This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.

Topics

Speaker's RulingRequest for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I have considered carefully the remarks of the hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt and I have no doubt that the subject he raises is one that is of considerable interest to a great number of people.

There are various ways that this matter could be resolved, not just by debate but by of course changes to the Statutes of Canada, changes to regulations under the statutes, discussions among the members of the committee, and recommendations from the committee to the House, but I do not believe it is a situation that has resulted in an emergency within the provisions of the Standing Orders of the House. Accordingly, at this time, I am going to say to the hon. member that I do not believe the subject warrants an emergency debate in this House.

I stress to him, as I have on previous occasions to other hon. members, that by agreement among House leaders there can be take note debates in the House, and the committee that is studying this issue may wish to recommend such a course of action to the House leaders and have this matter discussed there with a view of having a take note debate. But to ask the Speaker to order an emergency debate on this subject at this time, in my view, is not made out in the comments made by the hon. member or in his letter. And accordingly, I decline the request at this time.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide further clarification regarding the government's motion to extend the sunsetting provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act.

Let me begin by telling the House what the motion is not. It is not about security certificates. It is not about the detainees in Kingston. It is not about the war in Afghanistan. And it most certainly should not be about partisan politics. It is about continuing to provide two important tools to Canada's law enforcement authorities to assist in the investigation and the prevention of terrorist attacks, nothing more.

Prevention in medicine, as we know, is the most economic and efficient way to reduce and prevent disease. Also, in law enforcement, prevention of the crime is much more cost effective and much more effective in every sense of the word than investigating an actual crime.

There has been a great deal of hyperbole in this House in the course of this debate. The word “draconian” has been thrown around and there have been claims that these powers are an assault on the civil liberties of Canadians. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The recognizance with conditions power is not new or unusual in Canadian law. Similar powers exist in the peace bond provisions of the Criminal Code that aim to prevent the commission of personal injury and sexual offences as well as criminal organization offences. Parliament has clearly found it appropriate to take the preventative approach to these types of crimes. To argue that we should not do so for terrorist activity would be illogical.

I mentioned the recognizance portion of the two apparently very worrisome parts of the Anti-terrorism Act, worrisome in that some members choose to make more of these two provisions than they really should. As I mentioned, recognizance with conditions is already in the Criminal Code. These two provisions were inspired by existing provisions such as the recognizance with conditions power under section 810, where personal injury or damage is feared. As well, section 495 of the Criminal Code permits a peace officer to arrest without warrant anyone he or she believes is about to commit an indictable offence.

With respect to investigative hearings, that we compel witnesses to testify at the investigative stage is new to criminal law, but witnesses have always been compellable at trial. However, this has parallels in the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act as well as the Competition Act, in public inquiries and in coroners' inquests, so this is not new.

As for the investigative hearing power, it has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. The majority of the court held that it does not violate section 7 rights of the charter and does not infringe on the protections regarding self-incrimination. In doing so, the justices described the situation we face as follows:

The challenge for democracies in the battle against terrorism is not whether to respond but rather how to do so. This is because Canadians value the importance of human life and liberty, and the protection of society through respect for the rule of law. Indeed, a democracy cannot exist without the rule of law....

Yet, at the same time, while respect for the rule of law must be maintained in response to terrorism, the Constitution is not a suicide pact....

It is a complicated task for sure. We strive to maintain the rights and liberties that make Canada great while addressing a threat that strikes at the very basis of our society, but our Supreme Court has determined that Parliament got it right. Parliament got it right in the first instance. That is why we are here today, attempting to maintain that “getting it right”, to make sure of that in trying to maintain the delicate balance of rights and the protection of human life and property when we have to bring in acts such as the Anti-terrorism Act.

I would also refer to the words of the member for Mount Royal who, in 2005, provided a perhaps more nuanced description of the challenges we face. He said:

The underlying principle here is that there is no contradiction in the protection of security and the protection of human rights. That counter-terrorism itself is anchored in a twofold human rights perspective.

First, that transnational terrorism--the slaughter of innocents--constitutes an assault on the security of a democracy and the most fundamental rights of its inhabitants--the right to life, liberty, and security of the person.

