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House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Schedule 2 agreed to)

(On Clause 1)

Shall Clause 1 carry?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Clause 1 agreed to)

Shall the preamble carry?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Preamble agreed to)

Shall the title carry?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Title agreed to)

Shall the bill carry?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Assistant Deputy Chair Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Bill reported)

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

On division

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

When shall the bill be read a third time? By leave now?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

On division.

Interim SupplyGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

NoradGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2006 / 6:20 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

moved

That this House support the government's ratification of the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Agreement.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in this special debate this evening, and support this motion.

I should indicate at the outset that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Carleton—Mississippi Mills, the very able Minister of National Defence. I urge all members to support the government's ratification of the North American Aerospace Defense Agreement, commonly known as Norad, which is before the House for debate.

Canada is indeed a fortunate country. We have met many challenges over the years to remain united, and we are prosperous and free. Much of our success can be traced back to one overwhelmingly important fact of national life, and that is for 60 years Canadians have enjoyed a level of security unparalleled in the modern world. Yet comfort cannot give way to complacency on security matters.

Not only has this security protected us against direct threats to our physical well-being, but it has given us personally and politically the freedom to construct our democracy, to expand our economy, to welcome new citizens here and to ensure that all Canadians have the opportunity to grow and develop in this extraordinary country of ours.

National security is multi-faceted. As circumstances change, we are often obliged to consider the relative importance we accord to each of the many priorities in this area. That said, there remains one incontrovertible responsibility. A country not prepared to protect itself against outside threats will certainly have to face them one day.

The government will stand up for Canada. We will deliver on our promises to provide a strong Canadian military, aided and with the leadership of our very capable Minister of National Defence who has exceptional personal career experience in this field. We will deliver on our promise to provide a strong Canadian military with the resources to protect us at home and meet our obligations abroad.

Our greatest resource is all of the dedication and skill of the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces. They are outstanding people, doing a superb job and working for Canadians at home and around the globe.

All members will agree that, with an enormous country, a small population and the ability to defend Canada properly, we need to work with others. This is why we place such importance on our military alliances with other countries such as Australia, as the Pacific Rim takes on increased importance in the modern world.

Our membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the North American Aerospace Defense Command have been more than just a bedrock of Canadian defence. They have also been the pillars of our foreign policy.

Our membership in NATO has always been for us the primary way of working with Europe in response to shared security concerns. For decades, NATO has stood as a bulwark against threats by the Soviet empire, threats directed not only at western Europe but at us all.

Today, the political landscape in Europe has changed forever, and Canada was at the forefront of the successful efforts to redefine the role of NATO in the world, as we can see in southern Afghanistan, where we head a multinational force and are preparing the way for handing over powers to NATO in the coming months.

Our Norad commitment is closer to home. Since 1958, Canada and the United States have jointly managed this military organization that monitors and defends North American air space. Norad is responsible for detecting and warning of attacks against North America from aircraft and missiles.

As part of its mandate, Norad participates with civil authorities in the surveillance and control of Canadian and U.S. airspace. In August 2004 Canada and the United States also reinforced their commitment to this binational command's existing functions by amending the Norad agreement to allow its missile warning function, which it has carried out for nearly 30 years, to be made available to U.S. commands responsible for missile defence.

Norad is not however involved in the U.S. missile defence system. While Norad shares its missile warning function with the United States commands, it has neither the authority nor the capability to act on the information. As a binational command, Norad is a unique defence alliance. It is a place where men and women of the Canadian and U.S. armed forces come together as equals in a common cause.

The benefits to Canada have been substantial. First, Norad has been central in protecting us from any direct military attack. Second, it has ensured that Canada has a strong and permanent influence on U.S. decisions that engage Canadian interests. Third, Canadian Forces have developed a level of cooperation and coordination with American forces that have served us well, not only in Norad but also in NATO and other multinational operations. Fourth, Norad has given generations of Canadian policy makers invaluable access and understanding of U.S. military thinking.

The Norad agreement has been renewed nine times since 1958 with substantial revisions to the agreement on four of those occasions, in 1975, 1981, 1996 and in 2006.

As was the case with NATO, the strategic environment in which Norad operates has shifted dramatically and so these latest revisions are among the most substantial ever. The most important change is the expansion of Norad's role to include maritime warning. My colleague, the Minister of National Defence, will discuss these operational details in more detail in his remarks to the House this evening.

Another change to the Norad renewal is that it has become a permanent agreement. Until now, each Norad renewal has been for a limited time and if the two sides did not renew the agreement before a specified expiry date then the agreement would lapse and that is in fact the case today. If we were not to pass this by May 12, the agreement would lapse.

There is a suggestion that Canada and the United States would get together for a limited time to cooperate in countering specific threats. By implication, this way of proceeding suggests that if those threats were to recede or even disappear, then the alliance could disappear. Surely, as we all know, the threats that we face today, I would suggest, will be with us sadly for many years to come. As we saw in the attacks on the World Trade Centre, we can never be certain of what the next threat might be or from where it might come.

Defence is different than policing where much of the work begins after the crime has been committed. We do not maintain our security or military forces in order to deploy them after an attack, to say the least. We have them to prevent the attack from taking place at all, to deter, to intercept or to eliminate that threat if possible before it eliminates us.

The Conservative government of Brian Mulroney tackled the need for permanent commitment to the bilateral issue when it signed the free trade agreement with the United States. There were many predictions at that time that Canada would disappear and that our economy would be left in tatters. Is there any respected commentator in the world today who would make that argument now? Are we not the country running a substantial bilateral trade surplus, I ask rhetorically?

The simple truth is that North America is our region. Geography is destiny and our destiny as a country is grounded ultimately in how we manage this enormous continent in cooperation with our neighbours. Canada will continue to look after its own affairs as the United States will do within its own borders, but increasingly, how we manage our affairs at home depends on how we manage our responsibilities toward one another. We see this in the environment, energy, water quality and coastal fisheries, among other examples. It is a long list and growing.

We can either retreat or react as each new challenge arises or we can look ahead and try to anticipate where that bilateral management challenge will arise, so that we have the procedures and policies in place to deal with them before they become difficult.

I will conclude now by suggesting that the Norad agreement is yet another important step in the evolution of a sovereign and free Canada. I urge the House and all members present to give its unanimous support for this important pillar of Canadian society.