of the Hill.

Yesterday's incident was appalling to me because I have been through that. It is time Mr. Speaker that you and the House acted on this and that we finally have a security system that is a Parliament Hill precinct security system. If anyone objects to that, I would be glad to talk to them about it, but it is time.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is obviously a very serious concern that somebody who should not have been in the room was able to approach so close to both the Prime Minister and a previous prime minister, as well as numerous cabinet ministers, the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament and a number of dignitaries. Obviously that is unacceptable.

In this case there was no risk. The gentleman had been through two screenings, first, on entering the building and, second, before entering the public galleries of the House.

It is for this reason that I wrote to you, Mr. Speaker, as chair of the Board of Internal Economy and asked that it be on the agenda of the board, which includes members of all parties, later this day and that the board be thoroughly briefed and address any problems that the situation raises.

I repeat the caution of the House leader that discussing security in public is not always a good idea. The commitment should be to ensure that the issue is addressed, but not jeopardize security further by discussing our security arrangements publicly.

Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank all hon. members for their submissions on the point. I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that I am not likely to be the one coming back to the House. As was indicated by the House leader, the board has its own spokespersons who talk for it. Your poor Speaker has his lips zipped up there and here.

This matter will be brought up for discussion I am sure at the very next meeting of the board, which is in fact happening later this day. I thank the hon. members who have made submissions on this point. I assure them that all matters will be considered.

Office of the Ethics CounsellorRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Leeds—Grenville Ontario

Liberal

Joe Jordan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, the first annual report of the ethics counsellor, as prepared by the ethics counsellor, on the activities of his office since it was established by the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Prime Minister's commitment earlier this year that the office of the ethics counsellor will provide an annual report to parliament beginning in 2002.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 53 petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade relating to Bill S-2, An Act to implement an agreement, conventions and protocols concluded between Canada and Kuwait, Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Norway, Belgium and Italy for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion and to amend the enacted text of three tax treaties, without amendment.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

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

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-307, an act to amend the Criminal Code (child pornography).

Mr. Speaker, this private member's bill amends section 163.1 of the Criminal Code to provide a minimum punishment of two years imprisonment for any person convicted of transmitting, making available, distributing, selling, importing, exporting or possessing for the purpose of transmission, making available distribution, sale or exploitation of any child pornography as defined in paragraph 163.1(1)(a), of the act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)