At the same time, and this is the second and related human rights perspective embedded in the relationship between counter-terrorism and human rights, the enforcement and application of counter-terrorism law and the policy must always comport with the rule of law.

The member for Mount Royal concluded his comments by stating:

The importance of this legislation cannot be understated. Canadians need to be reassured that their government has both done all we can to protect them against terrorist acts without unnecessarily infringing on their individual rights and freedoms.

We have also heard recently the comments of other prominent members of the Liberal Party. Anne McLellan, for example, has been quoted in the media as saying, “The situation today is, if anything, more dangerous and more complex and the powers have never been abused”. Why would we take these tools away from law enforcement? Former deputy prime minister John Manley also took the unusual step of issuing a statement in support of these powers. He stated, “I believe that cabinet and Parliament got the balance right in 2001-02,” and “I do not believe that anything has changed to make that balance inappropriate today”.

The extension we are proposing does not in any way threaten civil liberties. In fact, if the motion were defeated, Parliament would be putting at risk what the member for Mount Royal acknowledged as the most fundamental right we enjoy: the right to life, liberty and security of the person. The right to be protected from terrorist attacks is what we are addressing with this motion.

All members should also carefully consider the statements that have been made by the victims of terrorism in support of these powers. The Air-India families and others have made it clear that the investigative tools of law enforcement must not be curtailed. Many have reacted with shock and dismay at the prospect of losing the investigative hearing power which may yet provide the answers to the questions surrounding the deaths of 329 innocent airline passengers in 1985; 329 innocent airlines passengers who died as a result of one of the most horrific terrorist acts that has been portrayed on Canadian citizens.

British Columbia's solicitor general has also echoed these concerns.

In concluding my statement, I would like to clarify one other matter relating to reviews of the Anti-terrorism Act being undertaken by committees in both Houses. I do appreciate the fact that the House of Commons committee tabled an interim report last October on these powers. I appreciate its diligence and hard work. I am proud to say that in this House today there are two members of that committee. The government continues to await the final reports of both committees. I am proud to say that those reports are within weeks of coming to this hallowed institution.

Referring to the committee's reports, I can tell the House that all told, the work totalled some 44 meetings over 83 hours and literally hundreds of hours of research. The committee's report will be thorough and it will be comprehensive. I can assure the House of that.

Because of delays in the parliamentary review of the Anti-terrorism Act, the committees have asked their respective houses for more time to report. The government also needs more time. We need more time to delicately fine tune a piece of legislation that is already providing the kind of protection that this country needs.

I am asking for support to extend these provisions. The government is simply saying it does not want these important powers to expire while it is considering the House of Commons committee's recommendations and awaiting its final report. We also hope to soon receive the Senate's input. I believe we have recently done so.

This is why we are seeking only a three year extension, not five years, but a three year extension. It is a temporary extension that will allow for proper government analysis of the entire workings of the Anti-terrorism Act and the preparation of an appropriate government response and subsequent parliamentary debate.

We will be responding to the subcommittee's interim and final reports together. This has been our intention all along. But we must not allow timing issues to scuttle these important provisions. If the Anti-terrorism Act reviews had been completed by December 2005 as anticipated by the legislation and not interrupted by the last federal election or other delays, this would not be an issue today, but the parliamentary reviews were delayed.

Extending the powers for three years will give effect to the original intent behind the sunsetting and parliamentary review clauses of the act; namely, the debate on the sunset clause would be fully informed by the final reports of both parliamentary review committees, as well as by the government response to their recommendations. The government's motion will ensure that these measures are not lost by default in the absence of this informed debate.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know my hon. colleague works very hard on the law and order issues that face us here in Parliament. I appreciate his comments because of his experience as a law enforcement officer and his intimate knowledge of what police forces need in terms of support from elected officials on the valuable work they do in this country.

I wonder if my colleague as a former police officer and with the knowledge that he has wants to comment on how important it is that Parliament support legislation that will continue to support the police in their efforts to make sure this country and all of its citizens are safe from terrorism.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important to educate people who are watching and listening to the debate as it unfolds and who may be asking themselves what an investigative hearing is. I am going to inform the House and my hon. colleague on some of the issues surrounding investigative hearings.

