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House of Commons Hansard #180 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.

Topics

MicrobreweriesOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois continues to engage in smear tactics.

Bloc Quebecois members are well aware that the bill has nothing to do with beer. It never had anything to do with beer.

All they are doing is continuing to rely on smear tactics and cheap political tricks.

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

WestJet has announced that it will be cutting flights as a direct result of the government's security tax, Canada's new GST. Halifax airport is laying off a quarter of its workforce. The air travel complaints commissioner has called this new GST an extravagant amount. He is getting numerous complaints against it.

It costs $5.1 million a year to operate Thunder Bay airport but this tax is taking $8 million from that community.

This tax is devastating the air and tourism industries in Canada which, by the way, bring in some $17 billion of tax revenue annually. In view of the $7 billion to $10 billion surplus, why does the minister not repeal this tax?

Airline IndustryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, as the government has said many times, we will conduct a thorough review of this charge, which is, I remind the hon. member, a charge and not a tax, in the fall. Should the revenues exceed the projected expenditures, the government has committed to not only reducing the charge but we are also open to any manner of suggestion as to changes in the structure of this charge.

TerrorismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on April 11 Nizar Naouar blew up a synagogue in Tunisia, killing 16 people. The Tunisian government has labelled this a terrorist act.

Will the minister of immigration confirm that Nizar Naouar was a Tunisian student on exchange in Canada in 1999? Is he one of the 138 missing Tunisians that Immigration Canada cannot find?

TerrorismOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my right hon. colleague should be aware that we do not discuss investigations on the floor of the House of Commons or in public. Our security intelligence and police forces work with other security intelligence and police forces around the world to ensure that people who break the law are brought to justice.

The House resumed from April 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-47, An Act respecting the taxation of spirits, wine and tobacco and the treatment of ships' stores, be read the third time and passed, and of the amendment.

Excise Tax, 2001Government Orders

3 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 3 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion for third reading of Bill C-47.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Excise Tax, 2001Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the amendment lost.

Excise Tax, 2001Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I cannot see you, Mr. Speaker, and I do not know if you can see me. I want to make sure my vote has been recorded.

Excise Tax, 2001Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Yes, I can confirm that the hon. member's vote was recorded.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:15 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 four petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

May 1st, 2002 / 3:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 109 I am pleased to submit two copies, in both official languages, of the government's response to the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities entitled “The Guaranteed Income Supplement: the duty to reach all”.

TerrorismRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to inform the House that just weeks ago on April 3, Canada deposited instruments of ratification for the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. With this ratification Canada is now a party to all 12 of the international counterterrorism instruments required by UN security council resolution 1373.

September 11 reminded us all that terrorism is an ever present threat to the tranquility of our lives, to peace and security everywhere and to the well-being of men, women and children of all faiths, all national and ethnic groups and all religions.

Since the attacks, the world community has come together to join in a campaign that goes far beyond military intervention and to co-operate in almost all international bodies.

We have moved beyond condemnation and condolences to practical action. To a large extent this action is guided by the UN milestone security council resolution 1373 which requires member states to take specific steps to counter terrorist financing and deny terrorists safe haven. It also urges the implementation of all relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

All international laws on counterterrorism are rooted in the 12 UN counterterrorism conventions and protocols which together constitute a framework for preventing terrorist acts such as hijacking, hostage taking and terrorist bombings.

The Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings gives countries jurisdiction over the unlawful and intentional use of explosives and other lethal devices in public places with intent to kill or cause serious bodily injury, or with intent to cause extensive destruction of a public place.

Canada's ratifying and implementing the convention strengthens the powers of the international legal community to suppress such terrorist bombings.

We have reached another milestone in the search for international justice and the global effort to counter the threat of terrorism.

TerrorismRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, we in our party agree with the direction of the ratification. I congratulate the minister for anything he and others in his department had to do with advancing the cause.

However we are concerned about whether we can live up to the full spirit and letter of the accord. I make reference specifically to the issue of terrorist financing and the steps needed to counter terrorist financing as the minister has indicated.

The minister himself has stated that the convention requires member states to take specific measures to stop financing and harbouring terrorists.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is still tolerating terrorist financing in Canada, since he is refusing to ban Hezbollah fundraising here, in Canada. Hezbollah is a terrorist group.

