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House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Mark Assad LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to the second report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration entitled “Hands across the border: Working Together at our Shared Border and Abroad To Ensure Safety, Security and Efficiency”.

International TradeRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) and on behalf of the Minister for International Trade I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the trade update 2002 third annual report on Canada's state of trade.

Technology Partnerships CanadaRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Industry and in accordance with Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the annual report of Technology Partnerships Canada for 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present the 15th report of the Standing Committee on Finance. This report is in connection with its order of reference of April 19, 2002, in relation to Bill S-40, an act to amend the Payment Clearing and Settlement Act.

The committee has considered Bill S-40 and I am pleased to report it without amendments.

Patent ActRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-460, an act to amend the Patent Act.

Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to introduce the bill, an act to amend the Patent Act to remove the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations.

This measure would significantly reduce the costs of drugs to Canadians and has to be part of any comprehensive pharmacare strategy to reel in skyrocketing drug costs.

The bill would eliminate a piece of patent legislation whose only function is to artificially prolong high profits for brand name drug companies.

By activating this process, these corporations receive automatically a 24 month injunction preventing generic drug manufacturers from producing cheaper versions of drugs whose patents would otherwise have expired.

It is time to end this unjustifiable perk given to brand name drug companies and to take this small step toward ensuring access for all Canadians to necessary prescription drugs.

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

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 2nd, 2002 / 10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I wish to present a petition on behalf of constituents living in Parkhill, Thedford, Grand Bend in the riding of Lambton--Kent--Middlesex who call upon parliament to protect the health of seniors and children, and save our environment by banning the gas additive MMT as it creates smog and enhances global warming.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I suggest that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from May 1 consideration of the motion that Bill C-55, 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, and of the amendment.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Before we proceed I would like to mention that yesterday an amendment was tabled in the House by the hon. member for Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, which I took under advisement. The amendment is now deemed to be in order. Therefore those members who spoke after the hon. member for Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam tabled the amendment are considered to have spoken on the amendment.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Madam Speaker, it is always a pleasure to see you in the Chair.

I am pleased to have an opportunity to complete my remarks on Bill C-55. I am also glad to know that the amendment has been accepted. It is very much the thrust of the last number of speakers who feel it is entirely inappropriate that the bill be considered by the transport committee.

The number of provisions found within this cumbersome and convoluted omnibus bill predominantly deal with security issues. They touch upon matters which would best be considered by the justice and human rights committee of which you were once a member, Madam Speaker.

That would lead to at least a greater level of scrutiny which would allow members of that committee and the public generally, through that committee, to see what a sham it is for the government to be presenting this bill at this time knowing that the measures currently found in the Emergencies Act lead to a greater level of scrutiny by the House of Commons and a more expeditious enactment of emergency measures should the government choose to go that route.

The Emergencies Act is more timely and more open to judicial consideration. It allows cabinet to be more in the loop whereas under Bill C-55 one could have ministers of the crown, specifically the minister of defence, acting in a unilateral and unchecked arbitrary way.

Yesterday I compared the Emergencies Act and Bill C-55. Clearly there is greater safeguard and an ability for the public to have checks and balances in place that threaten civil liberties. Yet this demonstrates time and again that the government would like to do away with the hassles of coming to parliament and being accountable. It wants to do away with the scrutiny that would take place at a committee level. That is the ruse and the constant effort by the government to bypass or sidestep any kind of accountability. Bill C-55 is perhaps the most blatant example that we have seen in years.

Bill C-36, the earlier terrorism bill, at the very least went through a rigorous and onerous examination in the chamber and the justice committee. I suspect that may be the motivation behind floating this one by members of parliament and referring it to the transport committee where it would not receive the same level of scrutiny.

Headlines in editorials spoke volumes yesterday as to how the journalistic community viewed the bill: “New public safety act threatens civil rights”; “Anti-terror: take two”; and “Freedom will keep us safe: The revised public securities act is still too undemocratic”.

These are damning condemnations. They talk about the reluctance of the government to use the Emergencies Act because it would require all party scrutiny. Scrutiny is extremely important, I am quick to add, to ensure that civil liberties are not infringed upon, that property rights are respected and upheld, and that the private information of Canadians is not infringed upon.

The privacy commissioner, as is often his wont, has made a great deal of noise about problems that he has with the new bill. Yet I suspect that in a few days or weeks when amendments come in he will climb down off the curtains just as some of the other individuals such as the farcical ethics councillor. The supposed watchdogs are really anemic, toothless chihuahuas when we get right down to brass tacks and look at what they do in the wake of very dangerous and very intrusive legislation such as Bill C-55.