Sections 83.28 and 83.29 of the Criminal Code allow the courts to compel a witness who may have information regarding a terrorism offence to justify and provide real evidence. The process is as follows and here are the protections in this legislation.

With the prior consent of the attorney general, a peace officer investigating a terrorism offence that has been or will be committed may apply to a judge for an order requiring a witness who is believed to have information concerning the terrorism offence to appear before the judge to answer questions or produce an item of real evidence.

If the judge believes that there are reasonable grounds that the person has information concerning a past terrorism offence, the judge may make an order for the gathering of information. If the judge believes there are reasonable grounds that a terrorism offence will be committed in the future, that the person has direct and material information and that reasonable attempts have already been made to obtain the information, the judge may make an order for the gathering of that information.

What are some of the safeguards with regard to these investigative hearings? Only a judge of a provincial court or of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction can hear a peace officer's application for investigative hearings. We see that there is a protection to society that says if a police officer has some information that he or she thinks is important, the police officer cannot willy-nilly make arrests. The police officer must first go to a judge to ensure that the rights of the person who has that information are protected.

To make sure that there is additional balance the prior consent of the Attorney General of Canada or the attorney general or solicitor general of a province is needed before a police officer can apply for an investigative hearing. We see the maintenance of balance and those protections are not only there but they continue. The law of this country makes sure that police officers go through the appropriate steps with the appropriate counterbalances to ensure the right thing is done. There must be reasonable grounds to believe that a terrorism offence has been committed and that the information concerning the offence, or that reveals the whereabouts of a person suspected by a police officer having committed the offence, is likely to be obtained by the hearing before an order is granted. Or there must be reasonable grounds to believe that a terrorism offence will be committed, reasonable grounds to believe that a person has direct or material information that relates to a terrorism offence and reasonable attempts have been made to obtain the information from the person.

We can see that there are balances. We can see that the previous government kept in mind and that this government continues to keep in mind and to maintain those balances which are necessary to ensure that person's rights and freedoms are protected.

As I previously stated, the Supreme Court has upheld these two so-called controversial parts of the Anti-terrorism Act. That is the protection that Canadians need to know and do know are there.

I thank the hon. member for the opportunity to inform the House and Canadians that the matters we are discussing here today are relevant, and that the Supreme Court has already reviewed them and found them to be totally within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

February 26th, 2007 / 3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed listening to the hon. member's presentation. He and I had the opportunity to be members of the subcommittee appointed by the public safety committee to examine the Anti-terrorism Act. Indeed as he mentioned in his remarks, an interim report of that subcommittee was presented to the main committee, the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. The main committee adopted that subcommittee report and reported it to this House in October.

I note since I was one of the authors of the report along with the hon. member, that the subcommittee made a number of recommendations to, in its view, improve the operation of the two sections in question. I wonder if he would like to comment on them.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his hard work. As he knows, I cannot get into certain specifics but I can tell the House that the hon. member provided the committee with what I would say was the major part of the revisions that were enacted. The reason we did so is a testament to his work ethic and desire to ensure the Anti-terrorism Act is fine-tuned in order to make it more relevant to today's needs.

During the committee's deliberations, we discussed the powers the police or the state actually have and whether those power were radical. We decided they were not. At one point we were specifically referring to recognizance with conditions. Recognizance with conditions was inspired by the existing powers of the Criminal Code, such as recognizance with conditions under section 810 where personal injury or damage is feared. We know those provisions have been and continue to be used.

As well, we know that section 49 of the Criminal Code permits a police officer to arrest without warrant anyone he or she believes is about to commit an indictable offence. One of the great protections of the Anti-terrorism Act is that it permits police to apprehend individuals before the terrible thing happens, before an aircraft is blown out of the sky or flown into a building. This is one of the necessary components of the Anti-terrorism Act.

With regard to investigative hearings, witnesses can be compelled to testify at the investigative stage, which is new to the Criminal Code, but witnesses' testimony has always been compellable at trial. However, as I mentioned before, it parallels the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, the Competition Act, as well as in public inquiries and coroner's inquests.