I do not want to belabour the point but the minister's remarks leave me no choice. He cited an international accord which we support. However he cited a line in the accord which talks about doing everything we can to stop the financing of terrorism.

Did the minister inform his counterparts in the United States and Israel, countries which have banned all fundraising to the terrorist group known as Hezbollah, that Canada allows supporters of Hezbollah to openly raise funds and send the money overseas to Hezbollah agents as long as the agents promise to be good old boys and not use the dollars to continue their blood splattered record of terrorism and murder in Israel and a number of other countries? The RCMP, CSIS and experts on international terrorism have all testified that our government is being totally naive, and I would suggest delinquent, in allowing fundraising for any group which takes pride in blowing up innocent civilians.

We congratulate the minister for his overall part in the accord and for making Canada a signatory. However as the ratification speaks specifically to the suppression of terrorist financing, we must achieve this by stopping fundraising for groups like Hezbollah in Canada.

TerrorismRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, seven and a half months after the attacks of September 11 in the United States, I would like to commend Canada's ratification of the international convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings.

This convention, adopted at the UN General Assembly on December 15, 1997, will improve international co-operation in fighting the problem of terrorism, which is defined as the actions of a person who:

unlawfully and intentionally delivers, places, discharges or detonates an explosive or other lethal device in, into or against a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system or an infrastructure facility

The 19 states that ratified this convention are committed to criminalizing such acts, bringing those who commit such acts and their accomplices before the court, and co-operating with other states by sharing information in order to prevent new attacks.

When it comes into effect, following the 22nd ratification, the convention will in no way change the fragile, but critical balance between security on the one hand, and freedom on the other. It specifies that the normal rule of law will continue to apply, as will international conventions safeguarding human rights.

With the ratification in February of the international convention for the suppression of the financing of terrorism, Canada has now finally signed the 12 UN conventions on terrorism.

The Bloc Quebecois is very happy about this. Terrorist violence only leads to more violence and repression. For this reason, in the days following September 11, the Bloc Quebecois asked the government to ratify these conventions. This is why we supported the principle of anti-terrorism legislation that would allow the government to put these conventions into effect.

However, we deplore the fact that the government took advantage of the climate of crisis to diminish citizen's rights, as in the controversial Bill C-55. The government should have taken its cue from the convention and maintained the balance between security and human rights.

TerrorismRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I too rise to support the decision of the government to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. This brings to 12 the number of conventions we have ratified.

In this war against terrorism, as mentioned by my colleague from Mercier, we must also ratify the other international instruments dealing with human rights.

All states should be encouraged to ratify international human rights conventions at the earliest possible time, particularly the six core treaties. As well, ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court should be promoted along with a strengthening of the mandate of the court to enable it to deal with terrorism which may not constitute a crime against humanity. In the struggle against terrorism the importance of respecting fundamental human rights and freedoms must be underscored. As Bacre Ndiaye of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out:

There is evidence that some Governments are now introducing measures that may erode core human rights safeguards.

In some countries, non-violent activities have been considered as terrorism, and excessive measures have been taken to suppress or restrict individual rights--

Here at home the so-called anti-terrorism legislation Bill C-36 and the legislation just tabled, Bill C-55, raise serious human rights concerns as well.

In the fight against terrorism we must do far more to tackle the conditions which give rise to desperation and hopelessness and can ultimately be exploited by terrorists. These include poverty, the injustices that continue in the Middle East with respect to the illegal occupation by Israel of the occupied Palestinian territories, the inhumane sanctions on Iraq, and the continued denial of the rights of the Kurdish people.

We in our party welcome the decision of the government to ratify the treaty. However much more work must be done if we are to effectively counter terrorism around the globe.

TerrorismRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise on behalf of my colleagues in the Progressive Conservative Party to express our immense and unequivocal support for the ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.

I also want to congratulate the minister and all those who took part in this important process.

Ratification of the convention marks the fulfillment of Canada's commitment to United Nations Security Council resolution 1373, making Canada a party to all 12 international counterterrorist instruments. It is an opportunity for all Canadians to appreciate and demonstrate that our nation is fully committed to the abolition of terrorism and to playing an active role with our international counterparts against campaigns of terror.