I can best describe the bill as one of confusion, an overlapping, cumbersome conglomeration of a power grab by the government. The public safety act, in and of itself, would not allow the government to act in a more timely fashion, nor would it allow it to act in a more safe and responsible way in response to an emergency.

It would allow the government with little consultation or consideration to empower a minister to make strong arbitrary decisions as they relate to a person's privacy and sovereignty over his or her property.

The idea that a military person could drive a tank or an army jeep onto someone's back lawn and declare it a military zone is the absolute ludicrous upshot of what the bill would empower the government to do.

A lot of time and effort went into drafting legislation that would confuse and distract members of parliament from the task at hand. We have before us a bill that touches on dozens of different areas of legislation, nine different pieces in particular. It talks about environmental protection, health, food and drugs, hazardous products, navigable waters protection, pest control, quarantine, and radiation. Where is the transport element in all of this? It should be before the justice and human rights committee. We support the amendment.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough for such a wonderful job of comparing Bill C-55 and the War Measures Act at the beginning of his dissertation yesterday. He was in the process of getting to the requirements of the committee and his beliefs as to where the bill should go with respect to study and witnesses.

The member for Churchill yesterday indicated her displeasure with the bill going to the transport committee and the amendment speaks to that. Could the member for Pictou--Antigonish--Guysborough expand on that? He talked about justice and human rights. There is a real opportunity for the defence committee because there are more security issues in defence in the bill than there are of transportation.

What would the benefits be to either the justice and human rights committee or defence committee and which one would he feel is better suited to hear this particular piece of legislation as opposed to the transport committee?

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Brandon--Souris. He has a longstanding interest in protecting the rights of his constituents and all Canadians. His question is well founded. Why the bill would go to the transport committee is a question that has astounded all members of the House since the bill was first introduced.

The main elements of the bill deal specifically with the civil rights and liberties of Canadians. They touch upon such things as privacy, property rights and protection from unlawful detention as well as the infringement of personal rights.

That is subject matter that should be considered by the justice and human rights committee. In an ideal world the bill should be broken up into several parts, perhaps a half dozen or more, because there are elements of justice that exist quite clearly. There are amendments to the criminal code regarding a hoax of terrorist activity and we endorse certain elements of the legislation.

I wish to be clear. There are elements that are necessary to plug in some of the holes or shortcomings that exist that have been discovered as a result of the September 11 incident, which have opened the eyes of many Canadians. Yet what we see in this omnibus legislation is a bill that throws together competing interests and a number of cumbersome attempts to address some of what the government perceives as shortcomings and elements that might require scrutiny and closer examination.

This is a tactical manoeuvre that is very Machiavellian. It is thought up by those in the Liberal government who draft legislation. They put these things together and force members of the opposition and in many instances members of their own party to vote for principles and ideas that they are fundamentally opposed to. One either has to swallow it whole or take none of it. Those are the options.

The government is not prepared to present straightforward legislation that would lead to more reasonable and focused debate. It brings in this monstrous mishmash of all kinds of different bills, confuse people and try to pass it through. The clear intent is to give more arbitrary, unchecked power to the government that does not bear the light of day, that does not require parliament to directly participate in important decisions such as declaring a military zone or allowing information about passenger lists to be simply passed over to a foreign country.

That is the type of decision making power that should be checked and have oversight. It is the type of legislation that should be brought before the justice committee. It should be divided up into the specific areas of which it is intended to touch upon. Shame on the government for once again trying to foist upon this Chamber and Canadians legislation that is so out of control and only focused upon putting more unchecked power in the hands of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party. He, as many as others who have spoken so far, has verified the great concern we have as opposition parties as well as the concern that Canadians have over legislation which highlights the absolute ludicrous suggestion that transport should deal with a bill that so readily infringes on the civil liberties of Canadians.

I know in his professional background he might have had experiences and knowledge of cases where civil liberties were infringed upon. Would he mind highlighting how he sees the civil liberties of Canadians being infringed upon in what we generally consider would be normal democratic processes?

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from Churchill who spoke yesterday in a very eloquent and very passionate way about the real dangers that exist in having procedures and processes in place that do not allow for the true scrutiny of the surrounding circumstances. We have interim orders. Those are temporary orders that suspend property rights, civil liberties and the protection of private information.