The committee deliberated and considered those provisions and I am confident that the Minister of Public Safety will be introducing them as a result of the comprehensive work my friend has alluded to. He will continue to ensure that the Anti-terrorism Act provides the protections necessary for Canadians.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Scarborough—Agincourt.

As I get into the debate, I will deal with a few thing. Today the Prime Minister accused the Leader of the Opposition of threatening members of his own party that they had to vote a certain way. I am a member of Parliament. I have a free mind and I can vote whichever way I want. I want to put that on the record because I think it is important for members opposite to understand.

When we first dealt with the anti-terrorism legislation, I, as a member of Parliament, spoke to the issue three times. I took in the debates, read the information and at the end of the day I came to the conclusion that I could not support the anti-terrorism bill. I could not support it because I listened to a lot of folks and I looked at my own experiences.

One of the people who really made very much of an impression on me in his speech, which I made reference to, was the member for Edmonton—Strathcona who, at that point in time, was a member of the Canadian Alliance. He said:

I would like to quote from an editorial entitled, “Terrorism and Freedom” from the November 17 edition of the Economist:

Infringements of civil rights, if genuinely required, should be open to scrutiny, and considered a painful sacrifice, or a purely tactical retreat, not as the mere brushing aside of irritating legal technicalities. Those who criticize such measures should be given a careful hearing, even if their views must sometimes be overridden. After all, one of the chief aims of most terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and his ilk, is to undermine the long-established, hard-won freedoms of liberal societies. In a democracy, one of the chief aims of those in office should be to preserve them.

The member goes on further to state:

I am a Muslim, the targeted group of this particular anti-terrorist legislation and investigation.

He goes on to give a very emotional speech as to what we must watch out for.

I have my own background. I have experienced lack of freedom, living in a totalitarian society. I must say that I have a great deal of concern when I notice in Canada now that we have both the former commissioner of the RCMP and the present Chief of the Defence Staff becoming political.

Susan Delacourt, the Ottawa bureau chief of the Toronto Star, made a profound statement the other day when she said, “Men with guns getting political”.

The two clauses on which we are sunsetting, preventive arrest and investigative hearings, have not been used. However, a person in this House has already been a victim of a drive-by smear as his name was linked to those investigative hearings that are supposed to be secret. Even though we never used the legislation, we saw the drive-by smear happen right in the House.

I really must ask my colleagues in the House a question. Let us think back to 9/11 and those terrible times. In spite of all the actions that we have taken: the American invasion of Iraq; us going into Afghanistan; the naming of the axis of evil by the President of the United States, Iraq, North Korea, Iran and Syria; the building of Guantanamo north; and the holding of people without charge, have they made our world a safer place?

I think that is a critical question to ask because we are heading down a path that threatens every civil liberty and human right that we have.

We all know what happened at the Maher Arar inquiry. We all know that officials involved in those hearings have undertaken a systematic campaign to smear Mr. Arar.

Who is Mr. Arar? He is a Canadian citizen with the highest profile case of anyone who has fallen victim to the fight against terror. When we see what happened to him and how our security officials conspired with the American security folks to send him off to be tortured in Syria and when he came back and we knew he was innocent, those very same officials continued to smear his name.

Mr. Arar is still on the no fly list in the United States. I think that is relevant. This man was completely exonerated and the Government of Canada belatedly apologized to him but he is still on the no fly list in the United States of America. That speaks to the kind of impact Canada has with the United States.

One of the biggest things that bothers me about the investigative hearings is that on Friday we heard that the security certificate process is unconstitutional. The security certificate process is the biggest assault on anyone's civil liberties in this country. Canadians should not become too comfortable and believe that it does not apply to them.

Let us take a look at it. In 1977, the security certificate was put in for non-residents. Under a security certificate, people can be held without knowing the charge against them. They can be held, have trials where they cannot attend, have the decision made by one judge and the only person that person can listen to is the police and the prosecutor. Then we have places to lock them up indefinitely.

The 1977 security certificate was only happening to those people with no status in the country. In 2001 we extended that to immigrants with status in the country. All of a sudden they fell under this draconian piece of legislation.