The convention was created in New York City in 1997. It could be considered ironic that four years prior to the events of September 11, 2001 the international community came together in New York City to help draft the convention. The effort proved to be a proactive approach to the tragic situation that befell New York and affected victims in a way none of us could have imagined prior to the event.

Canada did not hesitate to offer assistance to the United States in the immediate aftermath of September 11. We continue to be committed in all efforts in the war against terrorism, today and in the future. Our commitment to peace and rights for all citizens has not been compromised. Rather, it has been strengthened because of our active participation in the campaign against terrorism. The efforts of our military men and women, nationally and abroad, are cause for all Canadians to hold their heads high and be proud. All Canadians share in the pride that comes with the responsibility we have elected to bear. The ongoing efforts of our military positively impact its surroundings wherever it goes. It reinforces the reality that in times of conflict Canadians are always there.

Canada's completion of UN resolution 1373 should be looked upon as a great accomplishment and a valued betterment to Canadian society. However this chapter should not be closed. Ongoing vigilance and work is needed to continue to ensure the security and safety of all Canadians.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 17th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Sub-committee on Human Rights and International Development held hearings on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe and prepared this resolution as a result of the testimony received.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 54th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding its order of reference from the House of Commons of Tuesday, February 28, 2002, in relation to the main estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2003, in regard to vote 5 under “Parliament”, “House of Commons”. The committee reports the same.

Medically Unnecessary Abortion Referendum ActRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-452, an act to provide for a referendum to determine whether Canadians wish medically unnecessary abortions to be insured services under the Canada Health Act and to amend the Referendum Act.

Mr. Speaker,it is my pleasure to introduce the bill, the title of which of course speaks for itself in terms of the intent.

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

Right to Work ActRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-453, an act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Public Service Employment Act and the Public Service Staff Relations Act (trade union membership to be optional).

Mr. Speaker,the purpose of this enactment is to allow workers to decide whether or not they wish to join or be represented by a trade union and to provide that no union dues are to be deducted from the wages or the salaries of employees who are members of a union. It also prevents discrimination by the commission against persons applying for employment on the basis of whether or not they wish to be a member of a union.

Rank and file union members are often denied a meaningful say in how negotiations are conducted on their behalf. The purpose of the legislation is to give workers greater freedom and choice with respect to how they are represented in the collective bargaining process. Although the bill is restricted to federal labour relations, I encourage the provinces to demonstrate leadership by enacting similar legislation on behalf of workers.

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

Patent ActRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-454, an act to amend the Patent Act (patented medicines).

Mr. Speaker,with Canadians being concerned about the high price of drugs, the bill is intended to repeal provisions of the Patent Act, patented medicines, that enable brand name pharmaceutical manufacturers to initiate automatic injunctions against generic drug companies for alleged patent infringement. Of course under the current regulations a brand name pharmaceutical manufacturer can claim there has been infringement on its drug patent without the need for evidence to suggest that it has actually occurred. This is unique not only in terms of most nations around the world but indeed under the Patent Act. The bill is intended to repeal just that.

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

User Fees ActRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-455, an act respecting user fees.

Mr. Speaker,I am very pleased to introduce my bill, an act respecting user fees. The bill would provide for parliamentary scrutiny and approval of user fees set by federal government departments and agencies. It also would provide for a greater transparency in the cost recovery and fee setting activities of those authorities by requiring them to engage in a participatory consultation with clients and other service users before introducing or amending those fees. The intent of the bill is to provide greater transparency and accountability in the user fees charged by federal government departments and agencies.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-456, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to provide for judicial discretion to assign a security classification of maximum to high-risk violent offenders.

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to introduce the bill. The intent of the bill is to enhance public safety. The bill would give a sentencing judge the authority to assign a binding security classification of maximum to high risk and violent offenders.

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

Corrections and Conditional Release ActRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-457, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to establish an Office of Victims Ombudsman of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, the bill would create the office of victims ombudsman. This independent body would investigate victims' complaints on the conduct and policies of Corrections Canada and the National Parole Board. In other words, the bill is about victims' rights and how to guarantee they are respected.

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