Simply with a stroke of a pen the minister can say that people's rights no longer exist. When allegations are made in a court of law, at least we have a forum to appear before. People can ask that the evidence be produced, habeas corpus, and that they be allowed to present their side of the story. For 45 days that is suspended. For 23 days the government does not even have to tell us why we may have had those civil liberties taken away.

Under the old Emergency Measures Act, the government had to come back to parliament within one week. It had to bear the scrutiny and the input of members of the Chamber who were elected constitutionally and elected by the people of this country.

This is a power grab. This is all about sidestepping important processes that have existed since this country began. The government again should hang its head in shame for trying to foist this type of legislation, slide it by Canadians and use all of its powers of media manipulation and use its spin doctors and its information massagers to suggest that somehow this would benefit Canadians and protect them. What this will do is infringe upon the rights of Canadians. It will pull the rug out from under them and leave them shaking their heads wondering how they could have voted this government into office and then have it turn around and use those powers with which it was entrusted against them in such an arbitrary and unchecked way?

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, yesterday I was asked in a media interview why I thought the government would bring this legislation, which obviously addresses a number of different areas that a good many of us believe belong within justice and defence before the transport committee.

I gave my opinion as to why I thought the government would do this but I will not repeat that today. Could my colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party tell us why he thinks the government would put this bill before the transport committee?

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Madam Speaker, it is a very good question. I suspect that there is some nefarious means or purpose or perhaps it is just something arbitrary. We know the old expression about what dogs do to themselves and why they can.

This type of approach really defies logic. For example, there is no need to bring in this type of legislation at all or at least there is no need to bring it in in a fashion which usurps so many existing safeguards. Why would it go to transport given all of the unrelated elements of the bill? There is an entirely flawed argument to suggest that somehow the bill, even with its one-third percentage relating to transport, somehow lies under the jurisdiction of the transport department.

As the hon. member enunciated yesterday, it deals with issues that are certainly far better suited to be brought before the justice committee where there would be more access to scrutiny and experts who would have constitutional perspectives, which are important when examining this legislation. The watchdogs, the reports, the information that is available would allow for the stripping away of some of the most offensive elements of the legislation bringing the bill back to the centre where it should be when attempting to protect Canadians from intrusive, nefarious elements that might exist. There might also be an element of the upcoming summits in Halifax and in Kananaskis that--

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The hon. member for Scarborough--Rouge River.

Public Safety Act, 2002Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Madam Speaker, I will jump into the debate and continue where my colleague left off. This has to do with which committee the bill should be referred if it is in fact adopted at second reading by the House. I tend to agree with him that the justice committee might be the preferable committee to deal with it.

Some of our colleagues on the transport committee might be wondering why they would not be so favoured or perhaps they might regard the bill as a burden. It is certainly not out of any disrespect for their abilities on the transport committee, but it appears clear that the bulk of the bill does not involve mainline transportation issues. One quarter to one third of the bill does deal with transportation related issues but the bill, as it appears from the debate here, is clearly more about the issue of citizen-state relations such as civil liberties, constitutional compliance and privacy.

Having sat on the justice committee, I know that those are issues with which the justice committee has dealt previously and with which it will continue to deal as part of its mandate from the House. Therefore, I am rather inclined to suggest either the bill go to the justice committee or that a special legislative committee be constructed and comprised of some individuals from the transport committee and some from the justice committee. The bill would get a better procedural scrutiny in that manner and therefore I do not object to those issues being raised by the opposition.

The manner in which the opposition is addressing the bill is not wholly constructive. There is a lot of exaggerated rhetoric. We all know it is part of its job. The opposition is invited to support a bill but it does not usually. Anything it does not like it tends to react with mock indignation and exaggerated rhetoric. Most of us on this side of the House understand that and most of the issues, and not necessarily the positions raised by the opposition, have been noted by members on this side.

I will address parts of the bill. As everyone knows, the bill has a large number of components involving many federal statutes. It makes it difficult to address the bill easily from a general perspective.

As an example, I read part 7 dealing with the Export and Import Permits Act. It is not a particularly exciting part of the of the bill. One might wonder why that statute would be amended by the bill which is supposed to deal with our response to the terrorist threat. There are reasons related to the export of technology and our protection of technologies which are Canadian or based in Canada and which might in the wrong hands facilitate a terrorist act, either here or abroad. Therefore, the act is being amended.

As a legislator who has been around here for a few years and one who has been fairly picky from time to time on legislation passing through this place and committee, I noted in section 55, which deals with section 7 of the Export and Import Permits Act, that there was a fair bit of discretion being bandied about in the section that would allow officials to give permits for import or export. It simply says: “subject to such terms and conditions as are described in the permit”. There does not appear to be any constraint on the kind of discretion used in setting those conditions.