In 2002, an attempt was made, lest Canadians feel too comfortable that it did not apply to citizens, to put the security certificate into the proposed citizenship act.

Why is this so incredibly dangerous? It is very simple. Any information that is given for a security certificate is never tested. All there needs to be is an investigative hearing, go on a fishing expedition and someone else from the security service takes it into a security certificate hearing and, bingo, untested evidence, a rumour, third source removed, can be responsible for locking people up indefinitely.

I am saying that if a security certificate is combined with the investigative hearing there is a real possibility of disaster, which is why the Supreme Court struck down the security certificate. Unfortunately, it will not strike down the security certificate for at least one year to give Parliament time to fix it, if it is fixable.

I reiterate that our collective safety depends on no one community in our country being stigmatized. I think this is important. We know that racial profiling does not work. Every minority group in our country has some bad people and Canada is a country of minorities.

We have legislation under the Criminal Code that can deal with it. What we must ensure is that we do not let our freedoms, rights and civil liberties become a victim of terror.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the hon. member. I am very concerned that a member of this House would make statements basically saying that the very people who are employed by this country, the police, members of CSIS, people who protect our borders, and give of themselves day in and day out, conspired with another country in the Arar case.

We looked at the Arar case when the subcommittee was giving its input into the Anti-terrorism Act. The current government accepted all 23 recommendations. That member's government under the previous prime minister actually commissioned the Arar report. What country on the face of this earth gives its citizens more protection than this Dominion of Canada?

Yes, occasionally things do happen, but there was no conspiracy. If there were, there would have been criminal charges underway in this country.

To take a few little facts and to make them out to be that everything is wrong is totally inaccurate. I do not believe for one minute that there was a conspiracy. I would ask my colleague to please guide us to where in the Arar report it says there was a conspiracy by people of this country with people of another country as--

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Kitchener--Waterloo.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, the answer is very simple. Maybe the hon. member could rise and tell us who has systematically tried to smear Mr. Arar. Maybe the hon. member could let us know who it was. It certainly was not his defence attorneys.

Looking at investigative hearings, whatever happened to having some charges laid against the people who were responsible for destroying evidence on Air-India? Who has been held accountable? The member on the opposite side said 329 people died. Yes, 329 people did die, but what happened to the bungled investigation by CSIS and the RCMP? What did those officials say? Who is accountable? Nobody is accountable.

Accountability always has to be the foundation of any level of security because the people we give power to have to be accountable and at least transparent to an oversight committee of Parliament.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, my friend and I are in the same party and he was telling us that when the Anti-terrorism Act was brought before the House by the previous Liberal government he voted against it. I voted for it. We have a divergence of views.

However, we can have a divergence of views on an issue like this. That is what the House is all about. I think it is very important that we have a divergence of views on the basis of fact and not on the basis of opinion or innuendo.

I am wondering if the hon. member would reconsider his statement that the Supreme Court struck down security certificates as being inaccurate. It is my understanding and my reading of the decision that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the method whereby security certificates are judged to be reasonable or unreasonable, and gave the government one year to come up with a more compliant methodology to ensure that the certificate is deemed reasonable or unreasonable with the accused having proper access to the appropriate evidence against them so that they can answer that evidence. I wonder if the hon. member would reconsider his words.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, lawyers will argue about decisions rendered by the Supreme Court. One thing I do know is that it is still in effect for one year. I do know that if individuals miss a security certificate hearing where there is absolutely no representation for these people whose liberty is at stake, and who do not know about the charges against them, or who is giving evidence against them, that there is no testing of evidence whatsoever. Like I said, combine that with an investigative hearing and it is like a neutron bomb against civil liberties and human rights.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Kitchener—Waterloo, for allowing me to share his time.

The legislation with the sunset clauses that we are discussing today came into being right after 9/11. There was a need for reaction. We were getting pressure from all sides. The government of the United States was certainly pointing a finger at Canada and saying the terrorists had come from Canada. Later on it came out that this was not the case. Plane after plane of individuals flying to North America had come to seek warmth in Canada. Planes were landing on our tarmacs. I do not even remember the President of the United States, Mr. Bush, thanking Canada for what we did for our cousins to the south.