All our public servants exercise their authority with appropriate good faith. Our job in this place is to ensure that when they exercise their discretion, they do it in a framework that at least controls their discretion and prevents abuse of discretion and the use of authority to achieve objectives which were not envisaged by the original statue which gave them the authority. Those kinds of decisions that might redirect their discretion in that improper way are frankly an abuse where it has ever occurred. I am not suggesting any particular instance of abuse but our job is to prevent that.

As an example, I would like to move now to part 8 of the act dealing with the Food and Drugs Act. This section of the bill is an example of a number of other sections of the bill that provide the authority to the minister to make interim orders to respond to emergency situations. What we are envisaging here is in response to a terrorist act.

Most reasonable people would agree that where there is an incident, the government should have the ability and the authority to respond and respond quickly. In other statues dealing with transportation, like the Atomic Energy Control Act and other federal statutes, authority for public officials to react quickly and to make orders that will protect public safety exists. They are buried in federal statutes and they are used from time to time to protect the public interest.

What we have in this bill is the creation of a whole lot of new sections of this nature, whereby when we conceive of a terrorist incident we in government then have to think through how we could or should respond to those incidents. We create in the bill what we call the interim order. Some people have called it a power grab. It certainly is an attempt to legislatively create an authority for a minister or public official to react in the interests of public safety after an incident.

I will give an example of how it works. It says that the minister may make an order. It should be known clearly that when a statute says that in this manner it is also possible for a government official, as I understand it, to make the order if the official has been designated by the minister to make that order. Those orders will be made by a minister and in may cases by a public official who has been designated by the minister to make the order. It will not be made necessarily by the minister sitting at his or her desk. As I said, this framework already exists in federal statute. There is nothing too scary about that. It is pretty normal.

Let us say an order is made under the Food and Drugs Act where there has been a contamination by a terrorist act. I do not like to talk about these things but let us just suggest there has been a contamination of the food supply somewhere by a terrorist act and it is necessary to make orders to remove food, to prevent public access to food and to protect the food supply and water supply. An official may make that order. That order, under the proposed bill, is to be tabled in parliament within 15 sitting days.

We all know around here that if such an order were to be made on June 28, parliament might not have it on the table until some time in September or October. This is nonsense and whoever has drafted this totally misunderstands the purpose of the section and the way parliament works. If the purpose of the section is to notify parliament, it should say that the order is to be tabled in parliament forthwith or within two, three or five days. Let us be reasonable here. That can be tabled if parliament is sitting. If it is not sitting, then we use what is normally called back door tabling. The order is delivered to the clerk's office in the House just down the hall. That is sufficient as tabling.

I suggest that that must be changed. If it is not changed, parliament in practice could be the last to be advised of an interim order. This is simply not acceptable to me and I do not think it is acceptable to my colleagues.

After the order is in place it can last for only 45 days unless it is made permanent by cabinet, by the governor in council. If the order needs to be continued up to 100 days, it can be done by the governor in council. That interim order continues for 100 days. At the end of 100 days the order dies, and there is no provision for renewal under the proposed section.

I would prefer these proposed sections to state that officials may not re-enact the interim order. They do not say this. Currently one of our committees has a difference of opinion with a federal department over this very issue. Federal officials say the statute does not state that they cannot re-enact the interim order and the committee is saying that it only has the authority to create an interim order and it dies after so many days, so we have a difference there. I would prefer this section to state that the interim order cannot be remade. If officials want to change a few words or change some of the elements of the order perhaps they can remake it, but they should not be able to remake the identical order. If it is important enough to be in place, the governor in council, the cabinet, should enact it as regulation, as an order, and make it permanent.

No matter how that particular order ends up here, it is published in the Canada Gazette after 23 days. We can see how silly it is that parliament might not find out for many weeks that the order is going to be in the Canada Gazette in 23 days. If it can get into the Canada Gazette in 23 days, we can get into parliament a lot sooner than that.

I want to point out something that has not been talked about yet. The right hon. leader of one of the opposition parties said yesterday that there is no parliamentary scrutiny. Under section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act, every regulation of this nature stands referred to the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations. All these interim orders, as soon as they were made, would stand referred to that committee .

This committee scrutinizes all federal regulations and orders except those that are explicitly exempt and these interim orders are not exempt. One of its scrutiny powers is scrutiny of unusual or unexpected use of power, so these interim orders would be reviewed by a parliamentary committee very quickly. The committee has a permanent secretariat and sits 12 days a month, 24 hours a day. It does not work 24 hours a day, but it is fully functional even when parliament does not sit.