However, times have changed. Yes, terrorism is here. Osama bin Laden is said to still be alive. Things are a mess in many parts of the world, be it in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Iraq or Afghanistan. However, the need to have investigative tactics and to take people's civil liberties away, especially from our citizens, is something that I personally never favoured and find very hard to support, and I will tell members why.

I was born in a country where there were two extremes: the right and the left. People who were fighting for freedom against the Nazis during World War II, after the freedom fight was over, were branded as being communists and were labelled pretty close to being terrorists. Some of those individuals and part of that legacy remains with my family.

I remember hearing from my family members how they were incarcerated on islands. One of the techniques that was used to interrogate people was to put a man in a flour sack, put a cat in the same sack, and then dump the sack into the sea. The cat would panick and begin to scratch the individual. This would just demoralize the individual that was put into the water with the cat. Tactics such as those are still used in some countries.

We have seen what happened to Mr. Arar when we gave wrong information to the folks in the United States and he was sent to Syria, and certainly we apologized for it.

But there is still the situation today, although it is not as bad, of the three detainees, at what a lot of people and myself have called Guantanamo North. These are the three detainees that were detained under security certificates issued by the Liberal Party, and they certainly continue today.

However, whether those certificates are right or wrong or these people are tourists or not is not the question that I want to address. The question that I want to address is the way they are treated at Guantanamo North, Millhaven, or whatever we want to call it.

These individuals have had all their rights, their right to appeal, their right to speak, and their right to ask for privileges, taken away from them. They do not have a means of redress. If people come to a disagreement, they have an ombudsman they can go to.

At Correctional Service Canada we have what is called the Correctional Investigator. Although this individual is part of Correctional Service Canada, with a memorandum of understanding with Citizenship and Immigration and with CBSA, we still do not know who is looking after the detainees. The Correctional Investigator has absolutely no way of dealing with what they need. They had 20 issues that they wanted to deal with and all 20 issues were struck down. The citizenship and immigration committee members went to see them. As a matter of fact I, myself, went to see them three times. These individuals are on a hunger strike in order to address their needs and their complaints.

There must be a protocol in place, should we tomorrow have more detainees, on how we deal with them. Certainly, the current minister of CBSA is not willing to listen to this committee's requests, nor suggestions from members from both sides of the House. The Conservative Party wants to extend the clauses in the legislation that would be sunsetting.

I remember when the minister was the leader of the opposition, when it was the Alliance. I remember him taking a brush and painting all the Tamils in Canada, and came close to calling them terrorists in relationship to the LTTE.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Come on, that is not true.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

For the members across who are making some noise, I had an exchange with the minister, and it certainly can be read in Hansard. I questioned him on how he was willing to use a paintbrush and call the whole Tamil community terrorists, how children were being affected who were going to school and being asked by their schoolmates if they were terrorists. It sort of went in one ear and out the other of the former leader of the opposition.

Now he is the Minister of Public Safety and certainly the government has listed the LTTE, but it has done absolutely nothing to reassure Tamil Canadians in my community of Scarborough that they are not being targeted. It has done absolutely nothing to reassure Canadians who could have been under scrutiny, be it people from Lebanon who associate themselves with Hezbollah, or all kinds of people who are Canadians first and foremost. These organizations are the ones we are looking at and the government has done absolutely nothing.

Yes indeed, this issue will be an election issue. Let us not fool anybody. Let us not for 30 seconds forget that the Conservative Party has deep roots in the reform party, and the roots of the reform party are very simple: pit one Canadian against another Canadian. One is Caucasian, one is African--

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Quit lying in the House. That is not true.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Did we forget what the government did with the Lebanese? No, we did not. Did we forget how members of the Conservative Party pitted one Canadian against the other Canadian? Did we forget when members of the Conservative Party said, “Those people who are Canadians may be Canadians by convenience and we should leave them behind”. Let me reassure the member opposite that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Come on, cut it out.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Which part of that do you not understand? Which part of that do you want to debate?

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I would remind the hon. member to address his remarks through the Chair.

There is an awful lot of disorder going on in the House right now and I would like to invite hon. members to adopt a more friendlier tone for the rest of the member's remarks, sot that he can try to wrap up without too much more heckling for the next couple of minutes.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell my colleagues in the Conservative Party, who sometimes seem not to have anything between their ears, that Canada is made up of four pillars.

It is made up of the two founding people, the French and the English. It is made up of the aboriginals, and it is made up of another pillar that holds the whole table together. It holds the whole house together, and these are the immigrants, the people who have recently come to Canada in the last 30, 40 and 50 years.

Every group that comes somehow gets paintbrushed and tainted. Do we forget the incarceration of the Ukrainians? Do we forget the incarceration of the Japanese and the Italians? Do we forget, recently, the incarceration and the way that we are dealing with the Arab community? Certainly not. However, the Conservative Party does not seem to understand, so let me leave them some words of wisdom.

There are four words that certainly the Conservative Party does not want to listen to and this is why I have been heckled by members opposite. Those four words are very simple.

Respect one's neighbour as an equal. Respect the guy down the street as a Canadian. Accept individuals as part of this great country. Celebrate our diversities and embrace our common future, and when we put those four words together, respect, accept, celebrate and embrace, and take the first letters of those words, it spells race.

One of the things that we on this side of the House never forgot is that we are all part of the human race, and this is why this legislation has to be sunsetted. Unfortunately, that side of the House, the Conservative Party, is supporting legislation that is very draconian. It comes down to the fundamental issue of wanting to support its reform agenda by pitting one Canadian against another Canadian.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised to hear the hon. member refer to the three individuals being detained in Millhaven under security certificates and suggesting that their rights have been taken away.

I remind the member that a judge was satisfied there was a reason to detain these individuals. I remind the member that these people are free to go back to their countries of origin. Canada will even pay for their flights. I remind the member that although they are in the midst of a hunger strike, they are provided with food, shelter and medical attention everyday. They have chosen not to take advantage of it at the present time.

Since the hon. member has visited these three individuals already, he would know that they are certainly not suffering because of anything we are doing to them at the present time.

When the member says that we are brushing an entire community, what is the member doing when he uses hyperbole to describe a Canadian institution or relate it to Guantanamo Bay? What is he trying to do by making such an allegation about a Canadian institution?

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, the three detainees are not given any privileges and/or rights. The institution was built in April of 2006 and the individuals were moved in 2006. If they have a complaint, there is nowhere to address it. There is no ombudsman to address these complaints.

The committee unanimously agreed. Unfortunately some Conservative members were not present the second time the committee visited and passed a motion that a correctional investigative ombudsman be appointed. If the hon. member has not bothered to read the report, I suggest he talk to his colleagues who sit in that committee.

Anti-terrorism ActOrders of the Day

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Conservative Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague had some very interesting comments. I do not agree with 99.999% of what he had to say.

Whether the roots of the Conservatives, and mine are with the Progressive Conservative Party, are in the Reform, Alliance or Progressive Conservative, one sure thing is this party stands up for the protection and security of all Canadians. We will do what has to done to ensure that terrorism does not wield its ugly head again in our country.

We want to extend the two clauses in the legislation, legislation that was brought in by the Liberals, and the Liberals should be in support of that. It is an absolute ridiculous statement to say that the Conservatives are not in favour of that protection. That is why we are here. That is why I am here. Where we come from has nothing to do with it. It is what we want to do in the future for our country.

The other comment the member made, which I thought was very interesting, was that a Canadian was a Canadian and what did we did to the Lebanese. He should check the website of his new member for Halton. The new member for Halton in the newspaper, on his website and in his blog talked about whether we should spend all our taxpayer money bringing back part time Canadians. It is a Liberal member who stated that, not our guy. He needs to have a little discussion with the new member of his party.

Does he not believe that terrorism is still as much of a problem today as it was on 9/11 and previous to that? With the changes in technology and in the world, is terrorism not as much an issue as it was ? Should we not do everything possible as a Canadian government to protect Canadian citizens from further terrorist acts?