This committee, I will remind the House, has what we call the power of disallowance. If a scrutiny criterion is offended, that committee can commence a procedure resulting in a disallowance. I believe there have been 8 disallowances in the House in the last 10 years. A disallowance happens when the committee initiates a procedure to disallow a regulation. These interim orders are reviewable and disallowable by the House under existing procedures, and I refer members to Standing Orders 123 to 128 and to section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act.

There are a number of privacy concerns raised by Bill C-55. The privacy commissioner has gone public with his concerns about the bill's proposed procedure that would allow police forces, the RCMP and CSIS, access to airline passenger databases. Principally it is intended to allow police to locate people against whom there are outstanding warrants for serious offences, that is, those punishable by five years or more, or immigration warrants.

I must say that I am looking at this issue carefully and trying to sort it out myself as to whether or not we have the right balance. However, I think that the House has already passed a bill in regard to the information sharing power of airlines that makes airlines share that same data with U.S. police authorities. If it is an issue now, it must have been an issue then, but I do not remember it coming up as an issue. In fairness to people on this side and that side of the House, I just do not remember a lot of wailing in the dark here about those provisions. If it is important in fighting the threat of a terrorist incident to provide that information to American authorities so that we can fly into American airports and American airspace, then I would think it is just as important for our federal policing authorities to have that same information.

Right now I am accepting of the concept, but that is not to say there are not ways to further confine the process of sharing what happens with the data and rendering it inaccessible or destroying it if it is no longer needed to protect against the threat of a terrorist incident. I consider that an important part of the bill, I know that the government does and we will watch that one closely.

Now I want to talk about the part of the bill that deals with military exclusion zones. I think we ought to call them military equipment zones. I think most Canadians would be shocked to know that in regard to a piece of military equipment, and as example let us just take an aircraft that lands at a civilian airport, the military does not have any special powers to protect that military asset. Most Canadians would say that is pretty stupid. They would ask if that really means that the soldiers or the aircrew or whatever have no power to protect that asset other than as citizens. However, we must keep in mind that as citizens or military on the aircraft they do not own the aircraft.

I would say that most citizens would see it as pretty normal stuff for the military to have control over the area where the military asset is, whether it is a ship or a plane or some other piece of military equipment. Someone mentioned a jeep. I do not even think that in theory we could get an order from the minister for that. It is simply absurd to suggest that the Minister of National Defence is going to take the time to create an order to protect a jeep in a parking lot. This is silliness and it is hysteria and it is coming from the opposition, but we have already accepted that from time to time the rhetoric of the opposition is hysterical and over the top. It is the opposition's job to look at the edge and sometimes it looks at the edge so closely it goes over the top.

In any event, I suggest that these provisions are quite reasonable. We all should note that the provisions have been narrowed from what they were in the previous bill, which was withdrawn.

It is true that in the previous bill the Minister of National Defence had the authority to create a military exclusion zone without reference to any military assets. The zone simply could be created if there was not even a military paperclip in the zone, but now there are constraints: reasonableness, necessity, and the presence of military assets in the zone. I have sort of knocked this one off my list of areas of concern. The opposition will still suggest that it is the case. They will have to make the case. I have not stopped listening. None of us have stopped listening. We will all be dealing carefully with the bill.

Generally, to wrap up, although the previous bill was withdrawn some days ago, all the components of the bill, save one or two, were contained in the previous bill. There have been some refinements in the bill to respond to concerns expressed by members on both sides of the House. The bill is a much better bill.

As I have indicated, there are questions. These questions can be dealt with at committee. I would suggest that we are not all going to hell in a handcart here with this bill or with any other. The bill is quite a reasonable response to the events of September 11 and the threats that we perceive as being out there, in air transport and in many other areas. I think we have the ability to create a good bill, a statute that will serve the public interest well for many years to come.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and I think that if you were to seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion, which is the first of several. I move:

That, in relation to its statutory review of the Mental Disorder Provisions of the Criminal Code, a group comprised of 5 government members, two members of the Canadian Alliance, and one member each of the Bloc Quebecois and the Progressive Conservative Party of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights be authorized to travel to Toronto in May, and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is there agreement?

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, second, I seek unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, in relation to the 2002 Conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees, seven (7) members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts be authorized to travel to St. John's, Newfoundland, from August 24 to 27, 2002, and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is there agreement?